If you haven't seen the incredibly disturbing video of a group of (very white) students from Kentucky's Covington Catholic openly antagonizing Native American Elder Nathan Phillips during a March For Life Rally in the nation's capital, you're in for quite the nausea-inducing time:
Native American elder Nathan Phillips, teen Nick Sandmann give versions of encounter www.youtube.com
Several reports have come out to dispute this story saying that the young men were in fact accosted by Phillips and not the other way around. I think regardless of the truth in the story and how mainstream media utilized it to increase views and ad-revenue, there is a lot to be said about what the contents of this video say about the future of our nation.
Frankly, it's pretty disgusting, especially considering most of the privileged young white males you see in this video have more than likely been brainwashed by the internet and even more jarringly, the adults in their lives.
The fact that a bunch of teenage boys are even present at a March For Life rally in the first place is somewhat disturbing. I wonder if all of these young men were informed tomorrow that their teenage girlfriend was pregnant and that they were undoubtedly the father, how many would ask her to "take care of it?"
America's youth are the future of our nation. There is nothing avoidable about that statement. I just find myself wondering what type of future it is that we're really trying to promote. If you are reading this and you are a parent, an educator, a coach, or anyone who plays a role in shaping young minds, I implore you to think differently.
We should not pressure young adults in this nation to "pick a side" but instead we should encourage them to think for themselves. We should provide them with the facts and only the facts and allow them to come to their own conclusions.
Not all of us show empathy for the same reasons, sure. But conditioning young Americans to believe that empathy is a weakness, that disagreements warrant disrespect, and that someone's life is to be less valued based on the things that make them different is an astounding disservice.
I hear people on both sides of the issues often talk about the men and women who have died to protect our rights. Do you think they would have been willing to die if they knew we would devolve into this? I must admit, I'm not so sure.
It's up to the silent majority of sane Americans to ensure that the kids of our nation feel compelled to challenge the status quo. It is on us to provide them with all of the tools they require to build a better, stronger, and more inclusive version of our country, not greedily pocket dollars so their aspirations are met with a disregard for their well-being.
We can do better, we can be better and we can inspire young people to create the kind of world they want to live in, instead of being pressured into adopting tired and outdated standards for our democracy.