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An Analysis of a Debacle

Shame on the Diocese and the school for rushing to judgment, especially in this Pope Francis era of “Who am I to judge?”

Students from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Ky., stands in front of Native American Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips Jan. 18 near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in this still image from video. An exchange between the students and Phillips Jan. 18 was vilified on social media the following day, but the immediate accusations the students showed racist behavior were stepped back as more details of the entire situation emerged. (CNS photo/Kaya Taitano, social media via Reuters)

For the past several days, my phone and email have been hyperactive as I have been asked by dozens of people for my “take” on the firestorm surrounding a group of students from Covington Catholic High School following the March for Life in Washington, D.C., last Friday. I have been contacted because most know that I have spent my entire priestly ministry in Catholic education, actually beginning to teach high school while still a college seminarian. Not without reason, then, am I often introduced at Catholic school events as “Father Catholic Education.”

So, what did/do we know? It is somewhat like A Tale of Two Cities.

Scenario A: A group of high school boys disrespected a Native American man with a drum.

Scenario B: Act One: The boys, fresh from the March for Life, go to the Lincoln Memorial and wait for their bus to take them home. While there, they are confronted by a hostile, vile group of black supremacists who hurl at them anti-Catholic, anti-white, anti-gay and anti-American slogans – even calling the two black boys from the school “niggers”. This activity goes on for nearly two hours.

Act Two: A Native American man interposes himself between the hostile black agitators and the “CovCath” kids, getting directly into the face of one of the boys – who “smirks.”

Within nano-seconds, the media is all over the story, reporting Scenario A: Catholic high school boys, in D.C. to work against women’s reproductive rights, are also racists. In short order, the administration of the school and the Diocese of Covington get on board and condemn the boys, even threatening expulsion. As real “facts”and video emerge, the story moves in the direction of Scenario B, causing some media outlets to apologize, including Jake Tapper of CNN. Even the peripatetic Father James Martin expressed a willingness to apologize; perhaps when he heard the anti-gay slurs from the black supremacists, he changed his mind!

Five observations

1. Shame on the Diocese and the school for rushing to judgment, especially in this Pope Francis era of “Who am I to judge?” In this terrible time of instantaneous “news,” have we not learned to keep our counsel until a full picture develops? How many police officers have been unjustly condemned by rash evaluations, only to be vindicated when full, unedited videos become available?

More to the point: As a former high school teacher and administrator, I have no delusions about the sanctity of teenagers. However, I always made a presumption of innocence (isn’t that a basic tenet of American jurisprudence?), but was likewise confident in the human and Christian formation to which my students had been exposed. I was able to troop them around the country and even Europe with nary a care about their conduct.

If “CovCath” felt compelled to believe the worst about their kids, what does it say about their level of confidence in what they have taught those young men and what those students have or have not absorbed? I would be happy to offer their faculty and administration one of my popular workshops on Catholic identity!

When the media contacted the school and the Diocese, an appropriate and fair response would have been: “We have no comment at present, pending a full investigation of the episode.” Period. And no fair-minded reporter could have balked at that.

2. Why were some of the boys wearing MAGA hats? To be sure, there is nothing immoral about the hats, but they are unnecessarily provocative, skewing the pro-life cause in the minds of an already-negative culture. If the boys were in the nation’s capital to learn, first-hand, about American civics, it would have behooved adults to tell them that we don’t need to be “in your face” to win a cause; truth be told, the pro-life movement has gotten as far as it has (and it has gotten very far, largely due to now two generations of Catholic school students), precisely because we have always taken the high road, which has always infuriated the proponents of the Culture of Death. I am a Trump supporter (albeit at times a reluctant one) but would not have worn a MAGA cap to the March and, as a principal, would not have allowed my students to do so, either.

3. Where were the chaperones? Some adults were clearly present since the boys asked their permission to chant the school fight song – and got it from someone. The very minute that the black racists started in on the boys, I would have said, “Guys, let’s go. We’re out of here!” Instead, they allowed the situation to escalate for nearly two hours! They did not teach the boys how to handle a bad situation and actually endangered their welfare.

If those chaperones were faculty or staff, they should be terminated. If they were parents, they should never again be given a position of trust.

4. The Native American activist certainly did not enter the fray to de-escalate the impending crisis; he went to agitate (as his unfolding history now demonstrates). He has the temerity to say that he felt threatened by the boys, when it was he who marched into their midst, coming within inches of Nick Sandmann’s face. Had a white supremacist done that to a Native American or African American boy, all hell would have broken loose in the mainstream media.

5. The “Statement of Nicholas Sandmann” is a powerful account of the unfolding of events, with every detail corroborated by subsequent audio and video; indeed, none of it shows any wrong behavior by the kids: not a hint of malice or prejudice, even under fire. I must say that as impressed as I am by the “Statement,” my long years in high school work cause me to question that the document was written by a sixteen-year-old! It would have been better to call it a “Statement on Behalf of Nicholas Sandmann.”

Where do we go from here?

