Monday, January 21, 2019

Bonus Post: What's Happening to the Covington Boys is Absolutely VILE

And I can't wait until Saturday to comment because Teacher Steph, who's worked with teens for over thirteen years, is fucking livid. I hate watching kids get bullied. If I didn't live eight hours away, I'd be seeking those boys out and offering them dinner and a comforting word.

A few times, I've tweeted my adherence to what I call the Edgy Boi Law. Essentially, I give young people below a certain age more latitude to be stupid, insensitive, misguided, etc. because they haven't fully matured and are, biologically, more egocentric and more prone to poor judgment. Even the best, smartest kids fall prey to this adolescent frame of mind and need the occasional reminder that they are not the center of the universe. But the way you deliver these reminders is with care for their well-being in the context of a close relationship. You don't scream at them and call them names. You don't threaten them with physical harm. And you certainly don't plot to destroy their futures. Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick! If I treated "my kids" this way (they're really my students, but I'm sure other teachers out there know what I mean), I'd utterly shatter their trust in me and would never again be able to gently rebuke them for the childish, ignorant things they sometimes say and do.

And just so we're clear, I teach primarily teens-of-color, so this Edgy Boi Law? I apply it to every kid, regardless of his or her shade.

So let's leave aside, for a moment, the fact that both the mainstream media and Twitter's baying mobs eagerly jumped on a narrative based on lies. Even if we stipulate that Nick Sandmann and the others did something wrong (which I categorically refuse to grant), the response to the incident on Friday has been wildly - wildly - out of proportion to the so-called "offense". Families have been doxxed and threatened, parents' workplaces have been called, the school has been forced to ask the police for protection, verified users on Twitter have shared lurid fantasies involving assaulting and even murdering minors -- and all of this is appropriate because Sandmann and his mates didn't have perfect control over their response to a guy beating a drum in their faces? This is not how you teach children. This is how you abuse them.

You are not a decent person if you are doubling down on this harassment. You are the dad beating his son bloody with a belt. And I see you.

And you know what I also see? I see a bunch of supposed "adults" acting out their unresolved adolescent resentments.

Hey, I was bullied too. As I suggested in the last post, I was a bit gender-queer before that became trendy (fortunately, this was the early 90's, so I was allowed to eventually become comfortable in my own skin). I also pursued bizarre obsessions (at least as far as my classmates were concerned), suffered from sensory issues, and was very much the teacher's pet. Consequently, I was targeted for ridicule from about fourth grade to early high school. The year Champion was the brand of t-shirt to wear, for example, I tried to follow the fashion, but the girls still teased me in the locker room after gym because the shirt my parents bought didn't fit their exacting specifications.

And even after this open harassment abated, I was never popular enough to be invited to the big parties, never pretty enough to be Homecoming Queen (not with my grunge-inspired shirts, boots, and Bajoran earring!), and never athletic enough to be a cheerleader. I was firmly a "freak"; my late high-school friends included LGB-identified kids, stoners, artists, and the one black girl who was persistently accused of "acting white" because she was an accomplished student.

Do I understand what it feels like to be othered by prettier, more popular peers? Hell yes! But you know what I didn't do? When I went to college and started my adult life, I didn't continue to project my childhood tormenters onto every frat boy, jock or sorority girl I met. I grew the hell up, made my peace with being Odd, and sought out people who would understand me for who I am. Perhaps even more importantly, I developed compassion for people on the other side of the social divide; I came to understand that even apparently "privileged" people have their anxieties and their crosses to bear because that's life - catastrophe contaminated by malevolence, to use another one of Dr. Peterson's formulations.

This is what all rational, healthy people do. They don't hold onto their victimhood in perpetuity. They rise above it. They cultivate the qualities of empathy and mercy. And they refrain from vilifying a schoolboy because he smiled wrong.

16 comments:

  1. This is not "happening to" the Covington boys. It is "being done to" them. By specific people. Who can be found and punished, both civilly and criminally. And should be.

