So now that the full video of the incident between kids at Covington Catholic High School and a Native American activist named Nathan Phillips has come out, the left is now desperate to keep alive the narrative of evil, racist MAGA hat-wearing teens surround a poor person of color.
The fact that Phillips initiated the confrontation doesn’t seem to matter to some people, nor does the fact that the angry, racist Black Hebrew Israelites harassed the kids beforehand.
Take this representative tweet from lawyer and social media figure Max Kennerly: “Phillips did not ‘march straight into the middle of the group of young people,’ and the boys did not ‘tentatively join in his chanting,'” he wrote. “Dozens of boys were taunting five Black Hebrew Israelites, Phillips walked in between, and the students enveloped him.”
If that’s your takeaway from the full video, one might reasonably assume you had some preconceptions coming into watching it and/or a narrative you were insistent on preserving. This is what economists call path dependence: Once you’ve started down the road of blaming the Covington Catholic kids, you’re pretty much stuck with desperate gambits like acting sympathetic toward the poor Black Hebrew Israelites, who called the students “a bunch of incest babies,” among other horrible names.
Of course, if this seems a bit of a stretch to you, you don’t even have to focus on what happened at the March for Life rally itself or even on the kids involved. Instead, you can insist that the entirety of Covington Catholic High School is a hive of white nationalism and that this confrontation was the natural result of that.
There’s a pattern. pic.twitter.com/d4Brd756cS
— Chris Crackers (@crackers_chris) January 21, 2019
This is apparently the Covington Catholic basketball team engaging in that “white power” hand gesture that secretly (but not secretly) informs everyone that you’re a racist.
Except there’s a little problem, beyond the fact this “hand signal” was a 4chan prank that doesn’t really exist in the real world: The hand gesture is also the symbol for making a three-pointer in basketball. If you don’t believe me, then believe some very, very unlikely white nationalists who also used that same secret symbol:
I agree, just like some of my favorite ball players. pic.twitter.com/hgjnmeW3aD
— Don’t Tax Me ن ✡️🎗🇵🇷🇺🇸✊🏾 (@AgustinAlvira) January 22, 2019
James Harden and Steph Curry, clearly regular readers of VDARE.
But it’s not just the basketball team that’s a secret hive of alt-rightism. Oh, no. Their fans are apparently not-secret secret racists as well:
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) January 21, 2019
That looks pretty bad unless — and I suggest doing this before you publish a story — you do a bit of research on it:
The fake news with this story continues apace. This is a blackout game you idiots. https://t.co/R0zbAMAhl4
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) January 21, 2019
The “blackout game” trend began about a decade ago, according to The New York Times.
“For sports fans, black is the new white,” John Branch wrote in 2008.
“In the past few weeks, several teams have promoted ‘blackouts,’ urging fans to dress a bit like Johnny Cash in an attempt to create an intimidating atmosphere, build camaraderie and, basically, look cool for television viewers.”
Did the fact that everyone else in the crowd was dressed in black not perhaps tip off the writer at the New York Daily News that maybe this wasn’t what they thought this was?
In the end, this is path dependence at its finest. If you have to keep insisting that these students were racist, you need to build a case — and that case doesn’t need to involve these students, but any students from Covington Catholic. In the name of narrative preservation, they’re willing to accuse anyone and everyone from the school of being a bigot, creating hatred where none exists.
The thing is that this affects real people, innocent students who had nothing to do with the incident. Their reputation is a small price to pay for individuals who refuse to admit that maybe they got this wrong. They’re not only willing to hit rock bottom, they want to get there as fast as possible.
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