Patterico's Pontifications

6/14/2019

African-American Lawmaker Removed From Keynote At Black Hat Cybersecurity Conference

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:42 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Last month I posted about the mind-boggling selection of Hillary Clinton giving the keynote speech at the 2019 Cyber Defense Summit.

Untitled

Still mind-boggling.

And now this: Just one day after it was announced that Rep. Will Hurd would be a featured keynote speaker at this year’s Black Hat cybersecurity conference, Black Hat caved to pressure, and ungraciously dumped him because he he thinks for himself, and doesn’t walk in lockstep with conference attendees and supporters:

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.

Ironically, participants were concerned about his lack of concern for women, as evidenced by his votes to protect unborn women, as well as citing his lack of support for minorities*:

One person who we asked for permission to quote said Hurd’s voting record was “simply awful” for women’s rights.

Others in tweets said the move doesn’t reflect well on companies sponsoring the event.

Kat Fitzgerald, an infosec professional and regular conference speaker, told TechCrunch that Hurd’s choosing was a “painfully poor choice” for a keynote speaker. “Simply put, in 2019 women and *minorities continue to be ignored,” she said.

Although abortion rights and cybersecurity may seem like unrelated topics, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate social issues from technology and gatherings. It’s also valid for attendees to express concern that the keynote speaker at a professional security conference opposes what many will consider a human right.

(*Psst: Will Hurd is an African-American male.)

Hurd’s office eloquently set the record straight in response to the decision to disinvite Hurd:

“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.”

Hm, given the obvious lack of self-awareness, the email response may have sailed right over all the black hats involved:

Black Hat vowed that the conference is “still fully dedicated to providing an inclusive environment and apologize that this decision did not reflect that sentiment.”

Because dumping an independent, free-thinking African-American from a keynote is reflective of an inclusive environment, am I right?? Idiots. I’ll say this though: They’re absolutely right that their decision does not reflect their claimed sentiment.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

47 Responses to “African-American Lawmaker Removed From Keynote At Black Hat Cybersecurity Conference”

  1. Abortion: The ultimate litmus test.

    Dana (bb0678)

  2. programs supporting women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields,

    Am I correct in reading that to mean Hurd voted against such programs?

    Did he in fact vote against such programs?

    If he did, that by itself should have given the conference organizers reason to not invite him* given the relationship of STEM and cyberstuff.

    *Of course, not inviting a person in the first place is not at all the same as withdrawing an invitation already made.

    Kishnevi (378575)

  3. You want expertise or lipservice that’s what the other attendee is doing, much like inviting the xo of the titanic.

    Narciso (b0b7ad)

  4. Will Hurd is a good person to everyone and he has a lot to offer. The conference organizers are disappointing.

    DRJ (15874d)

  5. Again, these people have trouble with simple arithmetic, though this is not as bad as dispatching a super-stan to pop some off at the Freedom Caucus when they were swayable and before they had been cowed into submission. by Trump.

    urbanleftbehind (77ec94)

  6. True dat, DRJ. Hate to sound cliche, but Hurd would have made a better first b …. _……..t.

    urbanleftbehind (77ec94)

  7. They could bring one of the Equifax programmers from China, or their opposite number at the opm.

    Narciso (b0b7ad)

  8. Or the fire eye people who watched the former happen.

    Narciso (b0b7ad)

  9. What’s with all the nonsense about his voting record and his views on various issues? He’s black. Obviously, they disinvited him because they’re racist. That’s a simple argument that everybody can understand, it’s why the Left uses it all the time. Any criticism of a black person is racist.

    I learned that from Juan Williams who, when he was challenged on his assertion of the many racist actions of Trump, immediately cited Trump’s criticism of Colin Kaepernick and Trump’s referring to Maxine Waters as “a low-IQ individual” as examples of Trump’s racism.

    (Not to mention the 8 years of not being able to criticize Obama without being accused of racism, which is so unlike the current inability to criticize Trump without being accused of all manner of wrongthink. It’s funny how members of a religious cult seem to be blissfully unaware that they’re members of a religious cult.)

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  10. Trump’s criticism of Colin Kaepernick

    Was racism in action. White male in a position of authority successfully imposed his own version of what a black person was saying by asserting that expressing a sentiment commonly held by blacks was unpatriotic racebaiting.

    Trump could have said that sentiment was not a reflection on facts. Instead, he claimed the sentiment was something completely different, and got millions of white sheep to go along with him.

