Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
More Perspective On The Covington MAGA Boys
Marshall Jolly is an Episcopal minister currently working in North Carolina. A native of Paris, Kentucky, he previously worked in northern Kentucky. What follows are his comments shared on his Twitter feed.
PASTOR MARSHALL JOLLY ON COVINGTON CATHOLIC CULTURE
I've seen a lot of chatter about the disgraceful incident involving students from Covington Catholic High School and an Indigenous American and Veteran in Washington, DC this weekend. This morning, as news of the "full video" began to break, people started hedging, saying that there were "multiple perspectives." Here's my perspective.
I served an Episcopal parish in Northern Kentucky, approximately 15 minutes from Covington Catholic High School. It's a prestigious all-male school with a reputation for strong academics and strong athletics. You can learn that much from the website.
What you won't learn from the website is that there is a sinister pattern of similar behavior within the Diocese. While the Bishop there concerns himself with bizarre pronouncements (such as admonishing the faithful not to hold hands during the recitation of the Lord's Prayer) and quashing "unorthodox hymns" that are otherwise approved for use in the Catholic church, he also has created a culture that is not only anti-LGBT, but also actively seeking out teachers and other administrators who might even hold sympathetic views toward people who are LGBT.
As a (retired) soccer referee, I dreaded officiating matches where Covington Catholic was involved. The fans were always among the rudest, most disrespectful, and mean-spirited that I've encountered--and I've refereed for a long time at almost every level of the game! Student after student has come forward over the years to try and shed light on the abuses that not just LGBT students faced, but students of color. Racial epithets and slurs were commonplace in the halls.
My point is that what we're seeing on the (many) videos circulating should not come as a shock. It is a continuation of a long and disgusting pattern of toxicity and abuse that has been allowed and even encouraged at all levels of the school and, as far as I can tell, from the diocese.
While we might be concerning ourselves with "who moved first" or "who moved toward whom" in the video, I encourage you to reflect on this: notice the posture and demeanor of the young man. There is a troubling display of xenophobia embedded here. It's the kind that says that white bodies (read: white, cis, straight, male bodies) can be anywhere they choose at any time, but that non-white bodies (read: non-cis, straight, male bodies) must first seek permission to exist outside of their “place.” This is a window into a perverse system that thrives on toxic, fragile masculinity embedded with xenophobia. And it’s not pretty. Let those who have ears to hear, listen.
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