The school sent the boys to Washington to advocate for justice for the unborn, and it should be praised for that. Unfortunately, the kids themselves didn’t get justice from the anti-life media and, even more sadly, from many in their own Church.

In this professional educator’s opinion, how should this be resolved? The Diocese and school ought to apologize to the boys. I think the adults present should get the axe. But I’m not holding my breath.


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About Peter M.J. Stravinskas 90 Articles
Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas is the editor of the The Catholic Response, and the author of over 500 articles for numerous Catholic publications, as well as several books, including The Catholic Church and the Bible and Understanding the Sacraments.

71 Comments

    • Father, I endorse the first part of your statement, but feel you rushed to judgment yourself by speaking disparagingly of the chaperones and teachers. Viewing the longer video, it’s clear the adults with the group were doing the best they could under the circumstances. As for leaving on foot, you can’t really move too far from the spot where the bus is supposed to pick you up… in a large crowded city on the day of a massive march.

      Regarding the hats, one of the chaperones (interviewed by Fox News) said the kids were not wearing the MAGA hats when they left for the March (not that there’s anything wrong with that). She said that someone at the Memorial was passing out the hats for free. Once again… let’s not be hasty.

  1. So good to see you fired up my friend. As the world becomes more dangerous day by day voices of sanity and common sense must get louder to be heard. Keep up the good work

  2. “would not have worn a MAGA cap to the March”

    I still don’t know whether they wore the caps at the March. This incident was *after* the March. I’m even wondering whether the caps were something they bought as souvenirs, especially considering President Trump’s speech supporting life. I don’t have any way of finding out, but it would be interesting to know.

  3. “If those chaperones were faculty or staff, they should be terminated. If they were parents, they should never again be given a position of trust.”
    Very loving and forgiving. Mercy abounds. Is it too much to ask that the Catholic media, the hierarchy and “notable” priests stop throwing their people under the bus?
    Does it not occur to you that you don’t know the chaperones’ story either. Maybe they needed to stay their for some reason. Even if they were caught off guard and didn’t handle the situation as you would have, it doesn’t mean they did something wrong. I find it odd how there can be all kinds of defense poured out to protect some elite people, even when they actually are shown to repeatedly abuse their positions and cause real harm, but for other people, you know, the “nobodies”, well, throw them under the bus. Ahh mercy! If only the elites would live it instead of just yapping about it.

    • AH, ditto on your statement about the chaperones. Thought it narrow and presumptive of Father to take this view. I’ve been in that march with my children and been harangued by protestors all alone the route. Plus I have chaperoned throngs of kids and keeping them corralled is a monumental task. The incident, once again, reveals the deep seeded anti Catholic bigotry the whole church is up against. The day after this incident, the same Native American group went to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, banged on their drums and disrupted evening Mass.

      • But that was OK!!!!
        When will we be truthful and stop pussy footing around the bike behavior of those we are not allowed to call out! President Trump in honor of this March timed his ProLife Bill. But hey, let’s throw him under the bus! You can’t wear a hat supporting the President of the US who has done more for minorities & Life than any other Presidents ever!!!
        This makes Faithful Catholics more perplexed about the Church that is no longer ours.

    • My wife has taken 8th graders on DC trips in the past, and believes you are far too quick to judge the chaperones. Haven’t heard their side of the story yet. Her experience with crowds in DC makes her sympathetic to the chaperones. But we don’t have any reports from them about what happened. Plus, anxiety is contagious, and our limbic systems fight what, in a rear view mirror, might be better choices if we’ve not been in such situations before. So often, in natural self defense, we make errors of judgment. Though there are several lessons to be learned here, I am grateful the situation did not escalate to physical violence.

      • I’m on the side of the chaperones. Perhaps you mean to comment to Rev Stravinskas? I was addressing HIS comment that they should be fired or never be given positions of trust again, which I think is wrong.

    • It did seem from the 1.5 hours of video I watched that the number of kids gradually grew. For most of that time there were not many at all that could be seen. They were probably all told to meet there at a certain time and the ones toward the beginning of the video were early birds. The crowd seemed to grow distinctly at one point,to a size that would have been hard for anyone to handle. And the agitators were only four or five in number at the bottom of them, so they may not have been noticed for what they were very quickly. Though I’m sure that things could have been handled better, calling for dismissal immediately does seem to contradict the fairness Father is calling for.

    • Well said.
      The issues are not MAGA hats or chaperones. Both are distractor issues.
      The issue is the vile hatred the Left has for anything defending the unborn.

  4. “To be sure, there is nothing immoral about the hats….”
    The faith I thought I believed in is not represented here.

    • Protecting the unborn in the womb is anti Catholic.?Securing your border to stop drug running,gun and knife crime,is anti Catholic.?

      Never knew that.

