The day before yesterday, there were a couple of demonstrations at the Mall in Washington, DC. One was the March for Life, an anti-abortion demonstration; the other was a much smaller Indigenous Peoples’ Day march. As the Indigenous Peoples’ Day march wound down, an Omaha (the tribe, not the city) tribal elder by the name of Nathan Phillips was playing a drum and leading a chant for a small group. A group of Catholic high school students from Covington, KY, there for the March for Life, surrounded the group of chanting Native Americans. One young man stood inches in front of Phillips, smirking and staring him in the eyes as he chanted. The students outnumbered the Natives by quite a bit.
The students, and the few adults with them, wore MAGA hats and many wore other MAGA clothing. At one point they broke into their own chant:
”Build the wall! Build the wall!”
Phillips, 64 years old and a Vietnam-era veteran, reports being quite nervous as the students did not let them pass. There were a few adults with the students and they did nothing.
There is video of most of this and of course quite a lot of press. Here’s one source:
Their school is, in a word, mortified. The Diocese has issued an apology and the students may face suspension or expulsion. This is not to say that the school bears no responsibility for whatever mentality produced this but I don’t think we yet have enough information to speculate in an informed way.
But “Build the wall”? Why?
If immigration is what its advocates are really thinking about, they’re going to harass Native Americans? Anyone notice a bit of a disconnect here?
If, on the other hand, the Wall is simply a symbol for rejecting Others, for Standard B-flat bigotry, this makes perfect sense. Is this unintentional?
Maybe there are people still around who think the MAGA hats are irrelevant. Well, if the kids were chanting about the Wall, clearly not.
Has anyone not noticed that bigotry seems to follow Trump around? Are there still people out there who think he has nothing to do with this?
Once he became the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016, hate crimes abruptly increased drastically. One might think it was a coincidence except that so many of the people guilty of these crimes referenced Trump. Sometimes it took the form of graffiti, and the vandals who wrote it were frequently kind enough to include Trump’s name in it. When the graffiti consisted of Trump’s name with the T replaced by a swastika - and it was done in a location indicating support rather than opposition - one gets the message.
Is this coincidence? Is all of this in spite of the President?
There are two awfully compelling pieces of evidence that this is not coincidence. There are a great deal more if one includes pieces of evidence that came from his staff, like Steve Bannon, but I’m not including those.
The first happened after Charlottesville, “good people on both sides.” Most Republicans around the country didn’t have the nerve to defend the Charlottesville protestors, at least until they could revise events enough to implicate Antifa way more than actual evidence would indicate. No, Mr. President, there are not good American Nazis. Strangely enough, German Nazis often had more of an excuse as the Nazi Party ran their country and it’s the only way they could get ahead regardless of their actual ideology but in America it’s about nothing but ideology. It’s about hatred. Period.
The second is what Trump hasn’t done. He has never said to his followers: “Don’t do this in my name” or even simply “Don’t do this.” On the contrary, he goes to rallies and encourages the attitudes that lead to this. People were murdered out of sheer bigotry in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, there was all sorts of support for the victims’ community even from the Muslim community, Trump came to pay his respects, but even then he wouldn’t say it. Even then he wouldn’t say that he disapproved of this kind of crap.
If you want to know what made these kids think harassing Native Americans for no good reason was a good idea, the answer is way too obvious.
Jus look at their hats.
The initial reporting on this event was out of context. See my comment below at about 9:35 AM Monday. Though my opinion of Trump stands, my opinion of the Kentucky kids does not, at least not completely. And the comment at about 10:07 AM.