    This kind of coordinated action is battlespace preparation. It is being done for a reason. This kind of public outrage cannot be sustained over long periods of time, so the reason is likely to become clear in a few days or weeks

    One possible reason for ginning up anti Catholic hatred at this particular time is the potential retirement of Ginsburg from SCOTUS while Trump is in office. A prominent candidate to replace her is Amy "strong dogma" Barrett.

    Am I being paranoid? You bet. My only real question is whether I am being paranoid enough.

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  2. But they are white, anti-choice, toxic privileged males so they deserve everything they get - this is how those people 'think'. Welcome to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, sponsored by Twitter

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  3. Excellent informed article and "Carey's" COMMENT is extremely prescient.

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    1. Yes, but Carey's comment is also frightening.
      When there are people out to get you, you are justified as paranoid. The Left's willingness to treat children as mere tools and pawns is a vileness I have always expected, but I am frightened to have it confirmed. Power. Whatever it takes.

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    2. And as MEN, it is time to protect those that are weak. Get busy.

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  4. These times cause me to understand how an entire culture rationalized putting people in ovens, including women and children. The othering was propagated, propagandized, encouraged and condoned by people in control of power and information. This is a perfect storm. They almost had (have) us when they preach and convince that having a national identity as Americans is synonymous with racial or other discriminatory animus. This is a perfect storm and we must be strong against the wind.

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  5. I was surprised that the chaperones for the students didn't call the police and report that both the group of blacks and the native American drum player were calling the Covington students "hateful" names and harassing them. Was anyone else wondering why the cops hadn't been called? I hope that the next time:similar agitators try to bully some students (or anyone else) that people will cameras will record and immediately post a full video of the event. We certainly can't depend on the NYT, or most of the news media, to give the full story. I'm glad that via the Internet we have more reliable sources than the NYT. Sad that no one stopped the agitators from bullying the students and the news media from smearing the reputations of the students. Glad that more people will recognize that the NYT and other anti-Trump types will do ANYTHING they can to destroy Trump AND anyone who believes that Trump was a better choice than Hillary.

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    1. "Was anyone else wondering why the cops hadn't been called?"

      Two reasons, neither of which are good.

      1. Because of where the incident took place, there were multiple possibilities on who to call: Capital police, DC City cops, US Park Service, just to name a few. Unless you got the right one first time, the response will be a "Not my jurisdiction!" And that assumes they want to do those jobs in the first place. Which shades into reason 2.

      2. They don't want to intervene. This could be from the Ferguson Effect (I'm going to be persecuted if I defend the white kids in MAGA hats) through "My chain of command has made it clear I am not to intervene (see Charlottesville)" through to "These are evil white Trump supporters and my boss has actively planned an ineffective response (see Charlottesville again)"

      There's a reason why most of the reported violence by Antifa etc. has been in Democrat controlled jurisdictions.

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  6. Nicely written.
    And clearly, 'your kids' are lucky to have you.

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  7. Cynically, regardless of the "winners" (at the time), the most appropriate question usually is: "Whose ox is gored?"

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  8. the left supports killing babies for profit to retain political power ... lying about teenagers is way up the scale on the "how low will they go" chart :(

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  9. I would have been afraid of PC cops on the mall. They might have arrested the MAGAs instinctually.

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    1. See my comment above. And this article makes it horrifyingly clear what happened in Charlottesville, via independent investigation (linked in article).

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/12/04/charlottesville-report-tells-us-what-happens-when-police-fail-do-their-job-glenn-reynolds-column/917521001/

      Delete
  10. and, as far as "Sandmann and his mates didn't have perfect control over their response" - given that they're not trained actors or politicians who know exactly how their expressions will be taken by everyone, and given that they were *supposed* to stay there until their bus came, I'm not sure how I, as an older adult, would have improved on that response.
    It. is. just. bullying. for. political. gain, and unequivocally 100% the responsibility of the adult professional agitators present.

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