On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the Lincoln Memorial steps to an audience of a quarter million people. Sadly, on January 18, 2019, an event spurred the opposite of what his speech was about: a fight between ethnicity and religion broke out.
When one short scene of an extended video was released to the media, many major and minor news companies wrote and published articles. Many were titled focused on attacking the Kentucky white high schooler Nick Sandmann and other high schoolers with him on their trip to Washington D.C. for reasons possibly due to their ethnicity, religion, or his bright red notorious MAGA hat. These news headlines went along the lines of “High Schoolers From Covington Catholic High Mock Indigenous Elder Nathan Phillips”, which turned out to be very biased.
Due to this, many students depicted in the video were sent death threats and being called names to the point where the school website was put down and school was canceled, but after the full clip of what really happened came out, they were receiving many more apologies.
When Phillips was first interviewed, he claimed that the mob of high schoolers came up to him and started to mock him for being who he was, but a video showed that the high schoolers were chanting their school chant to drown out the hate they were receiving from others and Phillips went into the middle of the circle.
He also allegedly claimed that many were saying “build a wall” and many other hurtful words, which the media was quick to include in their reports, but after many had argued against this claim and the sources checked again, they said that there were no signs of this infamous quote being said.
Through this experience, it is important to remind ourselves that not everything in the media is true and credible since there is always another side to the story. In this particular case, every group in the video was at fault and there should not be one person to blame without knowing all of the information.
Esther Jung, Grade 10
Grover Cleveland Charter High School