Chelsea Clinton attended a vigil in New York City with the intention of honouring New Zealand mosque shootings victims.
Unfortunately for her, she was instead met with resistance. A number of students lashed out at Clinton, accusing her of “stoking” the flame that caused such Islamophobia.
“This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put out into the world,” one student yelled at Clinton in a now-deleted Twitter video. “I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep down inside. Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there.” The video has seen been re-posted by other users.
Clinton, 39, did her best to remain polite. “I’m so sorry that you feel that way,” she replied. “Certainly, it was never my intention. I do believe words matter. I believe we have to show solidarity.”
Her response did little to smooth things over. Another student retorted, “What does ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ mean?” off camera. The students’ comments may reference Clinton’s earlier condemnation of Minnesota State Rep. Ilhan Omar.
A Twitter user, claiming to be the student in the video, defended her actions. “I didn’t corner Chelsea Clinton, I didn’t approach her with anyone else, I didn’t ask people to record me,” she wrote. “The confrontation wasn’t planned, though I was going to disrupt her if she spoke and say the same things that I said to her face.”
“I can’t believe this has to be said, but I didn’t tell Chelsea Clinton she was the one who put a gun to Muslims’ heads,” the user continued. “I said, and continue to say, that by jumping on the right-wing bandwagon and vilifying Ihan Omar, she fed into the EXACT discourse we were at the vigil to protest.”
Clinton was among the many notable figures to tweet out their shock over the shootings and express their condolences to those affected by the horrifying act.