    • Amen. Trump is immoral in countless ways. And, as a graduate of Canterbury, a Catholic high school, I can assure you that when we were on class trips we would NEVER have been permitted to behave the way these boys did. There is additional footage of them harassing girls. There is footage of them making the “Tomahawk Chop” gesture, there is footage of them singing and laughing in a mocking toward the Native American drummer, and that school chant they did to counter the noise of the reprehensible Black Hebrews was hyped-up and obnoxious. I saw no respect, no discipline, very little self-control, no adult supervision or guidance, and lots of mob-like mayhem. I would hope the head of Cov Cath would take a hard look at his school’s culture, which appears to be arrogant and undisciplined, with no apparent fear of consequences.

      • Victoria, Victoria, did you happen to watch the AFC championship game on Sunday?
        The Pat v “Chiefs” game. Hmmmmm, maybe not. But at “arrowhead stadium” 70,000, (yes dear snowflake 70,000) fans were giving the Tomahawk Chop all through the game. Some of these choppers were “people of color”, some were “gay”, some were “transgender”. All were KC Chief football fans.
        So, get over the stupid meltdown of “chopping”.

        • Thank you, Sean. The snowflaky response to wearing MAGA hats as if that is some strange thing worn only by some very small, evil group rather than a widespread practice, and the conniptions over the tomahawk chop that is done by fans of not only the Chiefs but at least several other teams (heck, even I know this, and I don’t follow or even care about sports) as if, again, only a tiny group of racially motivated people do it, really frosts my petunias.

      • It’s quite obvious that you have viewed selectively edited videos and read leftist narratives to reach your subjective conclusion.

      • “Trump is immoral in countless ways.”

        Maybe so; but he had just given a truly wonderful speech in defense of unborn babies.

        “when we were on class trips we would NEVER have been permitted to behave the way these boys did.”

        Given that you’re a girl, I certainly hope that you would not have been permitted to give a cheer that involved ripping off your shirt and going bare-chested.

      • Thank you, Victoria! Finally the whole truth emerges. My first reaction when viewing the footage — the short and very long version — was that back in MY day, anyone who acted up in public (even in the least) would “get it” when they got home. No PR firms to bail them out. A bunch of Angels, they are not. But that’s what adult supervision is for. There were thousands of young people at that match who conducted themselves accordingly. There were even small groups of young women who ventured over to other different marches held that day and managed to engage and BEFRIEND them! Wow! Time for honest reflection, less politics. (The “kids” might be listening!)

  5. Ummm…..I detect a little bit of “rush to judgement” on the chaperones in this opinion piece. So far I have not heard their side of the story. Also, on a side note, I think those boys ARE ‘making America great again’ and are brave to wear those caps as they were brave to take a stand and march for LIFE! Love them all.

  6. Thank you Father Stravinskas for your thoughtful and helpful article. I believe that Mr. Phillips and company went to the basilica of the National Shrine on Saturday during the Vigil Mass and caused a disturbance there so the doors had to be locked to keep them out. Yes, what happened after the March for Life this past Friday should be thoroughly investigated and the truth should be proclaimed by the media and the school these young people attend. They need our support and our prayers.

  7. TBTG! God has blessed us as you’ve shown fantastic insightfullness based upon your years of reality-based experiences, illustrated by this specific situation…please teach the Covington professionals soon!

  8. I have worked in Catholic education throughout my adult life and am currently teaching in a Catholic high school. I think Fr. Stravinskas is spot on with *all* his observations.

  9. Having just heard NBC’s Today Show interview with Nick Sandmann, I feel I may have to modify my skepticism about the boy’s having authored his statement. He is a highly intelligent, articulate Catholic gentleman — a true credit to the Church and her educational system. Still waiting to hear the diocesan retraction!

  10. Trump aside, maga is essential to abolishing abortion… by reverting to the principles of created equal and the inalienable right to life. How appropriate is it that this conflict happens at the memorial of Lincoln, the last one who called for abolition of a great evil, by recourse to America’s nanosecond of greatness.

  11. Why shouldn’t they wear hats to show support for a president who has done so much for a pro-life cause? Don’t we live in a free country where you should be able to proudly show your support? Can you imagine a Democrat chastising their youth for wearing apparel that shows approval of their Democratic President? It’s because of overly submissive and cowardly views like yours that we’re in the weak position we are.

  12. BTW, it is reported that Nathan Phillips is not a Vietnam veteran.
    He is using a made up title in association of a Marine group that does exist.

  13. OK, fine. I’m with ya Father. Indeed a debacle.
    Except for the chaperones. You were not there, live, on scene.. You do not know what their options were.
    Where’s the mercy for them? The chaperones are not an issue here and they certainly do not deserve the ax.
    Nevertheless, the two idiot bishops and the idiot principal have shown their cards. All three are eating their young.

  14. NATIVE ELDER NATHAN PHILLIPS WAS NOT A VIETNAM WAR VETERAN

    On January 23, 2019, Julio Rosas of MSN News announced: “Washington Post Issues Key Correction: Native Elder Nathan Phillips Did Not Serve in Vietnam.” The simple truth is that Native Elder Nathan Phillips was not a Vietnam War veteran, as he kept telling people. Unfortunately, the truth often never catches up to the lie.

  15. CHAPERONE MOTHER DEFENDS HER CUBS

    Fr. Stravinskas asks: “Where were the chaperones?… If those chaperones were faculty or staff, they should be terminated. If they were parents, they should never again be given a position of trust.”

