In Our Opinion – Covington Catholic High School: What Has Happened to Our Country?

In Our Opinion – Covington Catholic High School: What Has Happened to Our Country?

I feel like the American way of life has all but disappeared.

I don’t know about you, but I’m disappointed, disgusted, angry and sad all at the same time about the incident with Covington Catholic High School students in D.C.

When did it become ok to treat others with such disrespect and hate? This country was founded on individual rights and freedoms while being surrounded by respect for and from your fellow man.

As a mother, I can only imagine how these students, parents, families and chaperones were feeling while such vile speech was being hurled at them and the current threats being thrown their way.

The hate, that seems to surround us all, is currently being thrown around like a football and has become frightening in America.

What makes what happened to these students all right?

Covington Catholic High School is a private catholic school and not only were they called such hateful and vile things that I refuse to repeat, the hatred and viciousness from others continues, as people refuse to educate themselves.

Whatever happened to manners, ethics, public discourse and personal responsibility?

Is it not an American tradition that we can all agree to disagree on anything without being called names, threatened to be beaten or killed just because you happen to be standing and waiting for a bus?

What happened to being innocent until proven guilty, due process and getting ALL the facts?

A four-minute video taken from over an hour’s worth of events rarely paints the whole picture.

And where is the personal responsibility?

I have been told that the very words “personal responsibility” are only used by conservatives.

Really? I mean come on, really?

Having a large platform of social media followers or readers is a huge responsibly. You need to treat it with respect, scrupulously and ethically as you could actually ruin someone’s life or destroy a business.

That is not something that should be taken lightly…by anyone.

As far as I am concerned, social media users, local and national media outlets, the rich and famous and a catholic priest started tweeting while throwing caution to the wind, have potentially destroyed several young lives.

Kinda like screaming fire in a crowded movie theater when there isn’t one. These high school students will apply for a job in the future and may be faced with this day over and over again their entire lives.

Future students, graduates and educators will list Covington Catholic High School on job applications, resumes and financial paperwork, and the social media posts will follow them forever.

Nathan Phillips, a native American activist, decided to insert himself into the situation and said he was trying to “defuse the situation.” However, after watching the almost two-hour video, he seemed to help perpetuate the situation.

I don’t even recognize this country anymore.

And for those who say it’s all President Trump’s fault… you are not being honest with yourself.

Situations like this started to become common place during president Obama’s presidency. For those who didn’t agree with President Obama’s policies, you were labeled a racist. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with who is in office but of what people think other people’s views and opinions are of those people.

And every week that goes by since then, it has just gotten worse. And every day we allow this to happen; it will continue to get worse.

This is not about white against black or black vs. white. This is a fringe group thing. This is a hate group thing. This is a black supremacist group thing.

The administration of Covington High School had to close the school yesterday after receiving threats of school bombings, shootings and burning down the school…even after they had time to review the entire video, which is all over the internet for people to find and watch. 

Additionally, after a meeting with law enforcement yesterday, Covington closed all their social media accounts, took down their website, changed email addresses and had their phones shut off.

Do you believe it is alright for any school in America to have to go to that length to protect their teachers and students?

Doesn’t that feel like we are living in a third world country if your child’s school has to go to this length to protect their students because of any threats of violence?

Why are some so full of hatred? What has happened in their past, that these people throw such disgraceful, vile words around?

Americans used to have intellectual conversations, where one could learn from others. They could disagree and have different beliefs, but they could still have positive relationships. Their differences made their friendships stronger.

The first video that was posted to social media was a selective minute or so that showed the students were “asking for it.”

However, the full video shows a different story; it shows these students were being harassed in such a way I wouldn’t even treat my worst enemy.

In the full video, people see a group, members of a “Black Hebrew Israelites” sect, verbally harassing the students for simply waiting nearby and wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats. And the students weren’t their only targets. Anyone who approached them and disagreed or simply walked by them was a target for a verbal attack. 

I’m not saying the students reacted and responded in the correct way. Whether those students did something wrong in the way they responded to the situation is up to their parents and their school to decide, not me. This isn’t about that; this is about the hate and violence in our country today.

