Ordinary World for Monday 21 January

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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78 Responses

  1. Avatar pink says:

    OW4 – How welcome were the secular pro-lifers at the Women’s Rally? I remember that last year, pro-life women’s groups were blocked from participation. And if anything the events seem to be getting more explicitly ideologically left-wing (although as an outsider I could be wrong).Report

  2. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    [OW5] I’m skeptical of this take. High-cost of housing may encourage building new housing in more environmentally sensitive areas on the periphery, but that’s not going to be “low-income” housing. A national media of Ivy League graduates is not going to have a good feel for what is “low-income.”

    The support appears to be a link to Houston flooding, which appears to be a form of Rorschach test as to where the floods hit. In New Orleans, the pattern was pretty clear; the oldest areas were built in the highest areas near the river, while the newest areas were once swamps.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    OW3: I don’t think this is true yet and it is kind of an bad-faith coy bullshit to claim that a MAGA hat is anything but a symbol for hatred and xenophobia especially in light of the shutdown. The confrontation looks like it was started by a bunch of “Black Israelites.” This is a fringe group that I have no love for. But the statement from the teen’s mom was not great. From what I’ve read online, Covington Catholic is nearly all-white for its student body, the faculty is all-white or nearly so, and there are problems with putting women in leadership positions. I’ve read accounts of the few minority students at Covington being bullied so much that they leave the school.

    Where were the chaperons? Where were the parents? At the very least, this essay represents why it is so hard for Democrats and liberals to form an alliance with Libertarians. There is a knee-jerk contrarianism that libertarians can never seem to ignore. Knee-jerk contrarianism is their siren song and raison d’etre. There is the smug “I don’t like Trump but I hate Democrats and Liberals more so I will defend MAGA hats, suck that libtards” aspect. Plus the overall tendency of assuming white teenagers (especially white teenage males) were just being jerks who will grow out of it organically. This is a presumption given to known others.

    These kids did not learn their attitudes in a vacuum. They grew up in highly conservative households and were purposefully sent to highly traditionalist schools. These schools have documented histories of being exclusionary and cruel on the few minorities/outsiders admitted. But there are lots of middle-aged white guys in power positions that are always willing to overlook or downplay the worst aspects of white, male teenage behavior.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      so, uh, what exact atittudes did the kids show in that video? And what would you have expected them to do? (Keep in mind that we see in the discourse–and you support–the idea that “standing there and smiling without reacting” is an act of racist harassment.)Report

      • Avatar bookdragon in reply to DensityDuck says:

        If it were a group of black teens in gang colors were standing in exactly the same way around a white Vietnam Vet who was praying aloud, how do you think the media would characterize it?

        For someone who isn’t a white conservative male, being surrounded by a gang of white teens in MAGA threads can in fact feel the same way. Especially when one of them is standing inches from you with that *smirk* we all saw on the face of the ‘poor misunderstood yut’.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to bookdragon says:

          “If it were a group of black teens in gang colors were standing in exactly the same way around a white Vietnam Vet who was praying aloud, how do you think the media would characterize it?”

          Welp, did the Vietnam Vet run into the middle of a group of uninvolved youths and start haranguing them? Because, y’know, when you cut out the beginning part of that story it kinda changes the way we’re supposed to feel. Sorta flips the script from Trayvon Martin to George Zimmerman.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to bookdragon says:

          I suspect this was partly because these kids didn’t realize they might be witnessing prayer. Prayer doesn’t involve song and drumming for them – so they responded in a way consistent with how they know to get into song and drumming.

          They were also acting like schmucks.

          Intent is also not magic – your acts can be racist without your intending to be racist.

          “For someone who isn’t a white conservative male, being surrounded by a gang of white teens in MAGA threads can in fact feel the same way.” Yes. Yes, this exactly!Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to bookdragon says:

          It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called.

