The nation is awaiting an apology from Congresswoman Deb Haaland of New Mexico.
She ran on a platform of fairness and equality, yet displayed neither following a controversial incident captured on video. Instead of doing her homework to ascertain truth (the primary job of a lawmaker), she instead chose the low road, shooting from the hip without the benefit of facts. Most of all, the students at Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School deserve her mea culpa.
To refresh Haaland’s memory, here is her Tweet:
“The students’ display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration. Heartbreaking.”
Heartbreaking, indeed, since the Congresswoman branded young men with the “racist” stigma which will burden them for much of their lives.
To be fair, many others should also be apologizing. Social media, respected publications, and even the Diocese of Covington condemned the boys without justification. In cavalierly disregarding the quest for truth, they chose a guilty-until-proven-innocent mindset.
During the annual March for Life in Washington, a group of students from Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School, some wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. Nearby was a small group of Native Americans engaged in an Indigenous Peoples rally.
Some from that rally attempted to provoke the primarily white students with statements such as “go back to Europe.” To the boys’ credit, they showed immense restraint.
Most important to the story is the presence of a third group, the Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI).
To call the BHI extremists would be an understatement. Sure, they have the right to free speech, but their statements were repulsive.
For over an hour, the boys were subjected to vile insults, including being called crackers, f******, incest babies, future school shooters, young Klansmen, the N-word, and terrorists. The BHI even singled out a black student and told him that his white classmates would harvest his organs. The BHI also hurled obscenities at the Native Americans, President Trump, the Catholic Church, and gay community.
But few Americans saw any of that, since most news organizations focused only on what came next.
Nathan Phillips, a Native American, chose to intervene. As he was beating his drum and chanting, Phillips approached Covington Junior Nick Sandmann. Sandmann did not move (he was there first), nor did he mock Phillips, or engage in racist behavior. He simply stood there, smiling. Slate described the smile as “the face of self-satisfaction and certitude, of edginess expressed as cruelty.” Whatever that means.
The partial video went viral, and Sandmann was labeled a Trump-supporting, hate-spewing bigot. What a country when mind-reading “virtue signalers” can instantly deem someone’s smile cruel and racist.
How ironic that the true racists (the BHI) got a free pass, while those who traveled 500 miles to peacefully protest the killing of unborn babies are labeled bad guys.
For those issuing apologies — including National Review (whose writer said the boys “might just as well have spit on the Cross”), and Dilbert creator Scott Adams — a big “thank you.” People should accept such atonements without gloating. We all make mistakes. Committing an error is hard enough, but publicly owning it takes guts. So let’s not emulate those on the Left who often refuse to accept apologies.
Conversely, we have those who should apologize, but likely won’t. At the top of that list:
-Covington Mayor Joe Meyer, who stated, “Videos of the confrontation are disturbing, discouraging, and appalling. And they are rightfully inspiring a tidal wave of condemnation.”
-And the boys’ own Diocese: "We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips...The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.”
The Diocese just appointed an “independent third-party investigator,” stating, “It is important for us to gather the facts that will allow us to determine what corrective actions, if any, are appropriate.”
But how could the Diocese condemn the boys and threaten expulsion before it even investigates the matter? Fittingly, it has since issued an apology, with Bishop Roger Foys stating, “We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely.”
Truth is, it will matter little when the boys are “officially” exonerated. Whether because of lazy people behind keyboards, or partisans destroying lives, the boys’ lives will be severely impacted.
While this could be a teachable moment, it is more likely that the lessons of humility and discretion won’t be learned, leaving much of the country seeing red as another nail is hammered into the coffin of tolerance.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.