This is about the elected officials, celebrities and other media outlets turning to hate and violence against kids. Our children learn how to react and respond to emergency situations, such as an active shooter, on their elementary, middle and high school campuses. And the first thing people turned to when that short clip of the video went viral was the same violence.

This is about people jumping to conclusions without the whole story and immediately thinking the worst of not just people but of kids. In the past, after seeing a one- to four-minute video clip, people would have asked questions; the media would have asked questions. They would have assumed the innocence of those boys until the facts and evidence proved otherwise. They would have wanted more information before they pointed fingers and said they were in the wrong. 

Why were the students there? How did this encounter happen? How did these students end up around this native American activist? Did they surround him? Or did he approach their group? What was the chaperone(s) doing while this was happening? If the kids were in the wrong, why didn’t the chaperone(s) do anything? And what situation was Nathan Phillips trying to diffuse? What was going on that he felt he needed to step in?

If you’ve ever been heckled or shouted at in general, it’s hard to ignore; it’s hard not to respond to harsh words being thrown at you whether it’s to defend yourself or to simply show someone’s words don’t affect you. 

Maybe, they weren’t laughing at Phillips and his drum or mocking him. Maybe, they thought he was trying to drown out the harsh words being thrown at them and joined in to help. It may have come across differently, insultive, but that may not have been the intention. From watching a short four-minute video clip, no one knows what those boys were thinking or what was really going on. 

People were threatening kids, teenagers, but kids. The color of their skin doesn’t matter; a child is a child. 

Here is a short history of the “Black Hebrew Israelites” groups.

According to Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) some of the groups are so extreme they’ve been classified as hate groups because of their violent, racist, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic rhetoric. (An example can be found in this video, which contains extremely racist language and profanity.)

The first sect of “Black Hebrew Israelites” appeared before the United States Civil War, although, its founder isn’t known; another was founded later in 1896, the Church of God and Saints of Christ, by William Crowdy. 

Today, there is a possibly 40,000 to 200,000 members who follow a broadly defined version of Judaism in U.S. Major Cities as members of the Hebrew Israelite movement. Approximately, 50,000 are members of “Black Hebrew Israelites” sects.

While many Black Hebrew Israelites do not claim to be racists, or to hate someone based on skin color, in practice, these Hebrew Israelites do not act this way. On street corners, they frequently accuse people of other races as being backward, wicked, or even subhuman. All of the Black Hebrew Israelite teachings on white people indicate that they are not valued as highly by God.

According to Wiki in late 2008, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) described as black supremacist what it called, “the extremist fringe of the Hebrew Israelite movement.” It wrote that the members of such groups “believe that Jews are devilish impostors and … openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery.”

In 1999, the FBI terrorism risk assessment report stated that “violent radical fringe members” of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement hold “beliefs [that] bear a striking resemblance to the Christian Identity theology practiced by many white supremacists.”

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Black Hebrew Israelites permit polygamy and forbid birth control. Leaders decide who will marry and whether marriage annulments will be permitted, and they perform wedding ceremonies.

In 2011, the Village Voice published an article, Black Hebrew Israelites: New York’s Most Obnoxious Prophets; the article took readers inside the Hebrew Israelite movement.

It told the story of Zodach, a member of a Black Hebrew Israelite group, who spent a cold, March night on the streets of New York spewing insults at passerbys while a group of African Americans were lined up to purchase the newest Air Jordans across the street.

The reporter spoke with members of several sects learning about the religion and the reasons behind their vulgar language and verbal attacks on innocent bystanders.

According to the article, the various sects follow a Black Nationalist Concept of Judaism that “sees African Americans as God’s one and only chosen people.”

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry says the Black Hebrew Israelites teach “that certain groups of blacks are the descendants of ancient Israelites and that white people are not true descendants.”


 

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11 Comments

  1. Pingback: In Our Opinion – Covington Catholic High School: What Has Happened to Our Country? – San Marcos Corridor News | Ceremony Ideas

  2. Dahlia Simone

    Then why didn’t those boys confront those Black Israelites, but chose to pick on an older man who was simply singing and banging a small, traditional hand drum?

