Monday, January 21, 2019

Taunting the taunters; or is intimidation really the all-American way of life?

By now, I’m sure everyone inclined to care (and probably even many who don’t care) have seen the photo of that smug teenager feeling compelled to taunt an American Indian activist who was partaking in a march to celebrate his culture.
Will this boy's image from Saturday become as well-known … 
The event was the Indigenous Peoples’ March that took place in Washington, D.C., and we’ve now seen the group of protesters from Catholic schools who felt compelled to have their anti-abortion protest at the same time and place.

WHICH RESULTED IN the confrontation that included students getting in the faces of those people wishing to celebrate their American Indian cultures. There even are the pictures of teens doing that silly Atlanta Braves-like gesture with the tomahawk – as though they are clubbing the activists and mocking their culture as well.

But the image that most will stick in the public mindset will be that of the kid wearing one of those Donald Trump-style red caps with his “Make America Great Again” slogan. Even though the way we’d really make this country great again would be to have the indigenous activists put a boot or two up the behind of every single one of these snot-nosed brats.

What bothers me the most is the fact that these kids claimed they were expressing themselves (which they have a right to do in our society) as some sort of religious gesture.

The Catholic school these kids attend, to their credit, has already denounced their conduct and hinted they could face some sort of official discipline for their garish behavior.
… as that of this teenage girl from mid-1950s Little Rock, Ark.?
BUT I SUSPECT these kids are going to grow up into adults who, on some level, will take great pride in the fact that they acted like a batch of twits. Perhaps on some level like all those Southern whites of some 60 years ago who protested against all those black Civil Rights activists.

Who may well have held their greatest contempt for those white people who sided with the blacks in their desire for equal treatment!

As much as many of us would like to think this Age of Trump is just a silly fad that will die off once the man is removed (one way or another) from the presidency, these kids are likely to grow into adulthood carrying on such attitudes.
Intimidation was the intent, both now and back then
They may well try to pass them along to future generations. They certainly are going to resent anybody who tries to remember them as behaving like a batch of brats this past weekend.

IT WAS TRULY an embarrassing sight for us to have to see such tacky behavior in public. Even though we’re officially going to regard it as such, there also will be many who will want to defend it.

As though they think they have a right to harass and intimidate those in our society who aren’t exactly like themselves.

So yes, I can comprehend that when it comes to racial and ethnic relations, things are better now than they were a half-century or so ago because we no longer have the letter of the law reinforcing the attitudes of the more ignorant amongst us.
Does this man who protested in Boston against school busing think using the flag as a weapon makes him a "real" American?
But there are those individuals determined to cling to the past, and take it on as some sort of crusade to restore the narrow-minded ideals of the past. Which may well be the most contemptable aspect of the Age of Trump – his existence gives those people aid and comfort to support their ignorance.

PARTICULARLY SINCE THE kids in question come from a Catholic school in Kentucky – meaning these kids made a special trip to the national capital and felt compelled to express their xenophobic hang-ups.

I guess they’ve never heard that old cliché about remaining silent and be thought of as a fool, rather than speaking out and removing all doubt. Then again, they probably think Mark Twain was just a guy who wrote a boring book they’re forced to read in English classes.

Which also makes me suspect they’re going to be inclined to think of Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday commemorations as something that brings them mixed feelings.

They get an extra day out of school, but they’re not about to do anything meaningful to acknowledge their day off!


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