Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Robot Heckles Clinton
This story is a riot.
Bill Clinton was heckled by a robot. Okay, a guy dressed as a robot.
From the Des Moine Register:
A University of Iowa professor dressed as a robot interrupted Bill Clinton at a campaign stop here late Monday, screaming for an apology before security escorted him from the building.
The professor, Kembrew McLeod, stood on a chair and screamed several statements, including: “Robots of the world want you to apologize.”
The audience erupted into loud boos.
McLeod, before security officers could reach him, tossed hundreds of cards into the audience of about 400 people in protest of statements the former president made in 1992 of Sister Souljah, a member of the musical group Public Enemy.
“I like to talk in a way that, you know, will draw attention to these serious issues,” McLeod said after the event. “And maybe the way that I draw attention to them is an absurd way but it was the only way that I could draw attention to the particular issue of Sister Souljah, which is an issue that’s been swept under the carpet.”
The cards included an Internet address for a group that calls itself “Mad Robots In Favor of Bill Clinton Apologizing.”
The site tells how Sister Souljah made statements to the Washington Post about the 1992 Los Angeles riots sparked when an all-white jury acquitted the white police officers who were captured on tape beating a black man, Rodney King.
Her statement focused on how society largely ignores black-on-black violence. It included the quote: “If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?”
That quote has largely been picked up on its own, without the larger context. Clinton, in June of 1992, gave a speech at the Rainbow Coalition, which compared Sister Souljah’s quote to David Duke, a former white supremist.
"If you took the words ‘white’ and ‘black’ and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech,” Bill Clinton said in 1992.
Volunteers picked up most of the cards soon after the incident. Bill Clinton, who was for appearing for his wife U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, did not apologize.
McLeod said he is the Iowa chapter president of the group, which calls themselves Mr-IFOBCA, or RB-1 for short. The group also has chapters in New York, California, Virginia and Georgia, he said.
McLeod is an associate professor in the department of communication studies. He said he has tenure. He was not arrested.
“This is Iowa so they were polite and I was polite. When they told me I had to leave, I did,” McLeod said.
People seem to enjoy heckling Bubba. I'm all for it.
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