    Holy Moses! What ever got into Fr. Stravinskas? Would the guillotine be a sufficient enough punishment for those poor unenlightened chaperones?

    I recently saw the TV interview of one of the school’s chaperons, a woman, defending the conduct of her students, saying that – at their request– she gave them permission to sing their school fight song during the melee, while waiting for their bus, instead of looking on helplessly. I admire that woman. Bravissima!!

  16. You write:

    “Where were the chaperones? Some adults were clearly present since the boys asked their permission to chant the school fight song – and got it from someone. The very minute that the black racists started in on the boys, I would have said, “Guys, let’s go. We’re out of here!” Instead, they allowed the situation to escalate for nearly two hours! They did not teach the boys how to handle a bad situation and actually endangered their welfare. If those chaperones were faculty or staff, they should be terminated. If they were parents, they should never again be given a position of trust.”

    You’re as bad as the descpicable bishops. Clearly you did not watch the video. The issue did not escalate for two hours. The chaperones were right there. They moved the kids back from the black guys (who are nuts who have been standing there saying the same stuff for a decade so no one who regularly goes to the January anti-abortion rally would have been surprised).

    In the first hour of the two hour video the chaperones can be seen and heard moving the kids back four times as the size of the kids’ group grows as they all come back in dribs and drabs to get the bus.

    There was nowhere the kids could have gone. This is where the bus comes

  17. “To be sure, there is nothing immoral about the hats, but they are unnecessarily provocative, skewing the pro-life cause in the minds of an already-negative culture.”

    How about making America Great Again by protecting the unborn by ending abortion!

  18. “Shame on the Diocese and the school for rushing to judgment.” Very true, but it is their pre-judgment and their non-Christian fear of the world that led them to judgment. The bishop and school principal should read about the just man (Psalm 112:7).

  19. I am absolutely amazed at the onslaught of individuals attempting to defend the action (inaction) of the chaperones. If the chaperones didn’t know what to do, they should not have been chaperones, period. The reason we have adults accompany kids is that we presume (and have the right to presume) that they will have the cool-headedness, wisdom and prudence to know what to do in a crisis situation.
    Giving kids permission to sing the fight song does not fit any of those categories. One interlocutor here says I don’t know what it’s like to chaperone at the March. Wrong. I did it for years. Besides which, this event did not take place at the March; it was at the Lincoln Memorial. Yet another defender of the chaperones says how difficult it is herd youngsters around. Wrong, again. These boys clearly were respectful, well-disciplined and docile. If they had been told to move along, they would have cooperated instantly. Yet another says that they remained there because that’s where the bus was scheduled to pick them up. Did no one have a cell phone to call the driver and tell him to meet them elsewhere? I stand my sentence in my article: The resolution should have been, “Guys, we’re out of here!” For what went on there, the boys were effectively on their own.

    • The duty expert on life, Fr Stravinskas, pontificates from the comfort of his study far removed from the incident.
      You simply were not there, Father, you haven’t spoken to the young men or the chaperones, have you?
      No one but you is critical of the volunteer chaperones. They are not the issue. A big “ThankYou” to those chaperones!
      It’s the arrogant, know it all, tone of your post that leaves a lasting impression of you true self, Padre.
      Bet on it.

      • Sorry Sean. I saw no sign of arrogance or “know it all” attitude in Father’s remarks. However, I discern a lot of bitterness and disrespect in yours. None of us were there including, I presume, YOU. We are just watching these videos and reading reports and trying our best to understand a sad situation. Father’s remarks echoed what I myself have felt. Not because I read his article but because I had already come to the same conclusions on my own. I just could not have articulated them as well as Father did.

        • So, Kay, you want to give “the ax” to the chaperones employed by the Covington Catholic High School, just as Father Peter does? Is that correct?
          You want them to loose their jobs because of some some black hebrew crazies and a lying idiot with a drum?
          Is that correct?
          You want them fired and unemployed even before they can defend themselves with their side of the story.
          Is that correct?
          Hmmmm, not feeling the mercy asked for by Francis. Sorry, Kay.

    • “Giving kids permission to sing the fight song does not fit any of those categories. ”

      Why not? It is innocuous, couldn’t have offended anybody whose opinion matters, and it distracted them from the vicious hatred being aimed at them and kept them grouped together. Seriously, if I were at the Lincoln Monument and a school decided to do some cheers, I’d think it was cute – maybe a little loony to pull of your shirt in what I hear was cold weather, but harmless and amusing.

      “Did no one have a cell phone to call the driver and tell him to meet them elsewhere?”

      Where? I doubt very much that buses can just randomly roam around the place. I assume they chose that spot because it was a good place to meet. How far away would you want them to move?

      “For what went on there, the boys were effectively on their own.”

