Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
A most unpredictable series of events were set into motion on Friday in Washington, D.C., when a group of young men from Covington Catholic High School proceeded to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to wait for their bus. The youngsters, high school students all, had been just engaged in peaceful activity, one that all of us should at least consider doing. They were there to stand up for the lives of the most innocent and silent among us. They were there representing the dignity and value of the lives of the unborn. And they were there in the name of Christ.
That something would go dreadfully wrong, I'm sure, was never contemplated. Of course, the students, faculty, and parents of Covington Catholic High School planned for all sorts of unexpected, but foreseeable, situations. They, I'm sure, discussed what to do if one of them got lost or separated from the group. They planned for the unlikely event that one or more would get arrested, I'm sure. And they likely spoke about handling medical emergencies.
But what to do when you're minding your business and an American Indian Marine Veteran comes face to face with you while a radical, self-proclaimed Hebrew group is harassing you, I'm equally sure, was never addressed, nor were there instructions on how to handle the death threats that would follow.
I wondered if Covington Catholic High School was anything like my alma matter, Belen Jesuit Preparatory High School in Miami. My school, also an all-boy institution, makes it its mission to create "men for others." My high school instills in each of us the realization that we are all created in God's image and that it is, therefore, our duty to spend our lives devoted to the betterment of the human condition.
But tragically, I am unable to find Covington's mission at this time because I can't access its server; surely a result of precautionary actions taken by the school.
What could have happened that was so terrible? What could have served as such a detriment to the school?
The answer is chilling: the mainstream media happened.
As the story goes and videos seem to confirm, the kids from Covington had finished participating in the March For Life Friday and had made their way to the Lincoln Memorial to await the arrival of their bus. The wait was protracted so the kids began chanting school cheers.
Across from them stood another group called the Black Hebrew Israelites. This group has a long history of problems, having earned the reputation of being black supremacists and racists. Its conduct has been so hateful that even the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing protectionist group, has called it out for its bigotry and scorn.
As is now clear, the Black Hebrew Israelites began harassing the Covington students, likely because of their MAGA hats and other pro-Trump gear. During the exchange, an American Indian Marine Veteran named Nathan Phillip accompanied by a small group of Native Americans slowly made his way between the two groups while rhythmically beating his drum. Phillips approached one of the students, who did nothing but stand still in front of him, at one point coming "within centimeters of his face." Initially, the student smiled back at Phillips, a smile that has been called everything from authentic to smug and racist.
By all accounts, it appears that the students were confused by Phillip's intention prompting one student to later recount, "We initially thought this was a cultural display since he was beating along to our cheers and so we clapped to the beat. (sic)
“He came to stand in front of one of my classmates who stood where he was, smiling and enjoying the experience. However, after multiple minutes of Mr. Phillips beating his drum directly in the face of my friend (mere centimeters from his nose), we became confused and started wondering what was happening.
“It was not until later that we discovered they would incriminate us as a publicity stunt. As a result, my friend faces expulsion for simply standing still.”
Much later indeed.
Noticing that this was not a positive exchange, the chaperones cleared the approximately 200 students from the area. A review of the videos seems to indicate that the kids never insulted Phillips and his group, nor were there any racial slurs launched at the members of the Black Hebrew Israelites. Indeed, it appeared that the confrontation ended well and that the chaperones had successfully handled a situation that could have been much worse.
That is until the media got involved.
Hours later, in fact, as they were in the bus on their way back to Kentucky, the teachers began getting word of the full-fledged attack being launched against the kids. CNN, of course, claimed the kids were racists and that they had physically prevented the passage of an American Indian Marine who was peacefully attending the Mall. The kids were falsely depicted as having affirmatively accosted the man and that they were slinging racial epithets at him. Soon thereafter, the death threats flew. National Reviewwrote a defamatory piece about the school where it was said the students "might as well have spit on the cross." The comment was so defamatory and inaccurate that it was later deleted.
And Bill Kristol, one who is never hesitant to demonstrate his ability to engage in buffoonery tweeted, "The contrast between the calm dignity and quiet strength of Mr. Phillips and the behavior of #MAGA brats who have absorbed the spirit of ---------this spectacle is a lesson which all Americans can learn," and " If some kid wearing a McCain 2008 cap had been filmed behaving this way, McCain would have already called Mr. Phillips to express regret. And he would have used the occasion to remind his supporters they should treat others with respect. Will Trump do anything like this?"
Of course, about all we were reminded about is that Bill Krystol is an idiot.
Of course, this rancid behavior of gang violence against unsuspecting conservatives has come to be expected from the press and is yet another example of why Americans have lost all faith in that formerly indispensable institution.
Sadly, there is irony all over this story, from the attacks upon good by the forces of evil to the oppressive consequences upon those daring to support the unborn to the reverberations of the words of Jesus Christ himself who said in the beatitudes, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me"
But to me, there is greater sadness that these racially charged events, events of vile and hatred launched against white males, took place on the same weekend we have designated to remember the acts of peace and love between the races undertaken by one Martin Luther King, Jr.
Clearly, King's dream has not yet been realized.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and served in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Dr. Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon and lawyer serving as State Representative for South Sarasota County in Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages