Covington Catholic Boys: lessons on justice and privilege

By now most of us have seen the images of what appears to be a smirk and some male-pack bonding in service to mocking an Elder of an Native American nation. I won’t revisit all those details and if you follow me on twitter (@Riverside_Wharf) then you’ve read my take on this.

What troubles me most is the obvious ways in which the White community responds when its children are in danger of being maligned and how they are nearly tone deaf when it comes to the murders and ruination of Black children. I wrote a post in 2014 begging White Christians in Florida to speak up after the execution of Jordan Davis. I wrote, “Speak up, for Christ’s sake, for the sake of your conscience and because you know in your heart of hearts that had a black man killed your white son playing music in a car with friends, you probably would not have to be demanding he be tried because a mob of white folks would have administered mob justice.” In 2015, I wrote in regard to the “All Lives Matter” rally, “you really don’t believe all lives matter or you would have shown up and supported mothers in their grief when their children, husbands, fathers, daughters and mothers were killed by police.”

So now we see vividly, do we not? If White boys from a private school are seen and perceived as having mocked an elder and are called to count for it, the parents and community of those boys will rise in defiance and protest. Would you had exhibited a fraction of that passion in defense of Black citizens! Now we see vividly, do we not? You will stand up and demand “justice.” But just not for the Black victims of extrajudicial killings. That a Catholic school is part of this story is simply inconsequential. For had you really believed in the noble principles of your Tradition, instead of running to a PR firm to issue a doctored narrative, you would have instead urged your sons to enter the confessional and sort this out with a priest; urged some kind of discernment process; entered the dialectic of confession and forgiveness. Instead it was a press release, the Today Show and a wink from the President who only recently defiled the memory of Wounded Knee. No, what is clearly in play here is White Privilege. Perhaps we should thank you for making this so abundantly clear to us.