— Quintez Brown
White supremacy loves to play victim but hates to lose.
Deception and perception is the name of the game. Context matters. Bias matters.
On Jan. 18 Nick Sandmann and fellow students from Covington Catholic, a private high school in northern Kentucky, became a negative national headline.
A short video displayed Sandmann wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat standing very close to Nathan Phillips, a Native American elder. In the video, Sandmann, a white student, was smirking at the Omaha elder, surrounded by a very energetic group of fellow white students shouting and mocking Native American chants.
Perception matters. The video sparked significant outrage toward Sandmann and his school. However, a longer video surfaced showing the events that led to the viral encounter.
All of a sudden, those kids became the victim. In the longer video, a small group of Black Hebrew Israelites were initially harassing the high school students.
This video gave Sandmann and his hired publicity firm the opportunity to flip the whole story around. The opportunity to gaslight.
Perception matters. Sandmann tells us that he and the boys were innocent. He tells us the African-Americans and Native Americans initiated the provocation. He’ll tell you that the internet slandered him because of the media. He’ll play victim but he’s far from innocent.
Sandmann told the press that Phillips initiated the viral staredown. Phillips contested that Sandmann blocked his path so they stood at an impasse.
However, there was no violence. No words were exchanged. So why was there outrage?
It’s because Sandmann and his boys knew they were on the winning team and were wearing the winning jersey – the MAGA hat.
Those white students were well aware of the power that their hat held. It’s written all over Sandmann’s grin. It was seen in the cheers and chants of the crowd. Not only are they supported by the President of our country, but they held power from centuries of oppression, genocide and exploitation.
Sandmann knew he was untouchable. The internet rushed to prove him wrong. Yet, the internet lost.
In an effort to regain credibility, the internet apologized and gave those MAGA white boys the benefit of the doubt.
President Donald Trump and his supporters used the situation to attack and bamboozle the mainstream media. He succeeded.
The media granted Sandmann exclusive interviews and national recognition. He didn’t stand down, but he doubled down. The mainstream media allowed him to play the victim and he proudly did so.
Sandmann and his peers proudly boasted a symbol of hatred, racism, white supremacy and intolerance on the top of their heads. Don’t confuse them for what Trump would call “very fine people.”