It was almost too strange to believe. I am sure that you all have seen on TV the confrontation between the high school junior and a Vietnam era Native American soldier. If you see the video, here is a kid wearing a Make America Great Again hat and a smirk on his face standing two feet in front of a Native American soldier who was playing a drum and chanting.
Add to that scenario the whole thing takes place on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The kid is from an all-male Catholic High School in Kentucky, part of a group shipped there on a bus to participate in a Pro-Life (Anti-Abortion) demonstration. The soldier is using his right to protest the same as the kid. Simple right? Not so much. It is like we have fallen down the rabbit hole.
The whole event can be turned into a made for TV movie. As of this writing it appears that the school kids were being hassled by “Black Israelite” protesters and the Native American soldier stepped between the two to head off the situation. The student says that the Native American soldier in his attempt to “head off a situation” violated his personal space and that he was doing nothing. The student’s mother said he was influenced by “Black Muslims” and that is why he reacted the way he did. Confused yet? We all are. Of course the media got the blame.
As I was reading all the articles and looking at all the videos on TV I can across a statement in the New York Times that really put things in light. “They are kids. Everyone forgets that, ” said Park Hills Mayor Kathy Zembrodt, who expressed anger about the initial portrayal of the students as aggressors in the Lincoln Memorial encounter. An astute observation from the Park Hills mayor. Indeed they are, so I have to ask the obvious question: What were they doing there in the first place?
They were there because they are members of the Catholic faith and go to an all-male Catholic High/prep school. Of course their experience on the “Right to Life” or the “Right to Choose” is pretty limited. They have been raised and guided in a faith that is in and of itself trying to come to grips with the fundamental issues facing their church.
The young man in the middle of the whirlpool, Nicholas Sandmann, probably never thought of who, what, when, where or why he was in Washington D.C. when the feathers hit the fan. Wearing a “Make America Great Hat” also put him on front street.
Like many Americans, Park Hills City Councilwoman Wesley Deters saw the original video clip on social media. After reviewing the video, Ms. Deters came to the conclusion that “Our children were used as pawns for an ulterior leftist agenda,” she said.
Whoa there Wesley. I doubt if any lefties put high school kids on a bus and sent them Washington D.C. to have them participate in a “Right to Life” March. I doubt if any lefties put Make America Great Again hats on their heads. I doubt if any lefties put them in the middle of the mall. Before things got out of hand where were the teachers and adult chaperons to guide your flock? They must have been sightseeing at the Lincoln Memorial.
So what can we learn from all this? Is it truly a teaching moment? Nope. We will continue on as before. The lessons of Martin Luther King Jr. taught us have gone unlearned. The irony of a young white boy standing in front of an elder of the Omaha tribe, proves that we learned nothing since George Custer made a visited the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes back in June of 1876.
Nick, while we will probably never meet, I wish you well. I would be fascinated to meet you in about 15 years to see if you Made America Great Again and to see if the influences your high school education are still with you. Hopefully you learned from your experience; if so the experience was worth it. Life has a way of kicking our butts so be safe out there. Have a good one.