Albert Einstein said, “We cannot despair of humanity, for we ourselves are human.”
Of course, Al didn’t live in the age of social media, did he?
By now, everyone has seen video of the MAGA hat-wearing Catholic kids making fun of the Native American elder who may or may not be a Vietnam veteran. And everyone has an opinion. Some say the kids are at fault, others the African American men who hurled insults at them because they were wearing MAGA hats.
Personally, I find fault with everyone involved in that situation, including myself. And I was several hundred miles away when it happened.
Just to be clear here, the kids from Covington Catholic were absolutely behaving badly. Toxically. Their parents should ground every last one of them for disrespecting their elders.
With that said, however, those kids were mirroring not only what they were seeing right then, but also, probably, what they see at home and at school. The evidence for this? The chaperones did not interfere. By not interfering, they okayed the behavior of these kids. I’m not sure why anyone is surprised by this. They are from Kentucky, the lovely state that gave us Turtle Man McConnell, the most toxic human being in government.
Add to that the horrible behavior of the other adults on the scene, and you can see what these kids are up against. And then some idiot adult edited the video to make it look like the teenagers were the only ones misbehaving and idiot adults like me were outraged and posted and reposted on social media.
The truth of what happened on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is that everyone was behaving badly. There are no martyrs here. And I really wish the adults would own up to their bad behavior and set a better example, because condemning kids for following the super bad examples they see from adults is going to get us nothing but more toxic adults.
Of course, Einstein also reportedly said, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.” So maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath where humans are concerned.
Excellent and thoughtful piece, Michelle. How do we expect better of our kids when we, ourselves, ratchet up that outrage machine every day?
I honestly don’t think that Native American was behaving badly. Of everyone, he was the only one concerned about keeping the peace, about trying to find a solution as he approached the conflict with a drum and a song. Your opinion is well thought out, but let’s also give credit where credit is due.
You may be right, Jennifer. I honestly don’t know since I don’t know him and I wasn’t there. I do absolutely feel the kid in the videos was extraordinarily disrespectful. If someone older than you wants to pass, you step out of their way. I’m even confused as to how these two got into this particular face off since this kid was not in the forefront of any of the other videos I’ve seen. I spotted him a couple of times in the middle of the pack. However, the fact remains that you don’t actually have to be a genius to know that playing a drum and chanting is not going to calm down a mob of teenage boys wearing MAGA hats. Although it did seem to get rid of the other group of adults, and who knows what might have happened if they hadn’t dispersed. Another point about this particular Native American that I’ve found curious, though. He seems to have a lot of professional-looking photos. I can’t help but wonder why?
Okay, I just looked again, and there is only one that’s been used in a number of pro-him memes. But he’s done numerous interviews. I guess I’m just suspicious and overly concerned about being maneuvered from either the right or the left.