Kristen Gillibrand's Tangled Web

During the second Democratic debate, New York senator and political weathervane Kristen Gillibrand bragged that she could explain to white suburban women who voted for Trump “what white privilege actually is.”  No doubt.  When you presume to lecture Joe Biden about being a single father, anything is possible.  Still, I question the strategy of scything a path to the White House by arrogantly condescending to a voting bloc whose overriding motive for their previous presidential vote was a stern disavowal of arrogant condescension. 

But Gillibrand wasn’t finished.  “When their son is walking down the street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket, wearing a hoodie,” she scolded, “his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot.”  From not being shot?  Gillibrand is a lawyer, presumably schooled in the art of courtroom rhetoric, but I’m not sure I would trust her to defend me against shoplifting at Wal-Mart, much less to defend America as president.  Mr. Skeet, isn’t it true that you didn’t not steal that inflatable Judy doll?  Please keep in mind that you aren’t not under oath.

But the point that Gillibrand was clumsily trying to make was entwined in a rehash of the Trayvon Martin shooting.  According to accepted mythology, Trayvon was walking down the street, having recently purchased candy and iced tea from a nearby 7-11.  Having been spotted and followed by the local Grand Wizard and ethnically pretzeled “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman, the black Trayvon found himself running from, brawling with, and tragically being shot by the Afro-Peruvian Klansman. 

For the umpteenth time, the facts of this case belie the myth.  Trayvon was not shot for wearing a hoodie, or for carrying candy, or for being black.  He was shot because he was on top of Zimmerman, pummeling his head off the pavement with MMA-style punches.  Attorney General Eric Holder, who haughtily fancied himself John Shaft of the DoJ, left no stone thrice unturned in its investigation.  If there was even a shred of a legal case against Zimmerman, you can bet Holder would have pounced on it.

But Gillibrand takes the myth an extra step.  In her scenario, the hypothetical white son is walking down the street with a bag of M&Ms.  But Trayvon wasn’t carrying a bag of M&Ms.  He was carrying a bag of Skittles and an Arizona brand beverage.  OK, so what’s the big deal? you might ask.  She made an honest mistake with the brand of candy. 

But she didn’t make a mistake.  She deliberately substituted M&Ms for Skittles.  Anyone following the case knew that the nationwide pro-Trayvon demonstrations in the aftermath of the shooting featured Skittles as a central tenet.  Protestors carried Skittles packages, attached them to signs, and taped them over their mouths.  The Guardian ran a story about how Skittles symbolized Trayvon’s alleged innocence.

But as the case unfolded, it emerged that Trayvon’s Arizona Iced Tea wasn’t iced tea, but in fact was Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail.  Again, what’s the big deal?  The big deal is that M&Ms and Arizona Iced Tea are what a normal American teenager, black or white, might be expected to be carrying on any given evening.  On the other hand, Skittles and Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail are what an experienced drug abuser might be expected to be carrying on any given evening (during his third school suspension of the year for vandalism and illegal drugs). 

Popular in hip hop culture is a drug called Lean (a.k.a. Purple Drank, Sizzurp, Dirty Sprite, etc.).  Lean is made by mixing cough syrup, Skittles, and Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail.  The result is a codeine-based concoction, one effect of which causes its abuser to lean (hence the name).  Trayvon chatted extensively on Facebook about his abuse of codeine, among other drugs, as well as about the ingredients needed to make lean.

The evening Zimmerman spotted him, Trayvon was carrying two of these three ingredients.  In Zimmerman’s 911 call, he stated that Trayvon appeared to be “on drugs”.  Is it possible that a sober Trayvon, pondering his dreams of being a brain surgeon, just happened to be in the mood for Skittles and juice that day?  Yes, it’s possible.  And it’s possible that the local moonshiner just bought some yeast, sugar, and a large vat because he wants to bake hot cross buns for the new congregants at his church. 

One of many long-term effects of codeine abuse is liver damage.  Trayvon’s autopsy revealed a patchy yellow discoloration of the liver, due to mild fatty metamorphosis.  Such fatty buildup is one early indication of drug abuse, though it admittedly could also be the result of a number of other perfectly legitimate medical factors.  What it is most definitely not indicative of is M&M overdoses. 

