Some environmental extremists in Iowa thought it would be a good idea to use nooses in their climate change protest. Rational Iowans disagreed. A former Iowa state representative, a Democrat, is now apologizing for using such a racially-charged symbol in what he calls “provocative performance art.” Now he is calling it a “lapse in judgment.” Ya think?
Ed Fallon is the leader of Bold Iowa, a liberal activist group. Last weekend the 5th annual Progress Iowa Corn Feed hosted twelve 2020 Democrat presidential candidates in NewBo. The sidewalk protest involved members of Bold Iowa, blocks of ice, and rope nooses. People stood on blocks of ice with nooses around their necks. A sign read “As the Arctic melts, the climate noose tightens.” Fallon now calls the idea a “lapse in judgment”.
“It wasn’t the right call on our part in terms of trying to get the message across,” he said. “I hope people will look beyond that lapse in judgment and understand that we have a tremendous challenge facing us right now” with climate change.
This wasn’t a one-off performance. Just the day before, Bold Iowa activists did the same thing at the Ankeny Democrat SummerFest Barbecue. Clearly, this was intended to be a signature kind of protest and message from the group. The group proudly posted a photo on their Facebook page after the Ankeny barbecue event.
As you can imagine, the local NAACP chapter wasn’t amused. The president of the Cedar Rapids branch is spreading the word in order to head off any future assinine performances.
Dedric Doolin, president of the NAACP Cedar Rapids branch, decried the protest using something so emblematic of lynching as insensitive and said it displayed “the lack of understanding about how the symbol of a noose intimidates, terrorizes and puts fear in the hearts of many people, especially African-Americans.”
“They didn’t understand the impact their display had on the community,” Doolin said.
A member of NAACP’s national board of directors, Doolin plans to spread the word of the protest’s tactics to other NAACP chapters in hopes of curbing any such future protests.
Other liberals couldn’t wait to throw Bold Iowa under the bus. Progress Iowa, the host group of the Corn Feed, issued a statement from Executive Director Matt Sinovic.
“The protest held by Bold Iowa outside of our event (Sunday) had absolutely nothing to do with Progress Iowa or NewBo City Market,” Sinovic said in the statement. “No matter what message they were trying to send, the way they did it was offensive, disturbing, and inappropriate.”
It’s pretty sweet that a liberal activist group is being slapped for its lame attempt at portraying an urgent call to action on climate change, an issue at the top of the list of concerns for the left. Commenters on Bold Iowa’s Facebook page called for pictures to be taken off and others voiced their disgust.
Notice that none of the Democrat presidential candidates were asked for quotes about the use of the nooses. Michael Bennet, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and Marianne Williamson attended. Notably, top candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris skipped the event. I can’t help but think if it had happened at a large annual gathering of Republicans, every candidate and current elected official in the place would be asked about it. The double standard is alive and well. This story has flown under the radar with the national press. If a connection could be made between conservatives and nooses, well, you know it would be the headline story on 24/7 cable news channels and online news sites for days.
Fallon said, “We were kind of surprised and disappointed that our message did offend people.” Naturally, he roped President Trump into his poor decision-making. The bad Orange Man is a racist, you know.
“We underestimated the way it may trigger folks who either are concerned about the rise in racism in this country, in many respects because of Donald Trump,” Fallon said in an interview. “And also people who were affected by a family member who maybe committed suicide by hanging. … Our focus is to get people to understand just how urgent of a situation climate change is. We really are at a point where human extinction is a possibility.”
A statement was issued to local media from NewBo City Market’s Executive Director. City Market was the venue for the Progress Iowa Corn Feed. The statement included the contact number for Fallon, which I am not including in the quote.
“Yesterday, there was a demonstration orchestrated on the public sidewalks outside of NewBo City Market during the Progress Iowa Corn Feed Presidential Candidate events. The demonstration was intended to bring awareness of climate change by having people standing on blocks of ice with hangman’s nooses around their necks.
We saw the protest and we were equally disgusted by it. It was staged by a group unaffiliated with the Market or Progress Iowa and conducted outside of the Market property. As it was a political demonstration on a public sidewalk, it was protected speech and there was nothing we, the event organizers, or CRPD could have done to stop it.
We share the outrage of many in the community at this use of a racist symbol. Whatever point this group was trying to make was completely lost because of they way they presented themselves.
What a disgusting protest. That Fallon desperately tried to drag President Trump into the fray shows how shallow the thinking is on the left.