A Different Perspective

On this Martin Luther King Day, we sometimes need to look beyond skin color, ideology, and sound bites to remember that Dr. King advised us to not judge by the color of skin, but the content of character.

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5 Responses to A Different Perspective

  1. RL CRABB says:

    It’s been an interesting morning on my Facebook page. So far, I’ve been chastised from every direction for trying to put some context into the conversation. When you look at the longer video, the small group of African Americans (part of a group of Hebrew nationalist fanatics who call themselves “Hoteps”) are intent upon offending anyone who comes within hearing distance. They begin going after the Native Americans for their religious beliefs and culture. When the Native Americans walk away, they turn their attention to a black man who tries to reason with them, calling him “nigger” and accusing him of complicity with slavery. Then they go after the group of Catholic boys who are watching from a distance. (And here’s where things start to go sideways.) Instead of moving their group out of the way, the adults allow the boys to begin mocking the Hoteps to drown out their insults. Enter Nathan Phillips, who attempts to put himself between the two groups before it turns violent.
    Now at this point, some accused Phillips of “protecting” the Hoteps, but from my viewing of the video it looks more like he was trying to diffuse the situation. As he waded into the group of Catholic boys, they either begin to chant with him or chant to mock him. (Maybe some of both?) His advance stops when he is blocked by one of the students.
    That’s where we come to the shot that was posted en masse over the internet. The kid looks defiant, even though he claims he was not. The adults eventually separate the factions, but the damage is done.
    The left wants retribution, in the form of written apologies and sensitivity training for the boys. I think they have already been taught a lesson. Some will regret their behavior, but for some it will harden their negative opinions on race and media bias.
    With every incident, the divide grows wider and deeper.

  2. Chris Peterson says:

    As an independent with progressive values, whose stance was once seen as middle of the road but is now considered far left, yet not yet radical, I was initially enraged by the smirking face of a MAGA wearing youth. Then I saw the elongated video and it changed my perspective.
    The black Hebrews were confrontational, but not violent, so they were within their rights to be there. And the Native Americans have every right to go wherever they please, as far as I’m concerned. Even the school kids, though they may have been there for a movement I don’t support, were nonetheless expressing a point of view, albeit more that of their parents and counselors, that is accepted and argued by a large segment of our population.
    So, what we had was three groups acting out their particular opinions in a public park which did not result in any physical harm to anyone. Sounds pretty normal to me. Perhaps disagreement, in any form, has become taboo on the net, but I didn’t see anything resembling the downfall of western civilization.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Oh, and I would change “what the left wants” to “what SOME on the left want”, just to be a bit less polarizing. One f the few things I’ve learned about politics is that it’s far more difficult to group the left into one mindset than it is the right. One of the most ironic things about our political parties is that the one that always preaches individual freedom is far less diverse in both body and mind. Group-think is much more a trait of the right.

  3. Steven Frisch says:

    Funny, I see it as a potentially valuable teachable moment for the youngsters. I have no doubt from looking at the longer video that some of the chanting was mocking, and I hold the adults responsible for allowing them to put themselves in that position, but I would not want to see any really serious ‘retribution’. This is an opportunity for a lesson in tolerance and acceptance and an opportunity for the kids to be exposed to a deeper understanding of indigenous people’s culture.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      “an opportunity for the kids to be exposed to a deeper understanding of indigenous people‚Äôs culture.”

      Really? Because the only act of physical confrontation that I’ve seen in any of the videos was Philips walking directly into a crowd of high school kids beating his drum at eye level. My wife, who is half Native American, has just such a drum hanging on a wall in our house and I guarantee you that if I walked up and started beating on it in your face, you wouldn’t show near the restraint that boy did.
      “Potentially valuable”? Philips is lucky he didn’t inadvertently set race relations back another 50 years.

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