    Kishnevi (378575)

  11. “Not to mention the 8 years of not being able to criticize Obama without being accused of racism”

    Trump is a birther.

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  12. @10. … was catnip for media kitties to paw.

    Endlessly amazed at how easily our Captain continues to manipulate conversation, manage the media and spin the news cycles with talk lways topping about him.

    “Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.” – W.C. Fields

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  13. Power is not only what you but also what you appear to have. (Paraphrasing Saul.) Hillary still has the appearance of being influential, for good or ill, or even just as window dressing, while Hurd does not. Be important. Don’t be unimportant.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. Check Hillary’s keynote speech on 2019 against her college graduation speech published 50 years ago in the June 10, 1969 issue of Life magazine and see if she plagiarizes herself.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  15. You couldn’t talk how he was raised by stalinists and assorted beatniks, he was screwed from the get go, so did vicious came up with the Kenyan gambit.

    Narciso (b0b7ad)

  16. I agree with DRJ (#4). My opinion of Rep. Hurd started out being favorable based on his pre-politics history, and it has improved with every exposure I’ve had to him. He is deep, substantial. He seems to have a good grasp of retail politics, but is by no means a panderer. If he chooses to make a long-term career in politics, his future is unlimited.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  17. “If he chooses to make a long-term career in politics, his future is unlimited.”

    Meanwhile: the people who read your emails, kick you off of social media, and ‘fix’ your computer have unlimited perogative to bow to Marxist pressure and train subversives while receiving barely a whiff of criticism or proper legal threats in response to an action that would be national news if done to a Democrat.

    But he ‘eloquently set the record straight’, so it’s all good, I guess. They may be transparent Democrat operatives who never met a Marxist they didn’t like, but at least they’re not RUSSIANS or something.

    Fine Dog (1231f6)

  18. Yes it’s another example that crime think cannot be allowed, this was the major tech tycoons original view, they wanted to spread the 60s generation view, there were shocked there was a) an alternate view b) they would dare to Express it.

    Narciso (b0b7ad)

  19. An African American intelligence officer, is deemed unacceptable but a privileged incompetent white progressivs is totes excellent. More aggressive steps were taken against Allen west, who was driven out of Florida all the way to Texas and defamed once there.

    Narciso (b0b7ad)

  20. @18 Yes, Mark Zuckerberg (born in 1984) and Jack Dorsey (born in 1976) are part of the 60s generation.

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  21. Kishnevi @ 2,

    It appears that Hurd did vote against the STEM bill, however, I can’t find his explanation for the no vote, nor the details of the bill itself. That he voted against it doesn’t alone make him an enemy of females in tech.

    Dana (bb0678)

  22. You will be made to care. If you do not walk in lockstep with all leftist causes, you will be declared persona non grata and an unperson.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  23. Both sides now have litmus test. pro life pro gun right pro choice anti gun left. Not so much fun when the other side acts tough instead of liberal punching bag.

    lany (dfebcb)

  24. https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/448383-feds-gone-wild-dojs-stunning-inability-to-prosecute-its-own-bad
    Mr. Hurd is held to different rules. And this is our DOJ. Barr is a deep state street walking $5.00 Nancy.

    mg (8cbc69)

  25. Barr is an establishment Republican.

    Hope you feel ok, mg.

    DRJ (15874d)

  26. Consider your own blog, narciso.

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. I am reading that this may actually be aimed at:

    unseating Hurd from TX-21, which includes San Antonio. San Antonio is the home of the 24th Air Force Cyber Security Command at Joint Base Lackland.

    A trophy district. Texas 21 was redistricted after ‘LULAC v Perry’, it was a safe Hispanic seat, but Henry Bonilla was @GOP. It has been remarkably contested for a gerrymandered ‘safe’ @DNC seat. That @HurdOnTheHill is serving his second term is a thorn for @texasdemocrats

    I’m not familiar enough with TX in-house politics to know for sure, but from what I’m reading, it certainly seems a very reasonable possibility. Commenters in Texas, what do you think?

    Dana (bb0678)

  28. The point, is too make any viewpoint unacceptable either than your own, and I’m not a hurd fan, however the fact his actual insights are being slighted by an industry which has shown legendary ineptness

    Narciso (b0b7ad)

  29. From the post:

    Although abortion rights and cybersecurity may seem like unrelated topics, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate social issues from technology and gatherings. It’s also valid for attendees to express concern that the keynote speaker at a professional security conference opposes what many will consider a human right.

