This post contains my conclusion regarding the highly publicized encounter between Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, and a group of Covington High School students at the Lincoln Memorial a week or so ago.
The incident has the same format, in my opinion, as the trial of the football star and actor O.J. Simpson, for murder of his wife and her lover in 1994. At that trial, the evidence of Simpson’s guilt was overwhelming; the arresting officer, however, was shown by the defense attorneys to be a racist, and Simpson was adjudged innocent by the jury.
Of course, whether or not the arresting officer was a racist, Simpson was indeed guilty of murder.
Here, in the Covington Affair, there was what might well be called an assault by Nathan Phillips of a group of high school kids. Mr Phillips was — to be charitable — untruthful about the circumstances and upshot of his confrontation with the teenagers, and he immediately won the sympathy of the press and the chattering classes for his action. Since he was untruthful, however, the subsequent videotape evidence produced an outpouring of condemnation of the distortion of the incident by the mainstream news media.
The subsequent response by left-leaning sources has demonstrated a good bit of sexist and racist behavior by Covington High School students. But, just as in the O.J. Simpson trial, the fact of the racism of one party in an affair does not negate the fact of the egregious behavior of the other. Despite Mr Phillips statements, the students did not “surround” Mr Phillips and they never “threatened” him. They did not understand his confrontation of them, and his behavior was, arguably, tending to incite them.
I can grant the sexism and racism of the students, but I reserve blame and condemnation for the incident on Nathan Phillips.