          Report

          • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            All the other kids moved aside. This guy stood there with that *smirk*. No one is going to arrest him for it, but don’t try to tell me he’s a sweet little angel. His face and actions say otherwise.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to bookdragon says:

              Yes, how dare he practice non-violence when someone gets all up in his grill, and that smirk, oh how it burns! All this on MLK day no less!Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to bookdragon says:

              oh hey, so even right here in this comments section we’ve gone from “surrounded by a gang in MAGA threads” to one guy standing there with a funny expression on his face

              don’t call it a backpedal thoReport

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to bookdragon says:

              I can’t testify that he’s a sweet little angel, but there’s zero evidence in any of the numerous videos of the encounter that he did anything wrong. By his own admission, Nathan Phillips approached the crowd specifically for the purpose of confronting the students. They weren’t blocking his way, because he wasn’t trying to get through.

              I don’t know how old you are, but I’m pretty sure you’re too way old to be this deeply emotionally invested in hating a 17-year-old.Report

          • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            Mark Charles proposed ‘Truth Commission’

            I actually expected the guy at the protest to be Mark. It’s like you can’t even make this stuff up.

            1st Nation has officially been infiltrated.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to DensityDuck says:

        I read that people were yelling “build the wall” and doing tomahawk chops. If so, those would be things that should raise a few eyebrows.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to greginak says:

          There were a bunch of people filming, but nobody has been able to produce evidence of this. There’s a 2-hour video capturing the entire encounter (which lasted only a few minutes), and to the best of my knowledge, no one has been able to find evidence of this. I watched the relevant portion and couldn’t hear anyone yelling “Build the wall.”

          The claims that they were shouting “Build the wall” are all attributed to Phillips. Of course, it’s utterly unthinkable that an activist would lie to advance The Narrative, but it’s possible that he was referring to somebody else shouting it, or that he simply misheard.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The confrontation looks like it was started by a bunch of “Black Israelites.” This is a fringe group that I have no love for.

      There goes the neighborhood.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

        I used to work on Capitol Hill (not in any remotely interesting capacity) and I can definitively say that there quite a few strange activist organizations that are part of the daily landscape. The Black Israelites are a prominent and aggressive one. They have a public access show that’s pretty wild too, but they’re hardly the only group like this. Lyndon LaRouche supporters were also pretty notorious during the time I was down there, as was the guy passing out flyers about chem trails and lizard people.

        I also remember from my Catholic school days the big push to send as many kids as they could to the March for Life. I’ve always considered using kids this way to be a major strike against the movement. Yes plenty of them are indeed Pro Life but quite a few also use it as a day to do something more interesting than sit in class. Seeing this new video, my hypothesis is that one of these groups of kids milling around on what is effectively a field trip crossed paths with the crazies and had no idea how to respond to it. Instead of hilarity ensuing we got outrage, as is the style of the times.Report

    • Avatar Iron Tum in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      “Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred,” – C.S. LewisReport

  4. Avatar InMD says:

    OW1 There’s a counter argument that a local sports commentator frequently makes that less official review is the answer to these controversies rather than more. I’m not 100% sure I buy it, but I do think that the reason the officiating is the story every Monday instead of the game is because of how much of a part of it official review has become. Knowing there’s always a ‘do over” option has definitely changed the way refs call the game. It also puts every call or non-call under a microscope in a manner that gives fans of the losing team and reporters tons ammunition for their sour grapes.

    Now I agree that the non-call in the NO/LAR game was a tough one to swallow. It looked pretty flagrant in real time. But I also think we’d be better off if we just accepted bad and missed calls as part of the game. The slow motion itself can be deceptive. No one is complaining about the reversed punt return turn over in the Pats/KC game because Brady threw a pick a couple plays later but that itself could be looked at as a weird second guessing of reality. The catch rule has become a joke due to the seemingly arbitrary way its reviewed during games.

    The blowback is a sign we’ve passed the point of diminishing returns.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to InMD says:

      The issue with the bad call is that this wasn’t some non-call of an occurrence 40 yards from the ball during a 28-3 blowout of a team that wasn’t going to make the playoffs. This was a goal-line play of a near-tie game at the freakin’ NFC championships. And we’re supposed to believe that no ref was looking near the ball during a pass play? Like, what the hell were they doing?

      And sure, “one bad call doesn’t lose a game”, but the thing is, it wasn’t just one bad call. Early on in the game there was a no-call of PI during a reception in the end zone, and maybe the ball was thrown a little high but it’s hard to jump when 200 pounds of angry dude is wrapped around your legs. Similar no-calls went through the whole game.