    I think those boys were a mob, acted like one, smirked and jeered people who were not like them, and were too cowardly to actually face off against the real provocateurs, those “Israelites?”

    I would not want to be anywhere near a group of young men acting like that, one clearly shouting, “It’s not rape if you enjoyed it.”

    You are representing the typical white, suburban, entitled, viewpoint that, like those boys, sees black and brown people as targets of your hatred and fear.

    Your editorial is disgraceful…and unworthy of a “news” site.

    Reply
    1. Annie Rivera

      Ms. Dahlia,

      I believe you’ve missed the point of the editorial entirely. The editorial did not state anywhere whether the boys were right or wrong about their actions that day. The writer left that judgment out of it because I doubt she felt it was hers to make. I wouldn’t think, from simply watching videos, that it was mine to make. I wasn’t there. I don’t know the whole story; I only have pieces of it from video footage. She said the response from elected officials, celebrities and the media was what had been wrong. Violence and Hate, calling for the boys to be killed, was not something we should be doing, as a nation. The reaction, the first instinct people had, to call for physical harm to be caused to someone else’s child, that was what was wrong. We blame entertainment and videogames for the trend of violence introduced to our children. And yet, this incident shows our children don’t need videogames or movies or pictures to be introduced to violence. All they have to do is open social media.

      Reply
  3. Jean Hampton

    Well Ms. Dahlia… it’s obvious you haven’t seen the complete video which shows what actually happened. Gives credence to the old definition of foot in mouth syndrome.

    I commend the author of the editorial. Very well put!

    1.

    Reply
  4. Dahlia Simone

    Dear Jean,

    I have watched numerous versions of these videos, and these boys’ behavior was not isolated to that one event, but they also harrassed a group of young women prior to ever encountering that older man with his drum.

    Granted, they were themselves harrassed by the Black Israelite group, whose MO is to provoke people on the streets (and friends of mine in NYC say they have seen these guys yelling at people for years), but why focus their smart aleck, disrespectful, youthful arrogance on Mr. Phillips? Because they could. They would not have dared do that same thing to those much younger, stronger, more volatile Black Israelites. I am actually very glad they did not do that, as someone would have gotten hurt, and likely arrested.

    You might wish to check your own mouth for misplaced feet.

    Those boys were not innocent, not minding their own business, but essentially roving through downtown Washington harrassing multiple persons.

    MAGA Teens Reportedly Filmed Harassing Girls With Pro-Trump Chants Before Viral Native American Incident
    by The Gaily Grind Staff
    01/22/2019
    shares

    A new video has emerged on social media reportedly showing the Covington Catholic High School boys ‘harassing’ a group of young women shortly before the viral confrontation between a Native American elder and the students, reports The Independent.

    According to Indy100:

    A young woman posted a video to Twitter on Monday of a group of white boys in MAGA hats yelling at her and her friends as they walk past, alleging that the boys are the same ones who harrassed elderly Native American protestor Nathan Phillips at the Indiginous People’s March in Washington on Saturday.

    In the video, the group can be heard saying the words ‘Make America Great Again’, and also yelling incoherantly.

    The Covington Catholic boys harrassed my friends and I before the incident with Nathan Phillips even happened. I’m tired of reading things saying they were provoked by anyone else other than their own egos and ignorance ?????

    — linds (@roflinds) January 21, 2019

    In a tweet describing the encounter, the woman who goes by the name ‘linds’ on Twitter wrote:

    The Covington Catholic boys harrassed my friends and I before the incident with Nathan Phillips even happened. I’m tired of reading things saying they were provoked by anyone else other than their own egos and ignorance.

    After posting the original video, ‘linds’ provided more context in a series of tweets:

    This video is short because we walked by and were surprised to be yelled at. I took my phone out to send it to my friends back home for a laugh. I simply could not ignore the media saying they were provoked so I posted it.

    Also for those asking the full details, the interaction wasnt very complicated. We walked by, they started yelling, we asked them how old they were, they replied “old enough”, kept yelling, and we rolled our eyes and kept walking.

    Last thing, for people wondering what they yelled, all we specifically heard was “MAGA”, “Build the Wall”, and some people say they hear “slut” at the end of the video ok it’s past my bedtime goodnight twitter.

