Prologue—What Hillary Clinton says happened: Long ago and far away, we decided that school lives matter. We reached this award-winning judgment based on years of direct observation.
It matters what happens to children in school. It matters if they children are able to feel good about themselves, perhaps because they've had the experience of learning things that make them feel excited and valued.
It matters if children cry because they're being asked to do things they simply can't do. It matters if they dutifully take Algebra 1 seven times, they get denied a high school diploma because they couldn't pass.
It matters what happens to children in school! This week, in an award-winning back-to-school report, we'll discuss some recent events in the nation's schools.
On Friday, we'll even tell you about the most recent scores in the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Those scores were released in late October 2015. From that day right up to this, you've never seen them discussed.
You haven't seen those scores discussed on MSNBC—not by Rachel, not by Lawrence, not by Chris or Chris. You haven;t seen those scores discussed by your favorite liberal websites.
Those test scores haven't been discussed because, in truth, absolutely nobody cares about the children who produced them.
Nobody cares about low-income children's school lives, least of all our most famous self-approving fiery liberal.
Nobody thinks that school lives matter? As a case in point, we take you to Hillary Clinton's recent book, the ironically-titled What Happened.
We haven't finished reading the book. We've had different reactions to various things we have read.
That said, we have read the book's eighth chapter, Turning Mourning into a Movement. In that chapter, Clinton discusses "a traveling sisterhood: the Mothers of the Movement," a group of women who supported her 2016 campaign.
We expect to discuss this chapter in more detail at some future point. For today, we'll only discuss Clinton's account of the death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old high school student who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida in xx 2012.
As she starts her book's eighth chapter, Clinton gives a rather fuzzy account of the way she came to be aligned with the women in question. She gives a completely fuzzy account of the "movement" to which she refers.
Nothing which follows is meant as a criticism of the mothers in question. But as she starts her book's eighth chapter, Clinton gives a rather slippery account of the way she came to be aligned with the women in question.
On the second page of the chapter, she offers her initial account of Trayvon Martin's death.
The following passage strikes us as little short of astounding. To our ear, it also stands as an indictment of the authenticity—the honesty—of our modern upper-end meritocratic liberal elites:
CLINTON (page 174): The Mothers' stories, and the stories of others who lost children to gun violence, deserve to be told and heard. We've got to keep saying their names. In that first meeting in Chicago, there was no press and no audience—just us. I was accompanied by my senior policy adviser Maya Harris and Director of African American Outreach LaDavia Drane.We don't, in any way, offer what follows as a criticism of Sybrina Fulton, or of the other mothers in the room that day, or of the aides Clinton names. We'll simply ask a question:
Sybrina Fulton, whose unarmed seventeen-year-old son Trayvon Martin was shot and killed outside a convenience store near Orlando, Florida, in 2012, kicked things off. "We're just regular moms," she said. "We don't want to be community activists, we don;t want to be the mothers of senseless gun violence, we don;t want to be in this position—we were forced into this position. None of us signed up for this."
Aside from Hillary Clinton herself, is there anyone in America who thinks Trayvon Martin was shot and killed "outside a convenience store near Orlando, Florida?" Is there even one such person?
Clinton says these stories deserve to be told. Is there a single person other than Clinton who's so unclear on the facts?
To our ear, the reference to Orlando sounds a tiny bit odd. Sanford, Florida, the place of Martin's death, is roughly 22 miles from Orlando.
To us, that reference seems a bit odd. But here's our basic question:
Is there anyone in the United States—anyone other than Hillary Clinton—who thinks Martin was shot and killed that night "outside a convenience store?"
Presumably, everyone knows that statement is incorrect. Why doesn't Hillary Clinton?
In fact, Martin was shot and killed inside a gated community in Sanford, Florida. He and his father were guests of one of its residents on the weekend in question.
Do you have the any idea why Hillary Clinton doesn't seem to know this? As her account continues, so does her peculiar account of the facts:
CLINTON (continuing directly): Trayvon was killed while wearing a hooded sweatshirt and taking a walk to buy some Skittles candy at the corner store.Plainly, Clinton knows her novel. Does she know her facts?
