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Bill Clinton Faces the Robot Menace


Elementary chaos theory predicts that robots will eventually rise up and heckle their masters.

So this is really not surprising:

A University of Iowa professor dressed as a robot interrupted Bill Clinton at a campaign stop here late Monday, screaming for an apology before security escorted him from the building.

The professor, Kembrew McLeod, stood on a chair and screamed several statements, including: “Robots of the world want you to apologize.”

The audience erupted into loud boos.

McLeod, before security officers could reach him, tossed hundreds of cards into the audience of about 400 people in protest of statements the former president made in 1992 of Sister Souljah, a member of the musical group Public Enemy.

“I like to talk in a way that, you know, will draw attention to these serious issues,” McLeod said after the event. “And maybe the way that I draw attention to them is an absurd way but it was the only way that I could draw attention to the particular issue of Sister Souljah, which is an issue that’s been swept under the carpet.”

McCleod’s manifesto makes the uncontroversial observation that Clinton’s attack on Sister Souljah was an episode of bullshit campaign theater intended to draw racist white voters back to the Democratic side of the ledger. Far from being “swept under the carpet,” though, this point has been made about ten thousand times since 1992. And so like Siva, I can’t really fathom the purpose here, especially when there are at least a dozen worthier reasons to pester Clinton. If he’d had turned race-baiting into an everyday preoccupation over the next eight years, we might have an argument. As it turns out, the 1990s were a decidedly mixed bag for African Americans, and Clinton’s record on civil rights — limited in part by six years of reactionary, blow-job obsessed congressional opposition — appears strong only by comparison to the presidents bracketing him. Still, as Siva points out, if Clinton is going to apologize for anything, the Rwandan genocide would be a better place to start.

(Interestingly, I attended college with Kembrew McLeod in the early 1990s. His pranks back then were much more entertaining. The unsuccessful run for student body president, for example, was brilliant….)

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