Up & Coming Weekly

February 05, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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6 UCW FEBRUARY 6-12, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM God, save us from ourselves by KARL MERRITT OPINION ere is concern in America that our security is threatened by terrorists, Russia, Iran, China, North Korea and other forces. It occurs to me that these forces we view as enemies need not make any effort to destroy us. at is because we are destroying our- selves. If our enemies will be patient, we will reduce our national condition to one of being incapable of defending against the physical and economic ag- gression of others. is is because we have become a nation in darkness and consumed by hate. From www.biblestudytools.com, "If light symbol- izes God, darkness connotes everything that is anti- God." Combine our general state of darkness with the overwhelming hate that pervades our society, and the truth of the paragraph above is apparent. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." Given that we are in great darkness, with little or no light in sight, and consumed by hate, with so- cietal love only a figment of our imagination, our future is bleak. is American condition of darkness and hate was openly on display in the events of Jan. 18 after the March for Life in Washington, D.C. A group of students from the all-male Covington Catholic High School in Frankfort, Kentucky, attended the march. Afterward, the students, some wearing bright red "Make America Great Again" baseball caps, gathered near the Lincoln Memorial to wait for their bus. ere was interaction between these students and a small group of Native Americans who were singing in the area. What proved to be a highly edited video of this interaction appeared to show the students chanting and mocking the Native Americans. is was especially true of one student, later identified as Nick Sandmann, who is shown in the video standing mo- tionless and face-to-face with Nathan Phillips, a Na- tive American who was beating a drum and singing. In several interviews, Phillips repeated the follow- ing, which appears in an article by Chris Francescani and Bill Hutchinson titled "Viral video of Catholic school teens in 'MAGA' caps taunting Native Ameri- cans draws widespread condemnation; prompts a school investigation." e article states, "In an interview following the confrontation on Friday that was posted to Insta- gram, Phillips said he wished the throng of teens would put their energy into helping feed the poor." Phillips added, "I heard them say, 'Build that wall, build that wall,' you know?" e article continues, "In a separate interview with e Washington Post, Phillips said that the dozens of teens began to swarm around his group as they con- cluded their march and were getting ready to leave. "'It was getting ugly,' he told the newspaper. "'I started going that way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn't allow me to retreat.'" Across the nation, the video and Phillips' in- terviews inspired outrage because many viewers concluded that the students were tremendously disrespectful to Phillips and his group. Here are some comments reported in the Frances- cani and Hutchinson article referenced above: "'is Veteran put his life on the line for our coun- try. e students' display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration,' Rep. Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico, who is part Native Ameri- can, tweeted Saturday. 'Heartbreaking.'" "en, in a blistering statement posted to her veri- fied Facebook account shortly after 3 p.m. Satur- day, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes called the viral videos 'horrific.' 'In spite of these horrific scenes, I refuse to shame and solely blame these children for this type of behav- ior. Instead, I turn to the adults and administration that are charged with teaching them, and to those who are silently letting others promote this behavior.'" Further, from an article by Shaan Joshi titled "Pat- ton Oswalt, Ava DuVernay, Kathy Griffin, and Other Celebs React to Teens in MAGA Hats," come the following tweets: "Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt: 'I liked intimidating elderly Native Americans. I STILL like intimidating elderly Native Americans.' — this kid, at his confirmation hearing, before being appointed to the Supreme Court." "Comedian Kathy Griffin was similarly outraged by the disrespectful teenagers, and she condemned 'MAGA' hats on Twitter. 'MAGA hats. Donald Trump has brought the worst out in our country,' Griffin wrote." e comments above were mild compared to some others. e following is from an article by Jon Levine titled "National Review Pulls Article Saying Covington Students 'Might as Well Have Just Spit on the Cross'": "e National Review pulled down an article on Sunday attacking the students at Covington Catholic High School, which said their behavior toward Na- tive American elder Nathan Phillips was comparable to spitting on the cross. "ey mock a serious, frail-looking older man and gloat in their momentary role as Roman soldiers to his Christ. 'Bullying is a worn-out word and doesn't con- vey the full extent of the evil on display here,' National Review Deputy Managing Editor Nicholas Frankovich said in the original piece. 'As for the putatively Catho- lic students from Covington, they might as well have just spit on the cross and got it over with.'" Jon Levine reported the following regarding Erik Abriss in an article titled "Vulture Writer Who Wished Death on Covington Students Fired from Job at INE Entertainment." "Abriss wrote: 'I don't know what it says about me, but I've truly lost the ability to articulate the hysterical rage, nausea, and heartache this makes me feel. I just want these people to die. Simple as that. Every single one of them. And their parents.'" en there is this joint statement from the school and Covington Diocese as quoted in an article by Max Londberg titled "'Blatant racism': Ky. high school apologizes following backlash after video shows students surrounding indig- enous marchers": "We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C. We extend our deepest apolo- gies to Mr. Phillips. is behavior is opposed to the Church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person," the statement read. What is presented to this point hardly scratches the surface in describing the condemnation that was heaped on this group of young boys. Beyond the con- demnation from others, their school and diocese im- mediately joined the chorus of condemnation. In the midst of these young lives being led to the slaughter, a video of longer length surfaced. It showed that a group called the Black Hebrew Israelites incessantly yelled racist, homophobic, bigoted epithets at the boys, call- ing them "children of incest," "crackers" and so forth. e longer video contradicts much of what Phil- lips reported. It shows that he approached the boys; they did not surround him. He made no effort to walk past Nick Sandmann, but stood face-to-face with him while beating a drum and singing. ere is no indica- tion that the students were chanting, "Build that wall." In view of this longer video, some people who had made harsh comments withdrew them; some even apologized. However, others continued the verbal assaults and threats to the point that Covington Catholic High School was, at the suggestion of law enforcement, closed Jan. 22. Students returned the next day with heavy police presence. At best, Nathan Phillips lied. While the behav- ior of the Black Hebrew Israelites was abhorrent, hardly any outrage is directed toward Phillips or the Black Hebrew Israelites. However, these young boys, who clearly did nothing deserving of condem- nation, are condemned, threatened and vilified. I agree with those who say these students are the recipients of this horrible treatment because they are white, male, Catholic and because they appear to be Trump supporters. What is described here is the result of our being in darkness and consumed by hate. Russia, China and all who would destroy us, just be patient. However, maybe — because of his mercy — God will save us from ourselves. ere are two videos depicting events that took place Jan. 18. One is highly edited. e unedited version did not surface until later. KARL MERRITT, Columnist. COM- MENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200.

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