This isn’t what I planned to write about, but I remain distressed and disgusted by the actions of the Covington Catholic group, especially as directed at Nathan Phillips. I typically don’t write about Native issues, because I know enough to know that I don’t know enough. But I do know about Whiteness, and the Covington Catholic students gave us a full display of its ugly side…and maybe its only side.
I’ve seen the first video that went viral and viewed a good portion of the longer one that some are claiming (unbelievably, to me) is exculpatory. I’ve seen the argument being made that Mr. Phillips was the aggressor; that by virtue of being an adult, he was perceived as threatening and the smirk was really a smile, being used to “diffuse” the situation. I’ve read that yes, the boys were in the wrong, and they just need to spend some time with Native Americans; maybe a mission trip to a reservation could be arranged? I’ve seen comments that it’s really the adults who are to blame: the parents; the chaperones; the teachers; the priests; the school administrators. I’ve noticed some touting the viewpoint that it was just a moment in time, and we (adults) don’t want to do anything too harsh that may ruin his (Nicholas Sandmann’s) life forever.
And all I can say is, “Bullshit.”