      Furthermore, let’s set aside the score/no-score issue, because this wasn’t just PI, it was a headshot, and it’s really hard to understand how the league can claim to take player safety seriously but still throw up its hands and say “lol iono, judgement call by the refs” when there’s four different camera angles in hi-def slo-mo of Robey-Coleman lowering his head and charging.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Like I said, I get why people are pissed about the particular (non) call but the article is going beyond that with the “why is the officiating so awful’ angle. I’m saying it’s because of the road we’ve gone down with instant replay and official review more generally. Every game has a handful of calls, missed calls, etc. that are sufficient for everyone to claim their team got screwed. That’s where this comes from.

        I don’t see the safety thing as related. It’s a dangerous game, and there’s no way to make it totally safe without fundamentally changing it. People take their chances for a shot at the money and glory. No that doesn’t mean we need to go back to how it was in the 70s or even the 90s but people need to stop pretending we can have it both ways.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to InMD says:

          If the NFL cared about player safety and health, Thursday night games would always follow a bye. It’s an easy change to make.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to InMD says:

          Welp

          People aren’t getting upset about terrible officiating because of the infinitesimal degrees of theoretical contact between jerseys and fingertips, they’re getting upset because of things where the call was obviously not correct and yet somehow there’s nothing that can be done. Like, that dude from the Saints won’t remember his wife’s name in a few years but somehow, somehow, SOME HOW there’s no way for the refs to say “you know what? We missed that one but we should have called it, so we will.”

          It’s not even as though the swirl and rush of gameplay stopped anyone having time to go over it. There were nearly three minutes of standing around goofing off while the Jumbotron played the hit over and over in full 4K glory.

          “It’s a dangerous game, and there’s no way to make it totally safe without fundamentally changing it.”

          This isn’t about “totally safe”, this is about dealing with intentional headshots.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to DensityDuck says:

            You’re conflating two separate issues. Regarding the play itself I don’t know what they’re supposed to do. They’ve already said they got it wrong. Is the remedy now that they give the game to the Saints? Any creation of a ‘man we blew that one’ rule would only lead to more controversies not fewer.

            Until we get robot refs calls are going to be blown and I don’t see any evidence that they’re getting it wrong now anymore than they have in the past. Unless we’re going to say every play is open for review or susceptible to challenge at any time (which would be a bad, bad idea) I don’t know what to tell you.

            Regarding safety it’s a collective bargaining issue. Players get fined and suspended for things not called on the field all the time and no doubt this will be reviewed for those purposes. If it’s really headhunting, then, well Sean Payton knows all about that.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to InMD says:

              “Regarding the play itself I don’t know what they’re supposed to do. ”

              I think we all understand that there’s not a meaningful restitution that can be made, and nobody is fucking asking for that so stop talking like we are.

              The question is, why do you keep playing it like this was some tiny minor meaningless bit of fluff that only came out in a microscopic review of the footage the morning after the game?

              Everyone in the stadium saw it happen EXCEPT THE REF. Even the guy who made the hit thought there’d be a penalty!

              “Unless we’re going to say every play is open for review or susceptible to challenge at any time”

              hey remember that part about how if you challenge a call that’s upheld you lose a timeout

              that would seem to be a pretty good check on attempts to fuck up the game by challenging everything

              it’s almost like people already thought about this issue and have a good solution to itReport

        • The thing is, the video review genie was released with the invention of instant replay. It took a while because the technology took a while to develop. When I was a kid we would watch that one low-def camera angle in slowish motion and not be able to see a damned thing, so the commentators could talk about how good the officiating was and how rare blown calls were. Then the tech improved. Now we have multiple angles in spectacularly high definition, with the ability to click from frame to frame. Taking away video review won’t change that. It will merely move the discussion to this blown call that could easily have been fixed except that they took away video review.

          What video review can’t fix is a penalty that wasn’t called but should have been. We still get the glorious hi-def super slo-mo replays, but there is nothing for it. The existence of video review in other contexts really has nothing to do with it.