    It’s interesting that the abortion litmus test is now being applied to everything and anything – even if the subject (cybersecurity) has nothing to do with abortion.

    Dana (bb0678)

  30. DRJ-
    I can’t believe our system works anymore, wish I could. I don’t think Trump will be reelected and the deep state will continue its course of destruction. Not a single democrat is ever guilty and never will be, I should have transitioned to a snowflake years ago.

    mg (8cbc69)

  31. Well occasionally they nab a guppy like Jesse Jackson jr. But consider the case of Steve stockman

    Narciso (b0b7ad)

  32. It appears that Hurd did vote against the STEM bill, however, I can’t find his explanation for the no vote, nor the details of the bill itself. That he voted against it doesn’t alone make him an enemy of females in tech.

    Dana, it was a vote on an amendment to the Student Success Act of 2015, a republican effort to get rid of federal mandates and provide block grants that local education could use flexibly, according to their own priorities. The philosophy of the bill is spelled in Section 7 “Sense of the Congress”:

    SEC. 7. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.

    (a) Findings.–The Congress finds as follows:
    (1) The Elementary and Secondary Education Act prohibits
    the Federal Government from mandating, directing, or
    controlling a State, local educational agency, or school’s
    curriculum, program of instruction, or allocation of State
    and local resources, and from mandating a State or any
    subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not
    paid for under such Act.
    […]
    (b) Sense of the Congress.–It is the sense of the Congress
    that States and local educational agencies retain the rights
    and responsibilities of determining educational curriculum,
    programs of instruction, and assessments for elementary and
    secondary education.

    You can find the text of the amendment, and the entire (brief) debate, and the vote starting at page H1253 here (you have to scroll down to, or have your browser search for, [[H1253]]):

    https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/volume-161/house-section/page/H1253

    The amendment was to tack on a new Federal program to a bill whose purpose was to eliminate Federal programs. I don’t believe it actually added any new funds, only created a mechanism for applying for grants from the funds already budgeted as block grants. Only one Republican spoke against the amendment, and he said:

    Mr. KLINE. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague for offering this
    amendment, even though I am opposed to it.

    The Federal Government has taken a very active role in improving STEM
    education. In fact, in a count I took a couple of years ago, there were
    over 200 Federal STEM programs, but our multibillion-dollar investment
    is failing to produce strong results–not because of lack of funding,
    but because of too much bureaucracy.

    Let’s stop throwing money at new programs and instead provide States
    and local districts the flexibility to invest in programs that produce
    more efficient and effective results instead of Washington’s priorities.

    I agree with the importance of this issue for the future of our
    skilled workforce, but I have concerns that it introduces yet another
    Federal program.

    For these reasons, I oppose the amendment, but urge my colleagues to
    support the bill.

    I reserve the balance of my time.

    and after another Democrat spoke in favor:

    Mr. KLINE. Mr. Chairman, again, I appreciate the gentleman’s interest
    in this issue. His amendment creates a new program.

    Under the underlying bill, there is an allowable use. If the school
    wants to spend money on STEM education, they certainly may, and I think
    that is the right way to approach this.

    Again, I oppose the gentleman’s amendment and support the underlying
    bill.

    I yield back the balance of my time.

    Dave (1bb933)

  33. BTW, the bill passed the House on a straight party-line vote, so if Rep. Hurd’s vote can fairly be called “voting against STEM education for women and minorities” then every Democratic rep can just as honestly be described as having voted against “aid to local educational agencies” (Title I of the bill), “teacher preparation and effectiveness” (Title II of the bill), and “homeless education” (Title VII).

    The bill died in the Senate, although a later, similar Senate bill (the “Every Student Succeeds Act”) with many similar provisions eventually passed with bipartisan support (85/12 in the Senate and 359/64 in the House) and was signed into law by President Obama.

    Dave (1bb933)

  34. We must conform to the approved types of diversity and include all who agree with us!

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  35. If he did, that by itself should have given the conference organizers reason to not invite him* given the relationship of STEM and cyberstuff.

    Why? James Watson has un-PC views on race being coupled to other genetic statistics. Would you ban him from a Conference on DNA research on that basis?

    When will we stop blacklisting people who do not meet the demands of a vocal minority? Are we all cowards who submit to bullying because it’s easier or appears safer?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  36. 35.

