Buzzfeed Guest Column by the Activists Who Confronted Chelsea Clinton

Rose Asaf / Leen Dweik

The activists who confronted Chelsea Clinton at the vigil for victims of the Christchurch massacre explain their actions

Buzzfeed, March 16, 2019

Yesterday we posted a video of Leen confronting Chelsea Clinton at a vigil for the victims of the white supremacist New Zealand mosque massacre. Today, we woke up to over 100,000 people talking about it on Twitter. Needless to say, this is not what we expected.

We went to the vigil for one reason: to grieve the loss of innocent lives that were stolen from this world by vile hatred. We wanted to join our friends and colleagues in a time of heartbreak and agony, to remember the 49 Muslims who were murdered for being Muslim. As a Jewish American-Israeli and a Palestinian Muslim, we understand far too well the consequences of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and white supremacy. And as activists who are unafraid to speak the truth, we know we have a duty to call out any bigotry wherever it exists.

We did a double take when we first noticed Chelsea Clinton was at the vigil. Just weeks before this tragedy, we bore witness to a bigoted, anti-Muslim mob coming after Rep. Ilhan Omar for speaking the truth about the massive influence of the Israel lobby in this country. As people in unwavering solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for freedom and human rights, we were profoundly disappointed when Chelsea Clinton used her platform to fan those flames. We believe that Ilhan Omar did nothing wrong except challenge the status quo, but the way many people chose to criticize Omar made her vulnerable to anti-Muslim hatred and death threats.

We were shocked when Clinton arrived at the vigil, given that she had not yet apologized to Rep. Omar for the public vilification against her. We thought it was inappropriate for her to show up to a vigil for a community she had so recently stoked hatred against. We were not alone in feeling uncomfortable — many students were dismayed to see her there.

So when we saw Chelsea, we saw an opportunity to have her ear and confront her on her false charge of anti-Semitism against our only Black, Muslim, Somali, and refugee member of Congress. We took our chance to speak truth to power. Chelsea hurt our fight against white supremacy when she stood by the petty weaponizers of antisemitism, showing no regard for Rep. Omar and the hatred being directed at her.

We know that our only safety is through solidarity. The fight against anti-Muslim bigotry is the fight against anti-Semitism is the fight against racism is the fight against white supremacy. When someone attacks one of us, they attack all of us. We know that our struggles are intertwined, and for any of us to be safe, all of us must be safe. ...
Read full article at Buzzfeed

Comments