          The league could in principle open penalty non-calls to review, but I totally understand why they don’t want to open that Pandora’s box.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to InMD says:

      It’s funny to see how people rode so hard for “the call was right, the Rams were the better team, deal with it” and then we got…what we got.Report

  5. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    [OW6] it’s sort of like how we can be aware of the large number of straight-out racists (and ‘alt-right adjacent persons’) who vote Republican but still keep in mind the movement’s larger goals of self-sufficiency and national security.Report

  6. Avatar Aaron David says:

    OW3-
    ““Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred,” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity”Report

  7. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    OW7: If you elect a corrupt criminal, you get lots of stories about criminality and corruption. If only there had been a way to prevent all of this.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Laura Wagner on Covington:

    https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/dont-doubt-what-you-saw-with-your-own-eyes-1831931203?rev=1548119535682

    “As for why so many people are willing to not trust their own eyes; why they’ll readily accept the MAGA teen’s shitty and unconvincing publicist-created explanation that he didn’t do anything wrong; why news organizations rolled back reporting based on little new evidence; and why so many people lashed themselves to the whipping post in the square and begged for forgiveness, the answer is, I think, simple: These people are willing to give the screaming mob of white teens the benefit of the doubt because it distinguishes them from the emotion-driven hordes. It’s something like virtue signaling, but instead of attempting to signal that they hold any type of moral or ethical principles, these people are attempting to show that they are willing to be chastened, and so are thoughtful. I can admit when I’m wrong, they say, so you can always trust me.

    It’s never good for the likes of Robby Soave or Bari Weiss or the cool priest or The Atlantic or CNN to be too vociferously on the same side as people on the left angrily yelling about how a bad thing is bad, not only because it’s not the done thing but because their brands rely on finding middle ground and pushing back against anyone who seems to care too much about something they don’t. (Somehow, of course, this always seems to land them on the side of the powerful and the privileged.) They need to be seen as reasonable and responsible and responsive, different from the frenzied masses. If that means siding with some shithead MAGA teens and saying that 2 + 2 = 5 in the face of every bit of evidence there is to be had, so be it.”Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Don’t doubt what you saw with your own eyes: a Native American protester got up in the face of a high school kid.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I don’t care about the incident itself. It’s an absurd thing for people to be arguing about on the internet, but that Deadspin article is a pretty good example of how to getting the truth out of our current media requires that you essentially assume the exact opposite of what they’re saying.

      The Soave article and most of the people walking back their original positions did so on the basis of a longer video. Maybe those interpretations of the longer video are BS. I don’t know. But to claim that they’re reacting to a “publicist-created explanation” is … well, it’s the exact opposite of what they’re saying. Wagner says right in the first paragraph that her interpretation of the video isn’t entirely about what’s in the video, but about compressing “the history of relations between the powerful and the powerless in America.” That’s not believing your own eyes. That’s interpreting what you’re seeing based on pre-conceived ideas. Which is fine. We should be critical about what we see, but it also makes Wagner’s article pretty meaningless. But I suppose that meaninglessness is the point. Its not meant to bring new reporting or offer insightful analysis. It’s really just ammunition to be deployed in the culture war.

      The other ironic thing is that, for an age when everyone claims to be concerned with power and privilege, no one seems to really understand how power and privilege work, that they run along multiple axes.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to j r says:

        Well it is Deadspin. They have a certain groove. They aren’t aiming for NPR or high minded.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to greginak says:

          I don’t think that excuse works anymore. To fully appreciate the current media ecosystem, you have to realize how much of the content that ends up in places like the NYTimes and the Washington Post starts out in places like Deadspin and Jezebel. And you have to appreciate how many of the journalists that end up at the big names in the supposedly-reputable media start out in the content mill blogs.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to j r says:

            Disagree. I’ve always found calling out the “media” as to vague. Deadspin has a loud slant and goes for vulgar and occasional funny. They actually are good with sports since they lack any reverence for the actual sports. But there are plenty of different takes all over the media. I agree this entire story is overstaying it’s 15 minutes and i haven’t paid much attention to it. But there a variety of standards that different bits of the media go for that punch out in all sorts of directions. There are media that does a pretty good job and is correct in general. I don’t’ see any blanket “the media” that isn’t’ as sloppy as the sloppiest media.Report

            • Avatar j r in reply to greginak says:

              I’m not sure what counts as vague about my comments. I made a specific criticism of the Wagner piece and cited two specific characteristics about the current media ecosystem. It’s more accurate that your response is vague.

