#BlackLivesMatter supporters booted from Georgia rally for Hillary

Wait… I thought Hillary Clinton was the champion of minority voters and the Social Justice Warriors? If so, this news is darned peculiar. At a rally in Atlanta, Georgia the security team covering the former Secretary of State hastily escorted a couple of attendees out of the facility yesterday for the outrageous crime of holding up some signs which the campaign staff had given them before the event began. Of course, they had altered the promotional material a bit by scrawling three little words on the back of one of the Hillary signs, and they weren’t we love you. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Meagan Mwanda and Ashona Husbands never wanted to hold the Hillary Clinton sign in the first place.

Early Friday, the two Georgia State University freshmen walked to Atlanta’s City Hall to hear the Democratic presidential candidate. Last week, they attended a rally by Bernie Sanders at Morehouse College. They wanted a chance to size up Clinton on Friday but say they didn’t get it.

Mwanda and Husbands claim they were kicked out of the rally for writing “Black Lives Matter” on the back of a Clinton sign.

“Why are these three words such a threat to her and her campaign?” Mwanda said.

The two young women also wrote the names of Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner on the sign. They had an additional, smaller piece of paper reading, “I am not a super predator.” But the first big question here is who actually kicked the students out of the rally and who made that decision? Mwanda and Husbands claimed that they were tossed out by Clinton staffers, but pretty much everyone else is denying that. The students said they were removed by staffers and men with green military-type uniforms and bullet proof vests, who told them that their sign was “inappropriate” and that they would need to leave. But a spokeswoman for the Atlanta PD said they were removed by plain clothes cops and members of the Atlanta Proactive Enforcement Interdiction (APEX) Unit. I suppose it’s easy enough to understand how the young women could confuse plain clothes officers with the Clinton staff in the midst of all the confusion.

But the question which still begs an answer is, who made the call to remove them? Nobody involved seems to be claiming that the two were causing any sort of disruption. There was no chanting or singing or violence on the scene, just two students holding signs. Would the cops really respond to that with a physical ejection on their own initiative? That sounds dubious to me, with the far more likely scenario being that Clinton’s team noticed the sign and decided that was going to mess up their photo op. As with pretty much all the campaigns, all it takes at that point is a quick word to security and the offending guests can be removed on the premise of it being a private event.

Every time someone is kicked out of a Trump rally it seems to be national news for weeks on end. Granted, Trump tends to revel in the ejections from the podium and feeds red meat to the media that loves to bash him, but isn’t the end result the same? You’re still silencing the voices of those who oppose or at least question your message. And the message in question is of particular interest here. That smaller sign I mentioned above (dealing with the super predator question) is a direct reference to Hillary Clinton’s previous support (now apparently retracted) for the 1994 crime bill. I wrote about this yesterday but I wasn’t sure if it was going to catch fire among the Democratic base. It seems to be spreading, though, and if this gets too big Hillary is going to have a serious problem. She’s not just counting on the black vote to beat Bernie, but to edge her over the finish line in the general election as well. I’m seeing reports of very light voter turnout in South Carolina today already and Clinton can’t afford that in November.

Plus, she’s being forced by Sanders to backpedal on backing one of the most popular and successful pieces of crime prevention legislation in modern history. I very much look forward to her selling that position to the general election audience in the fall.