      The idiots screaming insults at them seem to have been an annoyance but not a major one that caused an incident. Nobody is vilifying them for anything related directly to that group. The *only* thing that became an issue was their behavior when confronted by the bullying drummer. That episode lasted how long – a couple of minutes? And there was nothing wrong with their behavior in that instance. They were bouncing along with the beat, at first clearly not thinking there was anything wrong going on; and since one of Mr. Phillips’ companions, the woman in the white coat, was also bouncing along, one can hardly claim that it constituted some terrible insult to the drummer and those with him.

      Do I wish there had been a chaperone standing right next to the boy who was at the center of this? Yes. And I wish that chaperone had said “Look, Mister, you need to back off right now because your behavior is inappropriate, unacceptable, threatening, and rude.” But I think it is wrong to blame the chaperones or claim they weren’t doing the right thing.

    • An issue being overlooked in criticizing the chaperones for not having the group move to another locale is the fact that the youths had been given time to go off on their own until the bus arrived, with instruction to meet at the Lincoln Memorial. It’s very likely that some of the group still hadn’t arrived, so moving to another locale would not make sense or might have run the risk of losing track of some of those they were responsible for. It’s easy to blame the youths or chaperones, but most critics are overlooking the unholy influences from other parties which instigated the entire fiasco. This incident happening at the end of a grace-filled March for Life proves that evil always strives to undo grace. Catholics need to be united and not allow ourselves to be divided over less important matters. The Church is mortally wounded, hemorrhaging from deadly wounds inflicted by the Enemy within, and we all stand at the sidelines arguing over who has the band-aids or who misplaced them. Waste no time. Pray, pray, pray for God’s purifying, cleansing fire to heal and transform His Church.

      • I hadn’t thought of that, but that’s quite true. It’s hard to move a destination, even if you can get to everybody by cell phone.

        ” Pray, pray, pray for God’s purifying, cleansing fire to heal and transform His Church.”

        Very, very true. And pray for our country, as well.

    • Easily.

      Your definition of “social justice” probably matches those of left-wing loons who consider it to mean Marxism, with abortion thrown in.

      Start with the basics: the right to life. And the right to freedom of religion. Both of which President Trump supports.

    • If you are Catholic you should support social justice but MOST importantly you must be Pro-Life as our current non Catholic President surely is. To support abortion is a sin. A “Catholic” who supports abortion is no longer Catholic.

      • The “Social Justice” movement within the Catholic Church in 2019 is a false god that detracts from the message of Jesus Christ crucified for our sins. If a person lives the message of love that Jesus taught then Social Justice issues resolve themselves.

    • Social justice is an evil fascistic concept, and all Catholics are obliged to oppose it and live lives of personal virtue and generosity instead. That idiotic term, social justice, gets used by pseudo-Catholics as a means to avoid actually getting personally involved in the corporal works of Mercy. Despite his personal past history of faults, Trump is the most charitable man to ever occupy the office of president.

  20. I have always enjoyed your commentary, but “If these chaperones were faculty or staff they should be terminated.” As you indicated our bishop through the students under the bus.maybe you might want to wait for more information before throwing the faculty and staff under the bus. Unlike the clergy, we laity have usually have families to support. You might want to give that a little consideration.

  21. Chaperones may not have had a leader or the authority to move elsewhere; there are many possible explanations why they couldn’t have moved — it’s a question of prudential judgment.

    On the other hand, the school leadership and the bishops of Louisville and Covington should be fired for their failure in leadership and condemning without having all of the evidence, which is an act of injustice.

  22. It is yet further instructive that this discussion has moved into the realm of the anti-clerical — a favorite hobby-horse of all too many would-be “conservatives.” I also say the far-left and the far-right have a lot more in common than either would care to admit.
    To make it clear: My article, from the outset, spoke against the diocesan and school authorities, did it not?
    But now, because I question the judgment of the “lay chaperones,” I am pilloried for “not getting the whole story.” Any responsible teacher or school administrator would tell you that “the whole story” on that front is there; nothing was done, period!

    • I didn’t say you didn’t get the whole story; and I didn’t say anything or think anything anti-clerical. I just said you’re wrong, and I stand by that.

    • You weren’t there and it is not clear whether you examined the whole of the video material, and nobody is infallible or capable of foreseeing what might happen. Maybe the chaperones lacked judgment, but firing them seems too radical. Anyone can be a Monday morning quarterback.

    • @Leslie. good for you. Stand fast.

      @Father Peter, Sir, you have obviously never been suddenly unemployed, without income and a family to support.
      Such a situation usually is mentally and physically devastating. Your quick and casual use of the term “the ax” indicates you clearly have no grasp of what unemployment does to a family. Your post gives no indication you have any use for the chaperones side of the story. No need to hear it, just give them “the ax”.
      All the working fathers and mothers reading this who have mortgages and tuition payments and other financial obligations know exactly what I’m talking about. You do not. So be it.

  23. There is one more item to this mess. There was reportedly a National Park Service Ranger on site. He talked to a chaperone and was telling him about the group who was shouting profanities. I checked and it is pretty much a standard law around the country, and it is in fact the law on federal property, that it is illegal to use profanities and language to attack someone in public. It is called disorderly conduct. The one group yelling racist profanities at the boys should have been warned and then if they persisted, arrested. It is pretty clear. Federal law enforcement was negligent in this case.

