Opinion

The defense of those Covington Catholic boys does not pass the smell test

Over the weekend, a small group of Indigenous people marched in DC toward the Lincoln Memorial. On the way there, a group of high school kids stood waiting for a bus. The kids most likely did not know about the march, and were engaged in an argument with a group of Hebrew Israelites, and the small group of Native Americans walked between the escalating conflict to try to peacefully deescalate the situation.

I don’t know what the Hebrew Israelites did to the white kids in MAGA hats, but frankly, it’s not relevant to how the white kids treated the Native Americans. And drawing that connection a) means you assume anyone not white is the same, which is literally how white supremacy works and b) means that any shitty behavior is acceptable with verbal provocation.

Mostly, I’m concerned about the defense of the Covington Catholic boys. Not a single one passes the smell test, and yet we’re still acting like there are “two sides” to this atrocious situation.

There are complaints that the boys were discriminated against for wearing MAGA hats. Frankly, MAGA hats are threatening. If you support Trump, you support incompetent policies, transgender military bans, shutting down the government for a month instead of making a deal, grabbing women by the pussy, and refusing to aid asylum seekers. Yes, that hat is offensive. It is the 21st century answer to the KKK hood. Would you credit someone for complaining about discrimination just because they wore a swastika?

The PR firm insisted the main boy was “silently praying.” YOU GUYS. Have you never, in your life, worked with teenagers? Spoken to teenagers? MET a teenager? That smirk is beyond disrespectful. Would you look at your mother like that? And not expect to get backhanded for it? COME ON. That defense drives me crazy. It is horse shit.

The boys were dancing and celebrated because they were “hyped up” that they drowned out the insults from the Hebrew Israelites? Oh. My. God. “The Black Muslims made me do it” is the Trump era version of “the dog ate my homework.” Get out of here with that nonsense.

I was a substitute teacher for a year and a half, and if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that engaging with teenagers when they do something disrespectful and refuse to take responsibility means you’ve already lost.

I had a student tell me to just sit down and relax because nobody was listening to me anyway, and when I called the office to ask them to escort him out (he refused to leave the class), he explained he was doing me a favor by simply giving me advice. I’ve had students insist they did nothing wrong when I literally caught them making phone calls or eating or doing all manner of things they know for a fact they are not supposed to do. Because that’s what students like this do. They act however they want to act and then pretend they’re doing you a favor. They walk around like big man on campus all the way up until they get in trouble, and then they play the “I’m just a kid” card. When you engage in the argument with a kid who does something egregious and tries to act like he didn’t do anything wrong, you lose. Full stop.

I will say it’s somewhat validating to watch an entire nation fall for the same garbage I did when I first started subbing. But mostly I’m frustrated. Are we apologizing to these little shitstains? Really? “I was silently praying”? “It was the Black Muslims’ fault”? “We were hyped because we overcame taunts”? Get the fuck out of town.

I went to an all-girls Catholic school. I can confidently say that if any student from my conservative, Bush-supporting, abortion-hating educational institution caught us acting like that publicly, we would have been expelled immediately. And there would have been absolutely no further conversation on the subject.

As it should be.

Featured image via screen grab

 

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