This weekend, a protester from Black Lives Matter was reportedly kicked, hit, and thrown out of a Trump rally in Birmingham, Alabama, and the ugly incident, as well as Trump’s crazy reaction to it, have been a top news story all day. However, the man was not the only protester at the rally. The man he was there with was interviewed today on CNN. *(SEE UPDATE BELOW)
Among many things, one point Carlos Chavert Jr. made was that they were “exercising their First Amendment Right” to protest inside the rally, and that Trump is “not welcome in a progressive city.”
So, you know, free speech for me but not for thee. Are we sure this guy isn’t from Mizzou?
After the anchor challenged him, Chavert conceded that “absolutely” Trump has the right to hold rallies “wherever he chooses to.”
Here’s the video:
After the concession that Trump can hold rallies wherever he wants, Chavert goes on:
My constitution does not limit where I can protest, and I wanted to protest inside Mr. Trump’s rally because we didn’t want him welcome here in the city of Birmingham.
The first hand description is interesting, although he does not include a description of the actual roughing up of the other protester, presumably because there may be pending legal action, something he alluded to earlier in the interview.
The entire incident is ugly, and in my personal opinion, the kind of unreasoning rage shown by the Trump supporters is exactly what his campaign is intentionally tapping into and exploiting.
Contrary to what Chavert says, you do not have an absolute unfettered right to protest wherever you want. Also contrary to something Chavert repeats several times during the interview, Trump unquestionably has the right to say everything he says, including the right to say that the protester had it coming.
But for the love of Pete, the question Trump and his supporters ought to ask is “should he?”
Should Trump say it?
It’s not responsible and frankly it’s not smart. The easiest thing in the world is to say “this shouldn’t have happened and I’m sorry and I hope my supporters are sorry.” Anything less than that is stupid and just plain wrong, as well as bad politics.
Not that bad politics has ever affected his poll numbers.
This story has been updated to reflect a tip from a reader that the video showing the incident has not been verified, despite CNN’s reporting.
UPDATE 2: Read here from Gateway Pundit about the video. Eyewitnesses allege the protester was punching and kicking, fighting and then falling on purpose. Perhaps we should call CNN’s video “heavily edited.”
Thanks to Right Scoop reader @JohnSmith112221 for the tip!