Here’s a pretty good summary video of the whole situation from a YouTuber called Independent Man. Pretty much what I’d want to make though I think it needs a slightly better conclusion – but that’s a minor grumble. He does a good job of showing what happened and how ridiculous this is.
Sargon of Akkad also has a great video, where he mocks the mob by pretending to take them seriously.
There’s a lot of stuff about this that bothers me.
They were smiling. That’s demonstrably true. A lot of people fell for the claim that they they were mocking him. That doesn’t seem to be true, but there were a lot of people there, for over an hour, so probably, at some point, at least a few were derisive of him. And let’s face it, groups of bored schoolkids (male or female) are not known for their good manners.
But it’s quite another thing to look at these kids and decide you know what they’ve been taught all their lives, what attitudes they have towards other races, and on those grounds, they should die.
On the way home I was thinking about this compared to the last thing I really got exercised about – George Zimmerman’s trial. While that was actually more one-sided than this, one thing was always in no doubt – George Zimmerman did kill Trayvon Martin. The only real question was, was it murder or self-defense.
But in this case, the initial video focused on a smiling kid and a grown man beating a drum. That’s where we started from. Then, a whole lot of people injected their biases and expectations into that and made the conclusion that the children had done wrong.
As I said above, that’s not a totally outlandish conclusion. The kids might well have been misbehaving.
But, they’re kids!
They don’t deserve to be murdered.
They don’t deserve to be derided as “KKK” and portrayed in white hoods.
They don’t deserve to be so scared to go to school that their school can’t open.
They don’t deserve to have their school attacked.
They don’t deserve to be put in a wood chipper.
They don’t deserve any of that. Even if they bullied him!
At worst, at the absolute worst, assuming all that was said about the video was true (behaviour-wise, not belief-wise) they should have been sat down in a classroom, received a stern lecture about behaving in public, told to write a letter of apology to the man they bullied, and maybe some unpleasant chores for a while. Maybe the class could have visited an Indian cultural center of some sort, and taught about that culture.
But death? Really? Really?
I mean, why does anyone even care about this at all? In edges any protest, you’re going to have people disagreeing. It happens all the time. It’s not even a local news story let alone a national, or global one. “Small argument breaks out after protest” – who cares?
We used to think we we going forward in our culture. I think this incident has put paid to that idea. There’s been others of course, but this example is so start, I hope people sit up and take notice.
But they won’t.
P.S. And just for super-duper irony points, this death-threats-against-the-guy-who-didn’t-respond thing happened on Martin Luther King jr day.
You can’t make this stuff up.