Covington Catholic Incident in Washington, D.C.: The Two Sides Narrative Prevails for the Privileged

The student named in many of the accounts was the wrong person. It was another individual–which shows how risky it is to report on subjects in the midst of the drama. Get the facts straight before leveling accusations against someone.

At the same time, I am profoundly disturbed by the “both sides deserve blame” version of events–found in the article below and now today throughout the media. Apparently the Covington Catholic students had faced taunts from others. And that is supposed to excuse their behavior? No, it does not. What those kids to did to Nathan Phillips was wrong. Their behavior was disgraceful and shameful. They were surrounding this man, mocking him with tomahawk chops, yelling, laughing, with one kid from another school declaring that we all have to get used to stealing others’ land because that’s the way it is. No one deserves receiving the kind of threats these students are facing, but they do deserve severe criticism and punishment of some sort for their obviously repellent behavior. Their parents and the chaperones and the school deserve even more.

And these are “good kids”? Really? Now we call a person “good” even when they bully and intimidate a veteran and a native American? No, what they did was not good, and they deserve to experience some shame. We can’t judge the totality of a person’s life, but we can assess his or her actions. And these actions obviously fell far short of anything we can remotely call “good.”

But now that the “two sides” narrative is taking over, these kids will likely face few repurcussions-like most privileged kids who can act out and get away with it. That’s unlike African Americans, native Americans, and other minorities who don’t even have to make a mistake to get pilloried. No, they can do nothing, and someone can kill them for just existing–even sitting on their own property or walking down the street. And that’s just fine. No one does anything about it.

We’re watching how the privileged get off and society brings out the red carpet for them so that they can flourish without regard to their actions. If they were black, there would be nothing but venom and hatred and recriminations. The Covington Catholic students are probably going to get off, and the media will get criticized. They can hire expensive attorneys and PR teams who cast doubt on the versions of events, and the beat goes on. You can just see it. Nothing happens when you’re the right kind of person. There are no consequences for those who attend the right schools, come from the right families, and have the power of privilege to defend themselves. It’s depressing and demoralizing.

Of course, kids do stupid things, and we have to let them be stupid periodically so that they can grow up and become responsible adults. Adults make mistakes too and deserve a chance to atone for them. But everyone should have to face some kind of accountability for actions that are wrong and hurtful. Giving anyone a free pass does no one any good, especially those who engage in the bad behavior. An apology on their part would go a long way. When someone makes a mistake, they should own up to it, apologize, and commit to more positive behavior. They will find a lot of good will, as well as forgiveness out there in the world..

The struggle is long. But we must keep marching. Eventually decency will prevail somewhere in the dim mists of the future.

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2019/01/21/jeff-ruby-invites-nathan-phillips-dinner-with-covington-catholic-studentes/2637508002/

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DR. LAURENCE H. KANT (LARRY KANT), MYSTIC SCHOLAR: Engaged Mysticism and Scholarship in the Pursuit of Wisdom; Discovering meaning in every issue and facet of life; Integrating scholarship, spirituality, mysticism, poetry, community, economics, and politics seamlessly. Historian of Religion: Ph.D., Yale University, 1993 (Department of Religious Studies); Exchange Scholar, Harvard University, Rabbinics, 1983-84; M.A., 1982, Yale, 1982 (Department of Religious Studies); M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 1981; B.A., Classics (Greek and Latin), Tufts University, 1978; Wayland High School (Wayland, MA), 1974. Served on the faculty of Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), York University (Toronto), and Lexington Theological Seminary (Lexington, KY). Works in many languages: Ancient Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, English, French, Italian, German, Modern Greek (some Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish). Holder of numerous honors and awards, including The Rome Prize in Classics (Prix de Rome) and Fellow of the American Academy of Rome.
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