Catholic High School in Kentucky comes under scrutiny for raising racists and creating an environment that protects.
The groundswell of misinformation that billows from the fiery incident is currently blocking much of the light of truth from the eyes and ears from those that need to hear the truth the most.
That happening saw Covington Catholic High students adorned in MAGA attire disrespect a peacefully protesting Native American elder.
As is the case with any and everything involving human beings, the behavior of the group of young Caucasian men that were yelling such obscene things as “It’s not rape if you enjoyed it” are being cast in a light of youthful innocence rather than being cursed with the stench of a smoldering turd in cold mud.
As was predicted by writers at The Root, The Grio and Essence, the mainstream media stumbles over itself at the “opportunity” to help these teen racists humanize themselves.
The only question that remained was who was going to be the first major tv outlet to cape for these young white boys? No, it wasn’t the uber-conservative Fox News to stick out their necks, but NBC and the TODAY show’s Savannah Guthrie.
Among the very first to excuse the actions of the students was the mother of Nick Sandmann, the main culprit from the video, which shows him smirking in the face of an Omaha Tribe leader Nathan Phillips.
She claims the MAGA hat wearing instigators were antagonized by a group of “black Muslims”, who it was later verified via video were actually a group of four Hebrew Israelites, a militant sect that uses Biblical texts and imagery to spread its message, part of which believes African-Americans are descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and was founded by Ben Ammi.
They espouse black nationalism, black separatism and believe Israeli citizens are not the descendants of ancient Israelites and that Palestinians are not the descendants of Ishmael, which is a cornerstone belief of Islam, among other things.
However, the largely white male crowd in question is estimated to have swelled to at least 100.
Any excuses for the teens is a classic smoke and mirrors tactic used by racists to explain away their behavior. And frankly, it doesn’t make common sense. Pushing the narrative that the hate the “black Muslims” gave towards Covington, made them disrespect a Native American at an Indigenous People’s March? This is asinine at best.
The group consisting of the Covington students started at around six but grew to around 100 to 200, according to Phillips.
If Elder Phillips’ estimates are correct, there’s no way four Black Hebrews could spark anything that wasn’t already “wanting” to get started.
However, if these individuals were bold enough to attend a March for Life rally on the strength of repping Pro-Life sentiments, they were certainly prepared for a confrontation of some sort. Also, there’s the chaperone from that attended the march with the students.
Is it not outlandish for the chaperones to defend these boys’ actions as not threatening considering most of them had come wearing MAGA hats and taking an antagonistic stance while attending a Pro-Choice rally?
What strikes me is how much the media and just about everyone else is missing the historical context here regarding this whole thing. History has a voice and it is certainly speaking here.
History tells me that black males accused of similar acts seldom get the coverage, allyship or benefit of the doubt that’s being afforded these belligerent students. Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown nor Philando Castile never received that type of benefit of the doubt, neither while living nor dead.
History also reminds us of the Catholic Church’s role in forcing the assimilation of indigenous people in America, oftentimes at the expense of the cultures they had been reared in.
Historian Carol Berg argues that even when they had “the best of intentions, most missionaries failed to respect Indian culture for its own worth.”
It is not uncommon for a marginalized culture or group of people to use a disenfranchised or otherwise alienated group as a societal stepping stool by which to get a leg up. For the Catholic Church living in the late 19th century, the Native Americans were that stepping stool in many instances.
The view of the Catholic Church at the time was that Natives were “spoiled children” and idealized as “overgrown children and minors”. This was national policy following President Ulysses S. Grant’s 1869 State of the Union address in which he described Natives as “wards of the state”, a view that was already shared by Catholic and Protestant missionaries.
Currently, the Catholic Church is an institution in American society. Institutions, by their immense nature and historic footprint, promote or enable certain types of behavior.
In this case, it seems as if Covington Catholic has always enabled racism and bigotry, with blackface excused as “school spirit” and the demonstratively racist “tomahawk chop” featured at CovCath games. Nevermind that the school’s mascot is a Colonel.
What all this historic backstory does is provide context by which to view both the entire situation as well as place it within a historic context.
Let’s review, smirking in the face of a peacefully protesting Native elder, blackface at school-sponsored sporting events and a tomahawk chop that happens absolutely nothing to do with the school’s actually sports mascot.
Now comes news that President Donald J. Trump would like to have the students come to the White House to talk with him, which would obviously be a political ploy aimed at satiating his increasingly agitated political base.
The decent thing, of course, would have been to invite Elder Phillips. But that has not, nor will ever, happen.
Yet again, history finds us at the crossroads of decency and indecency. Within the current political sphere, indecency appears to be the soup du jour.