In rush to vilify kids, many lost all sense of objectivity



January 23, 2019 - 10:34 AM

During the Indigenous Peoples March on Saturday, in Washington DC, a Native American elder, Nate Phillips, a member of the Omaha Nation and a Vietnam Vet, was confronted by a group of teens from Covington Catholic High School., a private, all-male high school in Park Hills, Kentucky. This photo of Phillips was taken in 2017. Michael Nigro/Sipa USA/TNS

It’s worth thinking about the rush to harshly condemn a Kentucky high school student on the basis of some cellphone images and his red MAGA hat.

The episode, which has produced threats of violence, is both a sign — and a cause — of our country’s powder keg of political division.

Even the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, which exists to protect the Bill of Rights, quickly tweeted out its disapproval. The ACLU assumed the students from Covington Catholic High School had committed “racial intimidation.” Yet, as the ACLU well knows, displaying political slogans (including those of our noxious president) and “taunting” are forms of expression protected by the First Amendment (if, indeed, taunting occurred).

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