Protest altercation reminds us to unite in spite of political differences


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Sarah Ladd

We have recently had a season of marches, from the Women’s March, MLK marches, The Indigenous Peoples March, to the March for Life.

In Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18, a now-famous altercation between indigenous leaders who were part of the Indigenous Peoples March and high school students from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills who were part of the March for Life has a lot of people up in arms.

The Covington mayor responded to reports that the students were mocking Native Americans and said those actions do not represent his constituency. The high school promised to take action. The initial videos were later expounded upon and some argued that the Native Americans stepped in to stop an altercation between the students and other protesters, and therefore were provoked.

The main high schooler from the videos later issued a statement saying that he and his group were verbally attacked by other protesters, and he said they never did anything other than chant their school’s chants in response to those attacks.

No matter how it got started or the intricacies of the confrontation, the incident represents the problem of hate in our country and state. No, those actions don’t represent the Kentucky we know and love. But we are still responsible for changing it.

I’ve seen a lot of social media posts since the incident of well-meaning people condemning the actions of both sides, but it’s not enough. We have to commit, on this campus right now, to stepping in when we see people slander other cultures and other people. We have to commit to never letting people bully others when we can step in and do or say something.

We should also learn from this and similar events to wait until more details emerge before we jump to anger. It takes time to uncover the whole truth of situations, and we should refrain from harsh comments until we know more.

Lately, our country has slipped into a dangerous mentality. That is, the idea that if you disagree with someone politically, you have a right to demean their humanity. Both sides of this altercation claimed the other side treated them in this way. This is a dangerous and slippery slope, and we have to fight this in order to avoid the more gruesome points of human history.