Instigators, Victims, Or None Of The Above?
A video recently surfaced online of high school students mocking a native elder outside the Lincoln Memorial. Rightfully, there was outrage. There was a cry for respect of veterans, as the elder is a Vietnam Veteran. There were demands the students make apologies. There were angry calls for the students and parents to be educated. But there’s one problem.
It’s not true.
As my mom always says, “there’s two sides to every pancake,” and we need to flip the pancake to make sure it’s done.
The confrontation itself did happen, but not in the way it was portrayed by the videos selected by the media. According to other sources, the students released their own statements on social media that explained they were there on a school trip to participate in the March For Life event, and they used the memorial as their meeting point to make sure no one was left behind. They were doing a school cheer when the elder approached them, engaging the confrontation. They were victims of him.
Or were they?
There are also reports that another protest group was making disparaging remarks to the students, and the students returned the comments in kind. Then the elder came in to break up the standoff and ease the tension with his drumming.
Is that the whole story?
Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. I’ll admit that upon seeing the initial video, I was upset by it and assumed the worst. But then more information began to appear. There are a lot of videos out there now surrounding this event, some from the students and some from other witnesses. The thing is that everyone has a right to be at our nation’s monuments, and everyone has a right to freedom of speech and peaceful protest. But we need to do our research before we get angry, make accusations, and begin calling for action. It’s possible that only certain things are being highlighted. This type of behavior is perpetuated because of our current political climate, and the anger over current politics is making us jump to conclusions. And we are better than this. As my mom always says, “there’s two sides to every pancake,” and we need to flip the pancake to make sure it’s done.
Remember: just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true.