              You’re thinking under an old paradigm. When you stop to consider why Saul, who is quite vocal about not liking sports, is posting links from Deadspin, you’ll get closer to understanding the new paradigm.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to j r says:

                I assume Saul is linking to deadspin because it’s going around the left of verse by way of the magic twitters. I just dont’ think there is anyone new paradigm for media. The incentives for RW media are different from the big networks (nbc, cnn, etc) which are different from places like The Atlantic or partisan websites. There is no “media”. There are many competing and interacting eco systemsReport

              • Avatar j r in reply to greginak says:

                I think that you’re wrong. Or rather, I think that we are mostly in agreement but you want to call it something else. The old paradigm is one dominated by individually branded outlets and differentiated mediums. This is the NYTimes. This is the nightly network news. This is the National Enquirer. You know what you get with each of those outlets. The new paradigm is way more fluid. You said it yourself. Saul picked that article out of the new media ether. He didn’t have to read Deadspin to get Deadspin’s content. The outlet doesn’t matter in the way that it used to matter. So, using the outlet as an excuse doesn’t make much sense anymore. That’s he new paradigm.

                And I’m not trying to sound like some kind of grumpy old man or conspiracy theorist. I’m talking about the new media in the terms that the new media itself uses to describe the current landscape.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to j r says:

        I think you’re right; Meaninglessness is the point. It is an article that’s not in service of the truth, or of the culture war. It’s in service of Meaninglessness. Hannah Arendt or George Orwell would understand it completely.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      So a writer for a site formely belonging to Gawker, a yellow journalism outlet known best for its symbiotic relationship with hysterical Internet mobs, has an objection to people from legitimate media outlets trying to calm down hysterical Internet mobs?

      This is certainly a surprising turn of events.Report

  9. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “These people are willing to give the screaming mob of white teens the benefit of the doubt ”

    we’re willing to give the screaming mob of white teens the benefit of the doubt for the same reason that we were willing to give the smug black lady who proudly declared that she refused to help a white farmer the benefit of the doubtReport

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Turns out a PR firm started by a former McConnell aide helped write the Covington statement:

    https://theslot.jezebel.com/covington-catholic-student-hired-pr-firm-co-founded-by-1831948833Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      If this isn’t proof that the Black Israelites were correct about those kids, I don’t know what would be.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        Is this a serious or trolling response? Why do you continue on your pseudo-Socrates routine?

        The Black Israelites are a fringe group. The group at DC this weekend might be a fringe of a fringe which is saying something. Believe it or not, this is not a pick one or the other situation.

        The evidence I’ve seen says that the teens were confrontational with a twenty-something woman attending the woman’s march and they were confrontational with the Native Americans. The teen’s mom quickly hired a PR firm to rehabilitate him and the media fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

        I don’t think these kids should have their lives ruined but it should also be cleared that they learned their arch-conservative sneering at home and at school. Reports indicate that Covington Catholic is super-traditional and reactionary. But lots of people still insist on doing the contrarian hottake because it is better than being seen as agreeing with Democrats. Or maybe at this point all they have left is trolling.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I guess I didn’t know what to take away from your discovery that a PR firm helped them write a statement.

          Something sinister, I suppose, but I didn’t know exactly what.

          (As for your gatekeeping against the Black Israelites, I think it speaks for itself.)Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

            The Black Israelites are a fringe group that declare I am not really Jewish but a devil person. Why do you think defending my Jewish identity is bad?

            No one should be surprised that a PR firm got involved but our media quickly took the statement at face value without question. This should raise questions about the integrity of the media.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              It’s not you defending your Jewish identity that is bad, it’s you attacking them as being “fringe” as bad.

              quickly took the statement at face value without question.

              Quickly taking things at face value without question does seem to be a habit with the media, yes.

