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Muslim Student Confronts Chelsea Clinton at Vigil for Mosque Shooting Victims

The students criticized Clinton, saying she “stoked” Muslim hatred in a Twitter exchange about Rep. Ilhan Omar

Chelsea Clinton

Ray Tang/REX/Shutterstock

Chelsea Clinton was attending a New York City memorial for the victims of the Mosque shooting in New Zealand when a college student came up to her and criticized Clinton for remarks she made on Twitter a few weeks earlier directed at Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Omar had been under fire for remarks she made about the American-Israel Political Action Committee’s influence over politicians, and Clinton tweeted, “Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.” But many called out Clinton for writing, “as an American” in her remarks about Omar, implying that Omar herself is not a real American or not as American as Clinton, a typical anti-Muslim trope.

Clinton later apologized and she and Omar had what appeared to be a productive exchange, although conservative media was quick to cover Clinton’s remarks as proof of Omar’s alleged anti-Semitism. Clinton also later defended Omar in response to a tweet from Vice President Mike Pence.

NYU students upset with Clinton’s comments confronted her at the vigil for the 49 people killed at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. “This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put out into the world. And I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep inside. Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,” the student said.

“I am so sorry that you feel that way,” Clinton responded. “It certainly was never my intention. I do believe that words matter. I believe we have to show solidarity with each other.”

This prompted an unseen male student to ask Clinton, “What does ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ mean?”

The video was originally posted on Twitter by a student who was there, but she later deleted her Twitter account. However, other accounts quickly downloaded and re-posted the video.

After the confrontation went viral, Twitter user @vivafalastin came forward to identify herself as the young woman speaking to Clinton in the video. She tweeted, “I said, and continue to say, that by jumping on the right-wing bandwagon and villifying Ilhan Omar, [Clinton] fed into the EXACT discourse we were at the vigil to protest.”

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