    • It’s DC. Who’s going to arrest minorities, unless they are in the middle of a serious crime? This, too, is the result of the fear of identity politics.

  24. I also agree that the adults involved should get the axe.

    The boys were not subject to two constant hours of insults. They kept coming and going until they had enough people gathered to form a mob. That was when they decided to move in and start taunting the street preachers. The street preachers were obnoxious, but they insulted everybody. The boys did not have to be there, they chose to stay. Even Nick Sandmann now says he wishes that he had just left. That means he could have left, and chose not to.

    As an educator, surely you’ve seen what can happen when teenage boys form a mob, right? Yeah, not necessarily safe. In the end, the media was not far wrong. The mob surrounded the native american drummer, and I would have frightened by that situation too.

    Lots of people are coming forward with further videos of students from this school. There is one from 2015, in which their students wore blackface at a basketball game. There’s another video of one of these boys, at this same event at the Lincoln memorial, saying “It’s not rape if you enjoy it” to other boys standing in a circle. There’s another one of Convington high school students yelling misogynistic slurs at a young woman, and this same march.

    As for the MAGA hats, that is what got the street preachers going because: MAGA hat wearers will be Trump supporters, and Trump supporters tend to be racist. It is common knowledge now. Also, these kids should have avoided any kind of politics while on a school sponsored trip. I’ve seen people complain that this Covington School should be taxed now.

    I have yet to see actual footage of who approached who first, but I did see that both the drummer and the mob of boys both moved closer together. Then the boys surrounded him. Nathan Phillips say he went over there to defuse the situation. He did manage to get their attention away from the street preachers. Sandmann says he was confused. Yeah, I don’t think so.

    The difference her is that the boys had enough people to form a mob. We have had a number of scary instances in the US, of young white men forming a mob and then doing something violent against minorities. That is why the street preachers started saying “You’d better not touch him.”

    As for Nick Sandmann, the statement was written on his behalf. His parent hired a PR firm, and the PR firm is doing a great job. He’s been groomed and coached. His standing that close in the native drummers face, with that self-satisfied grin, was indeed harassment. If you don’t see it yet, maybe you’ll consider the opinion and experience of an Episcolian from a nearby church who has experience with the racism coming out of that school.

    His name is Marshall Jolly, and he used to referee local soccer games in Covington. And I quote (from facebook):

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Marshall Jolly
    January 20 at 5:51 PM ·
    I’ve seen a lot of chatter about the disgraceful incident involving students from Covington Catholic High School and an Indigenous American and Veteran in Washington, DC this weekend. This morning, as news of the “full video” began to break, people started hedging, saying that there were “multiple perspectives.” Here’s my perspective.

    I served an Episcopal parish in Northern Kentucky, approximately 15 minutes from Covington Catholic High School. It’s a prestigious all-male school with a reputation for strong academics and strong athletics. You can learn that much from the website.

    What you won’t learn from the website is that there is a sinister pattern of similar behavior within the Diocese. While the Bishop there concerns himself with bizarre pronouncements (such as admonishing the faithful not to hold hands during the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer) and quashing “unorthodox hymns” that are otherwise approved for use in the Catholic church, he also has created a culture that is not only anti-LGBT, but also actively seeking out teachers and other administrators who might even hold sympathetic views toward people who are LGBT.

    As a (retired) soccer referee, I dreaded officiating matches where Covington Catholic was involved. The fans were always among the rudest, most disrespectful, and mean-spirited that I’ve encountered–and I’ve refereed for a long time at almost every level of the game! Student after student has come forward over the years to try and shed light on the abuses that not just LGBT students faced, but students of color. Racial epithets and slurs were commonplace in the halls.

    My point is that what we’re seeing on the (many) videos circulating should not come as a shock. It is a continuation of a long and disgusting pattern of toxicity and abuse that has been allowed and even encouraged at all levels of the school and, as far as I can tell, from the diocese.

    While we might be concerning ourselves with “who moved first” or “who moved toward whom” in the video, I encourage you to reflect on this: notice the posture and demeanor of the young man. There is a troubling display of xenophobia embedded here. It’s the kind that says that white bodies (read: white, cis, straight, male bodies) can be anywhere they choose at any time, but that non-white bodies (read: non-cis, straight, male bodies) must first seek permission to exist outside of their “place.” This is a window into a perverse system that thrives on toxic, fragile masculinity embedded with xenophobia. And it’s not pretty. Let those who have ears to hear, listen.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Sounds to me like the Bishop for the whole Diocese needs to go.

    • I see that I accidentally posted my reply to this below the comment after it, and that I made a few typos, for both of which I apologize.

    • What a profoundly foolish set of comments, marked mostly by your subjective projections of intentionality into facial expressions and the non-meaning of a pre-arranged gathering spot for a bus pick up as a premeditated “mob” event. And to piece together spurious claims from other events that have already been discredited is flat out infantile. Shall we piece together all the moronic things you’ve done in your life and list them here? You are publicly lying if you construe the event as anything but what it was. The young men were the victims of hate, not the other way around. It’s not hard to imagine given the fact that you share that hate.