Notice what Gillibrand did not say.  She did not say that Trayvon was carrying M&Ms.  She only used M&Ms in her hypothetical “white son” scenario.  So she technically never lied, and she left herself wiggle room in case the CNN debate “moderators” called her out on it (no laughing, please).  Her very lawyerly intention was to lie by false equivalence and, by doing so, score a notch for the white privilege polemic.

If white privilege was so axiomatic, one would think its opponents would have stockpiles of evidentiary ammunition with which to batter down the ramparts of American society.  As it stands, their most flaunted example of such institutionalized bigotry was built on deliberate falsehoods from its inception.  It has long since been exposed as such, yet it continues to be exploited by ambulance chasers like Gillibrand.   

My intention here is not to change anyone’s mind about the Trayvon shooting, race relations, or stand-your-ground laws.  My intention is to reiterate an important fact underpinning a controversial incident.  In the larger picture, this fact may seem irrelevant.  But this fact was intentionally distorted by Gillibrand to alter the narrative of the Trayvon shooting, which in turn has been touted as evidence of systemic racism in America, which in turn is being used to peddle untenable theories of white privilege, which in turn is being used to cultivate support for reparations.  The attempted implementation of reparations would be nothing short of catastrophic, and would leave in its wake an unbridgeable schism between black and white Americans. 

I don’t imagine Gillibrand gave much thought, and even less concern, about the accuracy or effects of her words.  As evident from her shameless flip-flopping over every conceivable issue, her ambition is the presidency at whatever cost.  In the grand scheme of things, her ambiguous M&M duplicity is small fry compared to the If you like your health care plan whoppers.  But if we concede the singular facts on which these individual incidents are grounded, we eventually concede the overall narrative.  The facts of these incidents are on our side, and we have no reason to surrender them. 

We’ve locked horns with the Left for almost a decade over the Trayvon shooting and its underlying causes, and after struggling for so long, it’s tempting to throw our hands up in exasperation and say Ah screw it, let them have this one.  But there is too much at stake to succumb to battle fatigue.  Call the Left out on every single lie, no matter how insignificant it may seem.  The small lies are constructed into guard towers from which the big lies are imposed.  Fight for every inch and don’t back down a centimeter, because that’s what the socialists who very well might take power in 2020 are doing. 

During the second Democratic debate, New York senator and political weathervane Kristen Gillibrand bragged that she could explain to white suburban women who voted for Trump “what white privilege actually is.”  No doubt.  When you presume to lecture Joe Biden about being a single father, anything is possible.  Still, I question the strategy of scything a path to the White House by arrogantly condescending to a voting bloc whose overriding motive for their previous presidential vote was a stern disavowal of arrogant condescension. 

But Gillibrand wasn’t finished.  “When their son is walking down the street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket, wearing a hoodie,” she scolded, “his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot.”  From not being shot?  Gillibrand is a lawyer, presumably schooled in the art of courtroom rhetoric, but I’m not sure I would trust her to defend me against shoplifting at Wal-Mart, much less to defend America as president.  Mr. Skeet, isn’t it true that you didn’t not steal that inflatable Judy doll?  Please keep in mind that you aren’t not under oath.

But the point that Gillibrand was clumsily trying to make was entwined in a rehash of the Trayvon Martin shooting.  According to accepted mythology, Trayvon was walking down the street, having recently purchased candy and iced tea from a nearby 7-11.  Having been spotted and followed by the local Grand Wizard and ethnically pretzeled “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman, the black Trayvon found himself running from, brawling with, and tragically being shot by the Afro-Peruvian Klansman. 

For the umpteenth time, the facts of this case belie the myth.  Trayvon was not shot for wearing a hoodie, or for carrying candy, or for being black.  He was shot because he was on top of Zimmerman, pummeling his head off the pavement with MMA-style punches.  Attorney General Eric Holder, who haughtily fancied himself John Shaft of the DoJ, left no stone thrice unturned in its investigation.  If there was even a shred of a legal case against Zimmerman, you can bet Holder would have pounced on it.

But Gillibrand takes the myth an extra step.  In her scenario, the hypothetical white son is walking down the street with a bag of M&Ms.  But Trayvon wasn’t carrying a bag of M&Ms.  He was carrying a bag of Skittles and an Arizona brand beverage.  OK, so what’s the big deal? you might ask.  She made an honest mistake with the brand of candy. 