    As Indy100 noted, the new footage, “alleging that the group of teenagers are from the same group as those seen harrassing Nathan Phillips, seems to contradict the claim that the students were simply reacting in retaliation to harrassment they’d received themselves from the Black Isrelites. ”

    In a statement following the incident between the students and the Native American elder Nathan Phillips, Nick Sandmann, the boy seen infamously facing up to Phillips, said:

    I cannot speak for everyone, only for myself.

    But I can tell you my experience with Covington Catholic is that students are respectful of all races and cultures. We also support everyone’s right to free speech.

    New video from the Lincoln Memorial incident also show one of the boys, who had just attended a pro-life march, yelling: “It’s not rape if you enjoy it.”

    The New York Post on Monday reported that photographs of students from the same school in ‘blackface’ have emerged.

    VIDEO: From :06 to 1:06 you can see a teacher or coach of #CovingtonCatholic leading the teens in a chant– several of the Covington students are in blackface. At this game, black players on the opposing team were verbally abused.

    — Marcus Henry Weber (@MarcusHWeber) January 21, 2019

    The same Catholic Diocese that oversees Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky also reportedly banned openly gay valedictorian Christian Bales’ speech at the High School of the Holy Cross last May.

    Reply
  5. Dahlia Simone

    I am afraid this is becoming a case of affirmation bias: People see what affirms their worldview. Some white people see these boys as victims. Some brown people are seeing the boys as perpetrators.

    I am a white person, and I think these boys were frighteningly inappropriate, and had this whole thing not played out in a public space, that Native American man might have been hurt by them.

    Those boys got their narrow worldview challenged by cultural forces that were unfamiliar, and they didn’t take it well.

    Reply
    1. Staff

      Ms. Simone
      Corridor News has a very strict policy of not publishing links we receive in comments; therefore, staff has removed links in your submitted comments.

      We take our readers internet safety and security very seriously.

      In the world we live in today, no one should ever click on or open a link unless they know and trust the sender. Links can be associated with Malware and viruses and we want our readers to be assured that they can trust the links on our website.

      Thank you for reading and we hope you will understand this policy is also for your safety and security as well.

      Again, thank you for reading,
      Corridor News Staff

      Reply
  6. Will Holder

    What this event tells us more than ever is that the greater national news organizations are now indisputably conspiring to deceive the American people in ways only known in nations ruled by evil forces. The boys did nothing more than stand there calmly as they were approached and pervoked. This is a fact that any interested person can view in its entirety for themselves. The media twisted the story into a warped and sinister lie to promote their statist agenda. Americans must wake up and know that there is no credibility left in the national news organization. It’s sad and true.

    Reply
  7. L. Adams

    It seems to me that the boys were the ones spewing hate at others. At least that’s what it sounded like to the girl walking by that they yelled at and called her a slut. Or the kid that told another girl “it’s not rape if you enjoy it”. Also past students have stepped forward to expose the amount of racism and bullying at this school that seems to be condoned by the teaching staff. And that is not a smile, that is a supercilious smirk. Also, pictures have come out showing some of the students in blackface.

    Reply
  8. Jim Reece

    Responding to “Dahlia Simone” above whose exact words of January 23, 2019, were:

    “You are representing the typical white, suburban, entitled, viewpoint that, like those boys, sees black and brown people as targets of your hatred and fear.”

    ——–

    Ms. Simone,

    You are representing the typical black, urban, viewpoint that entitles black and brown people, on account of their hatred and fear, to target white people.

    You wrote ” People see what affirms their worldview…..I am a white person.”
    Wow, this conveniently affirms your worldview, doesn’t it?

    But your worldview and your alleged skin color doesn’t preempt my reality nor the fact I’ve resided in eleven african nations for a minimum period of two weeks each, and in light of your own quote, I direct you to the words of certain officer who no one liked, and with whom I served onboard a vessel approaching the west coast of Africa one morning, and who from the bridge as the coastline approached suddenly uttered, “That’s what I hate about Africa, it just sucks the humanity right out of you”.

    I am responding to your accusations Ms. Simone in the hope that America was not the reason why the same thing has now happened to you.

    Reply

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