              This should raise questions about the integrity of the media.

              I am, 100%, with you on this.
              “Fake News”? We good with that sort of thing?Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      So, let me get this straight.

      Teens attacked ruthlessly in the media for wearing apparel signifying support for the president, get donated PR from someone affiliated with said presidents party. And this is somehow shocking? I mean, I know it isn’t the free PR the left gets from the media, but this is bad? There is a reason everyone with any credibility is backing away faster than light.

      This hole they are digging, it’s making team lefty look like even bigger assholes now.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

        If you think the only thing the teens were criticized for was wearing their maga lids then you have a really biased view of the whole deal.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

          Oh, I am aware they are being criticized for a bunch of different things. But those criticisms are falling apart faster than teen boys smirk.

          There is a reason that so many are backing away as fast as possible from this.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Aaron David says:

            Except that they don’t and it looks like the statement was from a PR shop that is run by a former McConnell aide and a CNN commentator and CNN picked up on the statement uncritically because hey let’s help out our pall.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

        Speaking only for myself (and not the entire ComIntern), I think it is completely fair and accurate to assume that a MAGA hat is prima facie evidence of racial animus.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Aaron David says:

        The kids were criticized for far more than their headgear though I agree with Chip. They knew the headgear would be provocative considering where they were going, what they were doing, and what was happening before hand. The adults in their lives did nothing to deter them from this choice.

        I get that adolescent boys want to shock. When I was in middle school, I had a t-shirt that I loved that said “Welcome to New York” and below the slogan was the chalk outline of a body. The kind police do. This was in 1992-1993 when crime was a serious issue. One day an adult came to me and said “why are you trying to be the lowest common denominator?” That was a lesson.

        The kids did far worse though. Again, they should not have their lives ruined but plenty of people seem to be saying “Oh no liberals are upset. We need to defend the kids because agreeing with liberals is icky!!!”Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          You and Chip are, as always, entitled to your own opinion. As am I. And I am of the opinion that many of the protestations of the left minimize real racism and elevate silliness such as talking about a teens smirk. I see a video that was selectively edited when first presented to make the boys look awful. In a longer, more complete view we see that they didn’t surround the drummer, he accosted them. There were homophobic insults by other groups, something that used to be important on the left, by the way, that was ignored in order to focus on a smirk. One boy might have made a tomahawk chop, but no one seems to have uttered: “Build the Wall” as the activist reported. If there is a video of that I would love to see it, but I think it would be all over the internet by now.

          If you think that actions such as this are racist, and you want to convince others of that fact, you are going to half to work at it. Otherwise, they will think differently. Watching the media backtrack on their hot takes as soon as a fuller picture was available speaks volumes to this. Presenting childish actions like smirking, or the hat worn as a symbol of another political philosophy as prima facie examples of racism when they don’t think of such as being racist is doomed to failure. And the more you attempt to do such things lessens the calls to real threats. The boy who cried wolf, as it were.

          In any society, fully half will be more conservative than the other half. The US is one of the more conservative societies. Attempting to maneuver as loaded a concept as racism so it can only affect that conservative half is a sure way to undo any progress we have made over the last fifty years.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          He was wearing a MAGA hat, so he was asking for it? If there’s one place that we should recognize freedom of speech, it’s on the National Mall.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          ” One day an adult came to me and said “why are you trying to be the lowest common denominator?” That was a lesson.”

          That adult did a wrong thing; he should definitely have published your name to the entire Internet and said “I want this kid to suffer consequences“, called your college and told them not to let you attend, called your dad’s workplace and tried to get him fired, etcetera.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Its amazing that the kid’s parents thought the best course of action would be to hire a PR firm rather than to do something about their kid’s behavior.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to LeeEsq says:

        What was wrong with their kids behavior? The “smirker” thought that smiling and staying calm would be the best way to defuse the confrontation with the fake Vietnam vet. They knew they were surrounded by angry crazy racists, and that’s as probably as good a strategy as any.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to LeeEsq says:

        …next time he should…not just stand there passively?

        Like, what do you think he should have done?Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Twitter has moved to the “Conservatives Pounce” phase of the Covington Kidz story.Report

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