But then I skimmed the column and was amazed that Kristof had seen fit to appropriate the "Free at last!" exclamation — the last words of Martin Luther King Jr.'s sacred text: "we... will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
In a week when Kendall Jenner got excoriated for appropriating "Black Lives Matter" to sell Pepsi,** why would Nicholas Kristof appropriate "Free at last!" to sell Hillary Clinton?
Talk about tone deaf — Pepsi never came out and said "Black Lives Matter." It watered BLM-ish protest down into demands for "love" and "start[ing] the conversation." Kristof lifts the slogan verbatim:
One gauge of Clinton’s new freedom is the simplest: her name... When she ran for United States Senate in New York she was Hillary Rodham Clinton, but her 2016 campaign book and ballot name downsized her to Hillary Clinton to avoid antagonizing traditionalists. Her Twitter page and website are still just Hillary Clinton — but after our interview we walked backstage together to sign a poster for Women in the World, and she scrawled: Hillary Rodham Clinton. Free at last!And I don't think Kristof meant that as cutting sarcasm. If he did, though, I'm laughing with him.
* This sentence should be recognized as employing the rhetorical device called apophasis.
** Last night's "SNL" made fun of the Pepsi debacle, here.