  25. Sounds t me like you are rushing to judgments about the chaperones without the facts. Living in the Northern KY area, I have heard the chaperones’ side of things. While you are pointing your finger at them, remember the rest are pointing back at you. I would love for you to investigate this further and share an apology with your readers. Practice what you preach about judgment. Also, do you really think the principal was aware the boys had the hats on? There were multiple groups of boys there that day. Some were actually handed hats off the street while others purchased them at the March.

    • “They kept coming and going until they had enough people gathered to form a mob.”

      They kept gathering because it was nearing the time for the buses to arrive, and more and more of them arrived at the meeting point. There is no mob, and they did not gather around and menace the spiteful, hate-filled, and none too sane bigots whom you so gently call “street preachers.”

      “The mob surrounded the native american drummer, and I would have frightened by that situation too. ”

      No, the drummer walked in among them, accompanied by quite the little entourage. Manifestly they weren’t frightened of the situation, given that at least one of them was insulting and trying to provoke the boys.

      “There is one from 2015, in which their students wore blackface at a basketball game.”

      They were wearing black head to toe, and some of them had darkened their faces to match, because their theme for that game was “Blackout.” They have also done “Whiteouts” and “Blueouts.” The people who are having hysterics over that would probably also accuse commandos with faces darkened for night operations of racism, too.

      “There’s another video of one of these boys, at this same event at the Lincoln memorial, saying “It’s not rape if you enjoy it” to other boys standing in a circle.”

      The boy who was filmed saying that was not a student of Covington Catholic High School. Even Representative Omar, who posted that particular accusation, had the sense to delete her tweet, though not the decency to apologize for sending it.

      “There’s another one of Convington high school students yelling misogynistic slurs at a young woman, and this same march.”

      Provide a link, because I do not believe you.
      “As for the MAGA hats, that is what got the street preachers going because: MAGA hat wearers will be Trump supporters, and Trump supporters tend to be racist. It is common knowledge now.”

      The street preachers were screaming insults at Indians, too. What “got them going” wasn’t the MAGA hats, it was their twisted, sick, and historically laughable view of the world.

      Of course MAGA hat wearers are Trump supporters; but that is the only accurate statement in that little confection of lies you’ve whipped up. You provide no evidence for your belief that “Trump supporters tend to be racist,” beyond that you believe it is common knowledge among some unspecified group which probably consists of people who hate President Trump.

      “Also, these kids should have avoided any kind of politics while on a school sponsored trip. I’ve seen people complain that this Covington School should be taxed now.”

      The students chose to wear hats supporting a man who had just made a speech supporting the right to life of innocent babies. The entire trip was to some extent political, since it is an effort to get the government to pass laws to protect those same babies. I am sure you have absolutely no problem with the schools who let their students out, or even *led* them out, to protest marches that support causes in which you believe. My, my, my, the hypocrisy is strong in this one.

      “I have yet to see actual footage of who approached who first,”

      Then you have watched nothing but some carefully edited footage that supports your view.

      “but I did see that both the drummer and the mob of boys both moved closer together.”

      You saw the drummer move toward the boys. He was where he wanted to be.

      “Then the boys surrounded him. Nathan Phillips say he went over there to defuse the situation.”

      Yeah, he also said he was a Vietnam vet and that the boys were threatening the Black Hebrew Israelites, both of which are also lies.

      “He did manage to get their attention away from the street preachers.”

      Yes, someone coming up and banging a drum inches from your face while chanting something incomprehensible will tend to draw your attention. But the boys were already doing their cheers to ignore the “street preachers.”

      “Sandmann says he was confused. Yeah, I don’t think so.”

      You wouldn’t be confused if some complete stranger accompanied by a group of other people came up and started banging a drum in your face? That last sentence is one word too long

      “The difference her is that the boys had enough people to form a mob. We have had a number of scary instances in the US, of young white men forming a mob and then doing something violent against minorities.”

      When? Where?

      “That is why the street preachers started saying “You’d better not touch him.” ”

      Those same innocent “street preachers” who were threatening to do violect to a guy who was hoverboarding around them?

      “As for Nick Sandmann, the statement was written on his behalf. His parent hired a PR firm, and the PR firm is doing a great job. He’s been groomed and coached.”

      He and his friends and school have received death threats because someone deliberately edited a video in the hopes that gullible, biased, and none too intelligent persons would think that he was a villain because he stood his ground and smiled in the face of a bully. Judging by your post, it succeeded. The boy was flung into a situation in which people were vilifying and threatening him; hiring a PR firm to defend him is a sensible thing to do. Of course he was coached to tell his story properly; would you fling a 16-year-old kid to the wolves unprepared? Well, you probably would, but I mean would any decent and sensible parent?

      “His standing that close in the native drummers face, with that self-satisfied grin, was indeed harassment.”

