Don't let the obvious racism mask other important factors about how Covington Catholic School teaches its students.
Covington Catholic School itself apparently wants to focus on the racism aspect of the story, and on its very proud history of racism, in the best tradition of the "segregation academies" which sprang up in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. Jerry Falwell made his first millions starting and operating segregation academies which made specific promises to white parents:
- Your children will not be put in the same schools as black children;
- Your children will not be taught, or permitted, to develop critical thinking skills;
- Your children will be taught obedience and submission.
But there are a few aspects of this story that have been shaded by the focus on the overt racism. First, we should remember the chronology of the Covington School trip to Washington, and the subsequent confrontations. Note, confrontationS, not confrontation. The students were bused to Washington from Kentucky to participate in an event denouncing women's equality and right to health care. Nominally, the trip was to promote the Covington School's official position of opposition to women's equality.
This has been the Covington School's official position since it was founded in 1925. The Covington School only educates boys, since males are the only part of the human race worthy of education in the medieval dogma of the School. As part of its Catholic "educational" mission, the School sends its students off to proselytize against women, hence the busing of students from Kentucky to Washington D.C. to march with others calling for Federal legislation to criminalize women's independent health care decisions.
Covington School students are taught that the Donald's overt racism is a proper approach to modern life. But their hats signal support for more than just racism.
But the Covington School does not only bus its boys around to denounce equality for women. The students were provided with red "MAGA" hats to show their support for the Donald and his partisan policies. It doesn't matter to Covington School that until 2015 the Donald supported women's right to make their own health care decisions.
Covington School students are taught that the Donald's overt racism is a proper approach to modern life. But their hats signal support for more than just racism. They support making America grate again by tossing government workers out of jobs. And by forcing some workers to continue their labors as unpaid slaves. And by lying about Moslems, and about science.
Covington Catholic School agrees with, and actively promotes, the Donald's policies of forcing unpaid labor by "essential workers." The school uses their own students as pawns in their business / political efforts. Busing students hundreds of miles to participate in overtly political demonstrations isn't exactly educational. Particularly when the activity is grounded on explicit rejection of science and logic.
Notice that Covington Catholic School has never bused students to Washington to support immigration reform, or any of the other biblical crap that Jesus guy preached about. Back before ObamaCare, when we had a real, serious medical care crisis in the nation, Covington Christian School never bused students to Washington to lobby for any Sermon on the Mount sort of reforms or programs.
But a march to oppose women's rights to control medical care decisions, or to support a rich man's right to "grab 'em by the pussy" was right in line with Covington Catholic School's religious beliefs.
With those things in mind, let us acknowledge that the initial video of Nick Sandmann confronting an elderly Native American did not tell the entire story, and thus did not disclose some important aspects of the Covington Catholic School religious educational message. As more videos of the episode have been publicly posted, we see more clearly what the situation was.
The students say they were under assault by a gang of "Black Hebrew Israelites." The group is a well-established fringe religious movement, frequently engaged in street preaching around Washington D.C. Their preaching is frequently profane, but is not known for violence. The "gang" that assaulted the Covington Catholic School students numbered FOUR. There were a couple of others, filming the preaching, as the group does, for posting on Youtube.
The Covington Catholic School students being "assaulted" numbered about 50. They were gathering at the Lincoln Memorial to get reloaded onto their school busses for the ride back to Kentucky, where the school is located. Yes, 50 active, healthy young men under deadly "assault" by 4 street preachers holding scriptures and religious signs.“”
Additionally, the four Black Hebrew Israelite preachers were on the sidewalk, below the Covington Catholic School students standing on the steps leading up to the Lincoln Memorial. The Native American marchers were also down on the sidewalk level, below the students. Until the students descended the steps for the purpose of blocking the way where the elderly Native American was walking, they were above the street preachers and Native Americans.
Once their behavior became a public issue, Covington Catholic School hired PR pros, and enlisted students' parents into the task of defending the indefensible. Part of the process was sending Nick Sandmann out to do TV denials of what multiple videos showed. This gave us further insight into Covington Catholic School's teaching message.
While pretending to be some form of "christian" institution, Covington Catholic School had no problem with its students ignoring the Commandment against bearing false witness.
One of Nick Sandmann's most telling statements was that his group of 50 or so was being verbally assaulted by four scripture wielding black thugs, and that this verbal assault by four black men justified his physical assault on an elderly Native American man (who was also being verbally assaulted by the Black Hebrew Israelites). This is an American tradition. When feeling threatened by someone perceived to be stronger than one's self, find someone weaker to vent your frustration and fear on. Women are always a first choice in such situations.
But the Covington Catholic School students had already spent a day marching against women. That was the nominal purpose of their entire trip. After hours of that, someone elderly must have seemed a better target, especially someone elderly who was also Native America (nearly as worthy a target as a woman), and who's hands were full.
So to recap, Covington Catholic School bussed its students hundreds of miles to participate in a for-profit political march against women's rights. The students were provided with hats to proclaim the school's alignment with and support of the broader policies of the Donald. When a large group of students, on the Lincoln Monument steps was met by a group of four scripture carrying black men, on the sidewalk below the student group, the students, by their own account, consulted with school faculty and decided to respond to the four preachers by confronting an elderly Native American instead, blocking his walk toward the Monument and mocking his singing. Finally, when the internet erupted, the Covington Catholic School and student parents facilitated lying about the episode.
These are the "christian" values we are asked to honor and to underwrite with out tax dollars. There is the unanswered question about whether Covington Catholic School collects tax dollars for its "teaching" and political activities.
Another question that should also be asked is, how much of the students' frustration and aggressive behavior on display expressed a need to rebel against their parents' decisions to consign them to being locked up with Catholic priests, even as the outside world is confronting extensive revelations about how Catholic priests have dealt, sexually, with children consigned to their care? Which of these students, doing the political bidding of their school, faculty and priests was, or might have been trying to, call for greater attention to the school, and for help for its inmates?