Old Enough

The Covington Catholic kids are loudly in a confrontation with some black folks. Any guess, historically, which side is going to get it worse in this narrative?

hint: it ain’t the white kids.

A Vietnam vet does a quick assessment on the situation. Given that this situation could turn lethal — not for the kids but the POC that they are confronting — he moves in without thinking.

You know what the kids do? They surround him. Strength in numbers. They know 45 is in charge. They’ve just confronted women. No piece-of-shit colored person is going to intimidate them.

They have nothing to lose.

This old man may lose his life.

That’s the assessment. The kids may not see it that way but that’s the threat level here and they are old enough to know what they represent.

They are old enough.

It’s easy to say you didn’t understand the consequences after an event where you thought that there would be no consequences. Your hatred, after all, was sanctioned, right?

I went to a march one day. A group of drummers wanted to pray for, literally, the bones of their great grandparents whose graves had been unearthed. I was standing in front of armed security guards, begging the guards to just let the prayer finish and we’d be on our way.

I’ve been there watching when a group of protectors had to stop white supremacists from coming into an event. I’ve seen the smug face and confrontational techniques used by that side live and in-person.

I missed a march where a white supremacist rammed his car through a group of protestors, sending one to the hospital. The guy with the car didn’t go to jail.

You know who did go to jail? People at Standing Rock, after the security forces there attempted to murder them (and failed).

My experiences are mild because I’m white. This old vet had a lifetime and only a matter of moments to decide what to do.

He stepped up. He stepped in. He found himself surrounded with no backup.

And he drummed. He sang. He faced them down.

Those high schoolers were old enough to understand the power and the hatred they represented.

That vet was old enough to know what would happen if they were unchallenged.

What would you have done?

Would you have had a choice?

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