      When someone comes up and starts banging a drum in a person’s face and the person does nothing but stand there and smile, it does not constitute harassment on the part of the person smiling. The bully banging a drum in a teenager’s face is something else.

      “If you don’t see it yet, maybe you’ll consider the opinion and experience of an Episcolian from a nearby church who has experience with the racism coming out of that school.”

      Your Episcopalian is an absolutely hilarious example of all the stereotypes of a bitter Social Justice Warrior. His chief problem seems to be that a Catholic school and Catholic diocese dare to uphold teaching about sexual morality and biological reality, because he personally thinks that homosexual behavior and vain efforts to pretend to be the sex opposite to one’s own is just hunky dory and only meaaaaaaannnnn people don’t agree with him.

      Oh, and how *dare* the Bishop point out that the proper posture for the laity during the Lord’s Prayer at Mass is not holding hands or the “orans” posture but with hands clasped in prayer. And how dare he forbid hymns that misrepresent Catholic doctrine and dogma? Why, he should be like an Episcopalian/Anglican who thinks everything, up to and including the denial of Christ’s divinity, is just perfectly all right.

      “he also has created a culture that is not only anti-LGBT, but also actively seeking out teachers and other administrators who might even hold sympathetic views toward people who are LGBT.”

      The school, and the bishop, have the duty to protect their students from false and immoral teaching and behavior.

      “As a (retired) soccer referee, I dreaded officiating matches where Covington Catholic was involved. The fans were always among the rudest, most disrespectful, and mean-spirited that I’ve encountered–and I’ve refereed for a long time at almost every level of the game! Student after student has come forward over the years to try and shed light on the abuses that not just LGBT students faced, but students of color. Racial epithets and slurs were commonplace in the halls.”

      To put it bluntly, I think he’s lying. Like most other Social Justice Warriors, anything is okay if it advances his cause. He isn’t a part of the school, he was only a referee; he had no way of knowing what was going on in the halls. “Student after student has come forward over the years…” Come forward to whom? When? Provide evidence.

      “It is a continuation of a long and disgusting pattern of toxicity . . . ”

      Oooh, there’s another of the Social Justice Warrior words! I’ll bet this guy just looooooves the new Gillette commercial.

      “While we might be concerning ourselves with “who moved first” or “who moved toward whom” in the video,”

      We concern ourselves with those because they are the entire point: the Indian drummer moved first, and he moved toward the boy, contrary to the narrative that you are supporting. In other words, he wants us to ignore the facts because they don’t support his opinion. Pesky facts.

      “I encourage you to reflect on this: notice the posture and demeanor of the young man.”

      I see a teenager who is uncomfortable but in the fact of considerable provocation is remaining calm and pleasant.

      “There is a troubling display of xenophobia embedded here. It’s the kind that says that white bodies (read: white, cis, straight, male bodies) can be anywhere they choose at any time, but that non-white bodies (read: non-cis, straight, male bodies) must first seek permission to exist outside of their “place.” This is a window into a perverse system that thrives on toxic, fragile masculinity embedded with xenophobia. And it’s not pretty.”

      I am in *awe* tht anybody could actually string together such a concatenation of SJW silliness without laughing so hard his fingers would slide off the keyboard.

      “Let those who have ears to hear, listen.” And please, let those who are clueless put a sock in it, so we don’t have to listen to their nonsense.

  26. For those thinking that the MSM coverage and social media use by SJWs are an attack on the Church and those who are pro-life: actually, this incident was primarily used to further identity politics and SJW attacks on whites, it was secondarily about the Church (white Catholics) and abortion. The sooner Catholics understand this, the sooner they can come to an informed decision as to how they will respond. Some, like the school leadership and the KY bishops, have the default response of capitulating to the SJW narrative and acting to placate SJWs for the sake of appearing “woke.”

  27. And now, I read, the Bishop of Lexington is attacking the students:

    “”It astonishes me, the bishop writes, “that any students participating in a pro-life activity on behalf of their school and their Catholic faith could be wearing apparel sporting the slogans of a president who denigrates the lives of immigrants, refugees and people from countries that he describes with indecent words and haphazardly endangers with life-threatening policies.”

    ““We cannot uncritically ally ourselves with someone with whom we share the policy goal of ending abortion,” he said.”

    Yet, somehow, it doesn’t seem to bother him that he allies himself uncritically with those who, while supporting what appears to be his open-borders policy, are perfectly okay with butchering babies. Immigration policies are a matter of prudential judgment. Abortion is intrinsically evil. Has the Bishop written any statements condemning those Catholic politicians who support it? Not that I’ve seen.

    On the other hand, he was quite happy to speak at a symposium of “New Ways Ministries,” about which Francis Cardinal George provided this statement in 2010: Accordingly, I wish to make it clear that, like other groups that claim to be Catholic but deny central aspects of Church teaching, New Ways Ministry has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church and that they cannot speak on behalf of the Catholic faithful in the United States.” http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2010/02/usccb-chief-clarifies-churchs-position.html

    The Bishop of Lexington doesn’t appear to me to be very much of a moral leader.

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