I’m not sure what to make of this story. On the surface it was a confrontation among groups of Hebrew Israelites, indigenous rights activists and high school students on a field trip to DC. But, in a deeper sense, it was about race (as are most things in present-day America) and a typical rush to judgment on social media and by the press.
According to the “Washington Post” and other news accounts:
1. The Covington Catholic students were in DC to attend the annual March for Life. Afterwards, they had gathered in the vicinity of the Lincoln Memorial to wait for their buses, which would transport them back to Kentucky. Some of them were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.
2. The Hebrew Israelites and a separate group of Native American activists were in the area for the Indigenous Peoples March. By way of background, it should be noted that, contrary to what their name implies, the Hebrew Israelites are not Jewish. In point of fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center has described them as a “black supremacist extremist group” that believes Jews are “devilish impostors” and whites are “evil personified.”
Initial news reports, fueled by a misleading, incomplete video, gave the impression that some of the students were taunting and intimidating one of the Native Americans. For example, the students were falsely accused of chanting “build the wall.” In addition, one of the students appeared to be “smirking” at the NA. Various media outlets and social media castigated the students mercilessly, especially the “smirker.” The twitter police were particularly vicious. The students’ church issued an apology for their behavior. Many of the students and even their families received death threats, and the school was forced to close on Tuesday for security reasons.
Well, as usual, the media got it all wrong. By Sunday, the full video revealed a different perspective. The “Washington Post” admitted that the incident was “more complicated” than it had appeared at first. That’s probably an understatement, but it’s as close to an admission of error as we’re likely to get. If one views the full video it becomes apparent that the HIs instigated the confrontation, perhaps with the intent of causing an incident for the many cameras in the area, which, of course, is exactly what happened.
Perhaps, because they noticed the MAGA hats the HIs began hurling derogatory insults at the students, such as “Donald Trump incest babies,” “white crackers,” faggots,” “incest kids,” and the old standbys “racists” and “bigots. They called an AA student “Kanye West” and said they would “harvest his organs,” (whatever that means). Then, one NA activist approached them playing a drum, again in what appeared to be an attempt to agitate. In the words of one of the students, he came “within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.” I believe the student showed remarkable restraint. He did not do or say anything to the man. The so-called smirk? Come on. That look could be interpreted many ways. Maybe, he was just amused at the spectacle.
The kids were confused and didn’t know what to do. For the most part, they just stood there staring. After a while they began to chant school songs. They did not retaliate or threaten anyone. These were high school students, mere kids. From what I could see they comported themselves better than the adult protestors. Eventually, the buses arrived, and the kids left.
So, what do we have here?
1. We have a hate group taunting a group of high school kids who were waiting for a bus.
2. We have a NA activist apparently trying to incite a reaction for the cameras. (I’m not really sure what his intent was.)
3. Most of all, we have a media and twitter universe mischaracterizing a story because they are too lazy or prejudiced to seek out the truth. Once again, the media, which is supposed to rigorously seek out and report the truth, does the opposite. This was the second incident within a few days. And we wonder why the country is so divided.
4. In my opinion, the real losers are the kids who were tormented for no good reason. As I said, ironically, they had comported themselves better than the adults. Incidentally, how ironic is it that the incident took place at the site of the Lincoln Memorial.
One of my readers suggested to me that it would be a nice gesture if President Trump, in a show of support and goodwill, would invite the students to the White House I concur. Maybe, he could serve them “Big Macs” and “Whoppers.” LOL.