The Covington controversy is a lesson for us in patience and why context above all else can change the initial perspective on events. By now most of you will have seen the short two-minute video depicting an elder Native American confronting a Covington student on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It was shared around faster than the T-Virus turning Racoon City into a zombie-infested hell hole.
It created a mob of sheep that assumed evil intent without first understanding the situation. It has recently come out that there is in fact approximately two hours of footage that may in fact cast the boys in a better light. But it has already been too late. In my own personal experience, I became a sceptic of the mainstream media after observing a coordinated effort by spineless journalists to turn the identity of gamers into something akin to a bogeyman. The Gamergate controversy whether you be for or against it saw to the demise of caution and integrity. The Wikipedia article speaks for itself about how vindictive game journalists and their supporters really are when it comes to a simple matter of ethical journalism.
The situation involving the Covington students gets exacerbated further when you read the initial comments. People who should know better may as well have called for Nick Sandmann’s head. A lot of sites ran stories ahead of time and even managed to interview Philips.
Until stated otherwise, there is currently no evidence the boys chanted anything close to what Philips claimed. It’s true they may have been a tad over the top in response to him but that can be boiled down to them reacting to him banging a drum in Sandmann’s face. A situation we can all agree would leave you either wanting a way out or having to grin and bear it. It should also be noted that Nathan Phillips marched into the group of his own volition and went as close to Sandmann as possible it seems.
Of course, Sandmann was not the first target for an unrestrained mob egged on by Twitter check marks and an unforgiving media. Michael Hodge bore the brunt of it initially with a series of tweets being released indicating an attempt to damage his culinary future before it had a chance to start.
No matter how you cut it or view Trump. Loathe or love the President, his ascendancy to that position is born from this same mentality that caused Clinton to lose. Assume the opposition is deplorable and you will never get them back. No amount of blaming your Russian bogeymen will change the result. That same logic applies to Brexit. It’s convenient to focus your ire on Russia because it ignores introspection and a chance to grow.
There have been a few retractions now that the two-hour clip is readily available but many can’t see past the Maga hat. The hat itself is harmless, but projecting hatred of a President onto a someone else is as damning as it gets. When the ‘free’ press can’t be arsed to fact check and just eagerly watches as its audience pulls someone else apart it comes as no surprise when people use hashtags like #LearntoCode. It hurts to be given a taste of your own medicine. And truthfully tolerance means facing your opposition in good faith. And if these people truly opposed harassment this story would not be what it is today.
As the title says, context matters. Journalists need to learn quickly that their reporting can be seen as an incentive and as radical activism is on the rise, this can lead to even more division as eggshells finally break underfoot.
Nick is innocent, he has committed no crime and didn’t deserve to endure slander by the mainstream press.
Now in regards to the other group present. Who I have neglected to mention so far, has managed to dodge all criticism. The Black Israelites are arguably one of the most hateful groups I’ve seen in recent memory, whether it is being homophobic to a couple of school students or chastising the traditions of native Americans. Not one publication criticised them. Instead, you see a MAGA hat and white man. And in the minds of many on the left side of the political spectrum. That truly is the original sin. The lesson to take away here is to treat others as you would like to be treated. It’s not rocket science.
The lesson to take away here is to treat others as you would like to be treated. It’s not rocket science.
(Note: the footage appears to show the boys defending homosexuality. Ironic considering how much the media has doubled on them being the bigots in all this)