Tuesday, September 18, 2007

UF Student tasered at John Kerry Speech

"When they come for the innocent without stepping over your body, cursed be your religion and your life."

There are so many things I want to say about this clip. I really want everyone to listen to the entire thing (I say listen because the picture is terrible).

A few things I noticed:

The police are surrounding this kid very early in his question; the moment the question seems hostile.

This kid never once threatened Kerry or anyone else verbally, physically, or otherwise.

At the end of the clip, the student holding the camera begins yelling "police brutality" and "Rodney King," and is told by a police officer, "You better shut the fuck up."

(I saw a T-shirt at the mall today and thought of Kerry. It said, "If I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you.")

Okay, so the most hostile and inflammatory question that came out of that kid's mouth was, "Were you a member of the Skull and Bones Society?" Skull and Bones is a secret society at Yale (and Kerry was a member) that boasts such prestigious members as Bush I, Bush II, and Grandpa (Prescott) Bush.

The implication is that Kerry possibly conceded the election because he's down with that crowd, and that reminded me of something that's been pricking at me since the 2004 Iowa Primaries.

See, the thing is, according to polls taken between Jan 12th and 15th, John Kerry was pretty far down on the totem pole. He had 7% of the vote, behind Gephardt (11%), Clark (12%), and Dean (24%).

Then four days later, on January 19th, he won the Iowa Caucus with 38% of the vote. Of course, once you win the first caucus, the nomination is in the bag because people are sheep.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, honest, it's just something that's bothered me. How do you go from "Kerry Who?" to winning the caucus?

The important thing about Kerry, though, is that he stood there and let a college student who was grilling him get tasered by the police.

We like to think that we live in a country where a college student can ask tough questions of a politician, but that's the kind of right that is never a given. Each and every person must decide whether they will fight for such rights, or whether they will "shut the fuck up" and get in line.