- Chelsea Clinton attended a vigil for New Zealand shooting victims Friday at New York University.
- A student activist berated Clinton for her tweets criticizing Ilhan Omar’s tweets about the pro-Israel lobby, saying they stoked Islamophobia.
- The activist said Clinton’s rhetoric led to the shooting.
- After a video of the incident was posted to Twitter, prominent personalities are criticizing the activist.
- Others, including Tucker Carlson, are coming to her defense.
Chelsea Clinton, a former first daughter and frequent commentator on Twitter, attended a vigil at NYU Friday evening to publically mourn victims of the shooting that took at least 49 lives at two mosques in New Zealand.
Clinton, who attended and worked at the university in various capacities, including co-founding the Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership, was said to be invited to the vigil, according to students at the vigil.
But Clinton’s presence at the vigil was not a welcome sight for at least two activists who were at the vigil.
A video went viral on Twitter Friday night showing a confrontation between Clinton and a student activist, filmed and tweeted out by a friend, who can be seen in the video telling Clinton, “This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put into the world. And I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deeply — 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there.”
Her statement was followed by affirming snaps from other attendees of the vigil off camera.
On Twitter, an account that appears to belong to the student activist wrote, “the CAUCASITY that chelsea clinton has showing up to a vigil for the 49 muslims massacred in an islamophobic hate crime after STOKING ISLAMOPHOBIA AND RACISM surrounding ilhan omar… f—ing ridiculous.” The account retweeted the video, posted by her “best friend,” writing, “apparently my brand is yelling at white politicians.”
Clinton was an early critic of Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota’s tweets, which some politicians characterized as anti-Semitic, about the prominent pro-Israel lobby. “We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism,” Clinton wrote in response to Omar’s tweet.
In the video, Clinton can be heard apologizing, saying, “I’m so sorry you feel that way, that certainly was never my intention, I believe that words matter.”
The video quickly went viral on Twitter, with several prominent accounts criticizing the activist. Journalist and Twitter personality Yashar Ali, who has also been a vocal critic of Rep. Omar’s tweets, called the video “shameful” and “disgusting.”
Conservatives also came to Clinton’s defense, fitting her into the narrative that few were to blame for the shooting besides the suspected shooter himself. On Fox News, Tucker Carlson called Clinton a “bystander” and expressed confusion over the confrontation as part of his show that highlighted what he believed to be a threat to free speech following the New Zealand massacre.
Others defended the activist online from a swell of online hatred. Writer Roslyn Talusan said on Twitter, “chelsea clinton’s white tears are dangerous. this activist is being harassed by [Yashar Ali’s] followers for feeling rightfully angry at white ppl taking up space at a vigil.”
Clinton nor the activist immediately responded for comment.