Five years later, are we liberals able to drop our novelized account of this event? Let's review some basics:
The fact that Martin had purchased a bag of Skittles that night had nothing to with what later happened. We keep injecting this irrelevant fact into our story because its tilts the novel our way.
Nor did anyone ever show that Martin's hooded sweatshirt played a role in the evening's events. That too is a part of the novel our team instantly constructed about the evening's events.
Clinton has learned these parts of the novel. But has she ever bothered to learn even the most basic facts about the death of this high school student?
Rather plainly, Clinton's account makes it sound like Martin was on his way to the convenience store when he was shot and killed. Surely, everyone on the planet but but Hillary Clinton knows that isn't what happened.
(That may not be what Clinton meant to say. A person could argue that her account is technically accurate when she says that Trayvon " was killed while...taking a walk to buy some Skittles...at the corner store." But rather plainly, she makes it sound like Martin was on his way to the store when he was shot and killed. It makes no difference either way, but surely everyone else would know that her presentation sounds chronologically wrong.)
There's another part of Clinton's account which we think is worth citing. A bit later, Clinton is describing the death of Jordan Davis, who was shot and killed by a man who thought he and his friends were playing music too loud on a car radio.
There's no excuse for what Davis's assailant did that night. Along the way, Clinton writes this:
CLINTON (page 173): Jordan's mother, Lucia McBath, remembers comforting her son after they heard about Trayvon's murder on the news. Jordan didn't know Trayvon. They lived in different parts of Florida. But the news hit him hard. "Mom, how did this happen to Trayvon? He wasn't doing anything wrong," he asked. Lucia didn't have a good answer. Nine months later, Jordan was dead as well.In a slightly different world, it would be little short of astonishing to see Clinton describe Trayvon Martin's death as a "murder." In fact, the person who shot and killed Martin was acquitted of all such charges in a unanimous decision by a duly constituted jury in the nation Clinton hoped to lead.
A bit more slippery is Clinton's implied claim that Martin "did nothing wrong" that night. To appearances, she isn't willing to say it herself. Instead, she seems to hide behind the quoted statement of a 16-year-old child.
Having made these remarks, let's return to the basic question with which this began. Here's our basic question:
Does Hillary Clinton have any idea what actually happened on the night Trayvon Martin died? She says his story deserves to be told. Has she ever taken the time to get clear on that story?
As everyone on the planet knows, Martin wasn't shot and killed "outside a convenience store!" And we aren't quoting an offhand comment, a slip of the tongue, by this deeply devoted former candidate. We're quoting what she wrote in an extremely high-profile book—a book which was surely proofread by others along the way.
Do they know what happened to Martin that night? It doesn't seem clear that they do!
Having said that, let us pose our basic question for the final time. Does anyone other than Hillary Clinton think this is what happened that night, when a high school student was shot and killed?
Trayvon Martin was shot and killed outside a convenience store.That's what Clinton wrote in an extremely high-profile book. Again, we ask our basic question:
Does anyone other than Clinton, and her aides, actually think that's what happened? What would we say if Donald J. Trump made such a blatant misstatement?
Perhaps this was just a slip of the pen. Perhaps a succession of copy editors fell asleep while reading this part of Clinton's book, which strikes us, perhaps unfairly, as slippery and disingenuous throughout.
But do the lives of American children and teenagers actually matter? We've been telling you, for years, that our liberal and mainstream elites don't care about the lives of low-income kids.
All week, we'll show you the latest examples. Having said that, let us also say this:
Aside from their political utility, your elites don't seem to care about the lives of low-income kids. Simply put, they don't seem to think that their school lives matter.
"Killed outside a convenience store!" How much clearer can these people make it?
Tomorrow—part 1: Inside a New York City school, a killing you won't hear discussed
Coming Friday: The latest Naep scores, the unsettling scores you've never once heard discussed