But she didn’t make a mistake.  She deliberately substituted M&Ms for Skittles.  Anyone following the case knew that the nationwide pro-Trayvon demonstrations in the aftermath of the shooting featured Skittles as a central tenet.  Protestors carried Skittles packages, attached them to signs, and taped them over their mouths.  The Guardian ran a story about how Skittles symbolized Trayvon’s alleged innocence.

But as the case unfolded, it emerged that Trayvon’s Arizona Iced Tea wasn’t iced tea, but in fact was Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail.  Again, what’s the big deal?  The big deal is that M&Ms and Arizona Iced Tea are what a normal American teenager, black or white, might be expected to be carrying on any given evening.  On the other hand, Skittles and Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail are what an experienced drug abuser might be expected to be carrying on any given evening (during his third school suspension of the year for vandalism and illegal drugs). 

Popular in hip hop culture is a drug called Lean (a.k.a. Purple Drank, Sizzurp, Dirty Sprite, etc.).  Lean is made by mixing cough syrup, Skittles, and Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail.  The result is a codeine-based concoction, one effect of which causes its abuser to lean (hence the name).  Trayvon chatted extensively on Facebook about his abuse of codeine, among other drugs, as well as about the ingredients needed to make lean.

The evening Zimmerman spotted him, Trayvon was carrying two of these three ingredients.  In Zimmerman’s 911 call, he stated that Trayvon appeared to be “on drugs”.  Is it possible that a sober Trayvon, pondering his dreams of being a brain surgeon, just happened to be in the mood for Skittles and juice that day?  Yes, it’s possible.  And it’s possible that the local moonshiner just bought some yeast, sugar, and a large vat because he wants to bake hot cross buns for the new congregants at his church. 

One of many long-term effects of codeine abuse is liver damage.  Trayvon’s autopsy revealed a patchy yellow discoloration of the liver, due to mild fatty metamorphosis.  Such fatty buildup is one early indication of drug abuse, though it admittedly could also be the result of a number of other perfectly legitimate medical factors.  What it is most definitely not indicative of is M&M overdoses. 

Notice what Gillibrand did not say.  She did not say that Trayvon was carrying M&Ms.  She only used M&Ms in her hypothetical “white son” scenario.  So she technically never lied, and she left herself wiggle room in case the CNN debate “moderators” called her out on it (no laughing, please).  Her very lawyerly intention was to lie by false equivalence and, by doing so, score a notch for the white privilege polemic.

If white privilege was so axiomatic, one would think its opponents would have stockpiles of evidentiary ammunition with which to batter down the ramparts of American society.  As it stands, their most flaunted example of such institutionalized bigotry was built on deliberate falsehoods from its inception.  It has long since been exposed as such, yet it continues to be exploited by ambulance chasers like Gillibrand.   

My intention here is not to change anyone’s mind about the Trayvon shooting, race relations, or stand-your-ground laws.  My intention is to reiterate an important fact underpinning a controversial incident.  In the larger picture, this fact may seem irrelevant.  But this fact was intentionally distorted by Gillibrand to alter the narrative of the Trayvon shooting, which in turn has been touted as evidence of systemic racism in America, which in turn is being used to peddle untenable theories of white privilege, which in turn is being used to cultivate support for reparations.  The attempted implementation of reparations would be nothing short of catastrophic, and would leave in its wake an unbridgeable schism between black and white Americans. 

I don’t imagine Gillibrand gave much thought, and even less concern, about the accuracy or effects of her words.  As evident from her shameless flip-flopping over every conceivable issue, her ambition is the presidency at whatever cost.  In the grand scheme of things, her ambiguous M&M duplicity is small fry compared to the If you like your health care plan whoppers.  But if we concede the singular facts on which these individual incidents are grounded, we eventually concede the overall narrative.  The facts of these incidents are on our side, and we have no reason to surrender them. 

We’ve locked horns with the Left for almost a decade over the Trayvon shooting and its underlying causes, and after struggling for so long, it’s tempting to throw our hands up in exasperation and say Ah screw it, let them have this one.  But there is too much at stake to succumb to battle fatigue.  Call the Left out on every single lie, no matter how insignificant it may seem.  The small lies are constructed into guard towers from which the big lies are imposed.  Fight for every inch and don’t back down a centimeter, because that’s what the socialists who very well might take power in 2020 are doing.