MAGA hats, Native Americans, peace and confronting evil.
Today is a day that the United States sets aside to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. He said these words …
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
This weekend, a video of boys in MAGA hats, smirking and mocking and yelling at Native American Nathan Phillips as he sang a song, erupted. People were angry. In less than a day, people began apologizing to the abusive boys and their chaperones,
Here’s a couple of things to know about the event, before the truth gets lost in the miasma of delusion that so many people in our country participate.
The Indigenous People’s March endpoint was a park near the Lincoln Memorial. Nathan Philips participated in it, along with the other people there. Some Black Israelites spent their time doing as many people who’d been to events in Washington D.C. had seen, yelling about their faith, spreading the message of their faith. Part of that involved them abusing and shouting at Native Americans, including telling indigenous people they lost their lands for worshipping totem poles instead of Yahweh. The Native peoples there endured this abuse.
There were a few hundred kids in ‘Make America Great Again’ hats and paraphernalia also at the Lincoln Memorial. What those hate symbols have to do with a pro-life “March for Life” is beyond me. Their school has an all-white faculty, and only has one minority student in a given year, typically. A few years ago (2013), their students made news locally for some students wearing black face and harassing basketball players from other schools from the sidelines. In December, one of their students was convicted of rape and put on a sexual predator list. For context, their school has 560 students. Those hats and gear are provocative, and the people who wear them mean what they mean. And the purpose of these children wearing hate symbols was a march that calls itself pro-life, but is in reality anti-women, an exercise of power of men and their enablers seeking to reduce the rights and status of women.
Let no one forget why the boys of Covington Catholic High School were there.
The school issued an apology pretty quickly, which implies they know their students. And the mother of one of the students, the young man smirking at a Nathan Philips as his friends whoop, do the tomahawk chop, his mother tweeted the attached photo yesterday. Julie Sandman is the mother of the smirking boy in the video so many people have seen of Nathan Phillips singing. She deleted her twitter account, but luckily there’s a screenshot. That’s how she feels about Native Americans. Or, and this is worse, this is the state of our culture, that someone made a fake account and tweeted this out. Why?
The song Nathan Philips sang is a lament, for his family killed on American soil, for the future, and more. He sang a song. That some people see an old man, a warrior who took up the rituals of peace of his people 23 years ago, that they see his singing as a threat, an act of violence, says something troubling.
Nathan Phillips saw evil, he saw a dark future, he saw this strange argument between 4 Black Israelites who’d been abusing Native Americans earlier and a hundred or so children and adults wearing MAGA hats. He sang his song to confront it, this weird argument between a handful of Black Israelites and a hundred Catholic boys and men, who underneath it all may have been arguing about their belief in the same God.
Nathan Phillips walked into all of that, with his colleagues, to sing, and they did, steady, to the beat of their convictions in peace.
There’s no apology coming from the boys of Covington Catholic or their parents. Like the President they admire, the lesson they’ve learned over the last two years is that the best course in these situations is to lie, and deny, and offer press releases, and blame people of color for their own bad behavior and choices.
The truth matters, and on a day like today, I hope people can lift the veil and see the world as it is.