GOP Rep. Will Hurd Is Disinvited From a Tech Conference Because He’s Pro-Life, and Dan Crenshaw Isn’t Having It
Apparently the Democratic war on pro-lifers now extends to events and conferences that have nothing whatsoever to do with the abortion debate.
Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer and an advocate for cybersecurity on Capitol Hill, was invited to speak at Black Hat, one of biggest cyber security conferences in the country, being held in Las Vegas in August. But Tech Crunch security editor Zach Whittaker highlighted on Thursday what he described was Hurd’s “terrible voting record on women’s rights.” It includes voting against funding for Planned Parenthood, programs supporting women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, and his support on restricting late-term abortions.
Black Hat initially defended its decision to invite Hurd, saying in a statement “Hurd has a strong background in computer science and information security and has served as an advocate for specific cybersecurity initiatives in Congress,” adding that he will offer a “unique perspective” at the conference.
That did not, however, halt the uproar from the cybersecurity community, with some threatening to pull their involvement in the conference.
As a result of the backlash, Black Hat caved:
“Black Hat has chosen to remove U.S. Representative Will Hurd as our 2019 Black Hat USA Keynote. We misjudged the separation of technology and politics,” said a statement. “We will continue to focus on technology and research, however we recognize that Black Hat USA is not the appropriate platform for the polarizing political debate resulting from our choice of speaker.”
“We are still fully dedicated to providing an inclusive environment and apologize that this decision did not reflect that sentiment,” the statement added.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2) slammed the decision:
Seriously? Can’t have cyber experts if they also believe babies have value?
We should not appease intolerance.
The tech industry welcoming this behavior will be in for a rude awakening when their intersectional coalition regulates innovation & free-markets out of existence. https://t.co/Wbp6VIK3LC
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) June 15, 2019
I also wonder if anyone at Black Hat sees the irony in disinviting Hurd (who was not going to speak on pro-life issues) in the interest of not wanting to be seen as taking part in “polarizing political debates.” In axing him from the speaking engagement because of the fauxtrage expressed by concern-troll techies, that’s exactly what Black Hat did.
Hurd’s office responded in a statement:
“Representative Hurd was honored to be invited and hopes that the Black Hat Conference is a success,” said Katie Thompson, Hurd’s communications director, via email.
“Congressman Hurd has always sought to engage groups of people that don’t necessarily agree with all of his votes or opinions. That’s why Rep. Hurd is one of the loudest voices for bipartisanship in Congress.”
She continued: “This Congress alone he voted for equal pay for equal work, for the Violence Against Women Act and the Equality Act.”
Apparently that wasn’t bipartisan enough for the “you will be made to care” caucus. You are either 100% loyal to the pro-abortion cause, or you are the enemy and will be ostracized and shunned.
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–
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