    Are we all cowards who submit to bullying because it’s easier or appears safer?

    We’re all cowards because we’re several generations removed from any real sacrifice. No other explanation is necessary.

    Gryph (08c844)

  37. Trump is a birther.

    My college used to invite all kinds of speakers to the college. Some were memorable in their own right (I still remember being part of the group invited to a pre-speech dinner with Arthur Clarke). Most I’ve forgotten.

    One I DO remember was the Young Earth Creationist they brought in to expound to a room where the average IQ was 150 and well-trained in the sciences. The lecture was informative indeed — about how crackpots think and argue — and the Q&A afterwards was pure blood sport.

    From this I learned that people who want to block other people from speaking are not helping those they purport to protect. They are instead book-burners, and would burn witches if it was still allowed.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  38. Whenever someone uses “inclusivity” to exclude someone else, the correct reply is “Inclusivity doesn’t mean THEY must be inclusive (although it would be nice), it means WE have to be inclusive, and we aren’t being that.”

    This is right up there with the old “I don’t like him, he’s so judgemental!”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  39. well it’s all well and good to do that, but it you did that to a devout moslem, how long would your career last, or consider the matter of Raymond Ibrahim, an Egyptian copt who was to speak at the war college, using those dangerous illustrations called history,

    narciso (d1f714)

  40. Dave,

    Thanks following-up on Rep. Hurd and the bill. Great info.

    Dana (bb0678)

  41. Let’s say that

    1) This guy is an expert in codes and security, and brings a unique “white hat” perspective.
    2) He actually doesn’t want to spend federal money on promoting women in STEM.

    If this was a conference on “Women in STEM” his views should be part of the conversation. In a conference where those views are irrelevant, it is rank discrimination to bar him from participation. To engage in rank discrimination while arguing it is fostering inclusiveness is, at best, hypocrisy. At worst, fascism.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  42. well it’s all well and good to do that, but it you did that to a devout moslem, how long would your career last,

    And so we submit to the bullies, who will of course bully harder. I’ve never done that and never will. You get beat up a bit, sure, but they don’t come after you again.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  43. This, always this:

    …people who want to block other people from speaking are not helping those they purport to protect. They are instead book-burners, and would burn witches if it was still allowed.

    I firmly believe that at the root of this mindset is a basic fear of the unknown, and a sense of feeling threatened by that which is so different from what one clings to in order to feel relevant. Also, a prized reward of groupthink participation is that it brings a certain level of security otherwise missing from one’s life.

    Dana (bb0678)

  44. Kevin, I think it’s a small-minded and entirely wrong-headed decision to exclude the guy, but … fascism?

    Freedom of association is a thing, and opposition to abortion is not a protected category any more than support for it is.

    Also, I think there is arguably some difference between discriminating against a politician based on their political views, and discriminating against a private citizen. A politician, wherever they go in a professional capacity, is in some sense a proxy for their positions – representing those positions is what their job is.

    It’s unfortunate that people feel so threatened by people who disagree with them, but that’s America today, and all too frequently fame and fortune awaits those with an aptitude for reinforcing those toxic tendencies.

    Dave (1bb933)

  45. I firmly believe that at the root of this mindset is a basic fear of the unknown, and a sense of feeling threatened by that which is so different from what one clings to in order to feel relevant. Also, a prized reward of groupthink participation is that it brings a certain level of security otherwise missing from one’s life.

    I didn’t see Dana’s comment before I posted mine – this is spot on.

    Dave (1bb933)

  46. 43.

    I firmly believe that at the root of this mindset is a basic fear of the unknown, and a sense of feeling threatened by that which is so different from what one clings to in order to feel relevant.

    A fear, right or wrong, that they woud lose the argument, whether they should or not, but often because they know they should lose the argument. In such cases, they can’t give that as their reason and they now often argue that even hearing the argument is traumatizing or an insult. That being said, few people really can argue from basic principles, nor does anyone ant to hear a defense of the KKK or anything like that. Now what they try to do is make more and more things into something similar – it’s a way of reinforcing the idea that their position is correct, and they often want to do it precisely because it is not. It usually happens when new territory in exclsuioon of views is being attacked.

    When will it end? When they pick the wrong target for exclusion, or whe somebody gets greatly embarassed.

    Sammy Finkelman (d542b2)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2893 secs.