Rules For Radicals In Action

Rule number 13 of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” That is currently what the mainstream media is doing to the students of Covington High School in Kentucky. The students are being targeted because they are pro-life, Catholic, go to private school, and support President Trump. A full viewing of the video shows that they were simply waiting for a bus while being harassed by a racist group and rudely treated by an elderly native American. I can pretty much guarantee that if Nathan Phillips had done what he did to the Covington High School students to a group of New York City students, the invasion of their personal space might have been handled very differently.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article illustrating how this works.

The article cites the media’s bringing up a previous story that has already been proven false:

Nevertheless, the media jihad continues, and that includes NBC shamelessly running a debunked and deceptive smear story that had been reported on and debunked all the way back in May.

NBC’s deliberately misleading headline reads: “Gay valedictorian banned from speaking at Covington graduation ‘not surprised’ by D.C. controversy.” The story accuses “Covington” (I’ll explain the quote marks in a bit) of “banning” a speech that was to be given by an openly gay student.

The article then explains the problem with the story about the graduation speech:

  1. NBC News does not concede the fact that Bales submitted the speech late, instead framing it only as an allegation — an excuse from the diocese.
  2. Nowhere does NBC News reveal that Bales’ speech was a Parkland-inspired diatribe about gun control.
  3. Christian Bales was not a student at Covington High School.
  4. Christian Bales graduated from Holy Cross High School, a completely different high school.
  5. If his speech had been approved, he would have given it at Holy Cross High School, not at Covington High School.
  6. Holy Cross High is run by the same Catholic diocese as Covington High, but they are two completely different schools.
  7. NBC News bombards the story with more than a dozen references to “Covington” but goes out of its way to obscure the fact Bales attended a completely different school…

Since Covington High School is the target of the current media attack, the fact that the incident happened at a different high school is not relevant to the media. This is how fake news works, and this is how Rules for Radicals are implemented.

 

The Video vs. The Media

Yesterday Reason posted an article about the incident at the Lincoln Memorial. The magazine took the time to analyze the entire video of the incident.

This is the entire video as posted at YouTube:

Here are the key points of the video as noted by Reason:

Phillips enters the picture around the 1:12 mark, but if you skip to that part, you miss an hour of the Black Hebrew Israelites hurling obscenities at the students. They call them crackers, faggots, and pedophiles. At the 1:20 mark (which comes after the Phillips incident) they call one of the few black students the n-word and tell him that his friends are going to murder him and steal his organs. At the 1:25 mark, they complain that “you give faggots rights,” which prompted booing from the students. Throughout the video they threaten the kids with violence, and attempt to goad them into attacking first. The students resisted these taunts admirably: They laughed at the hecklers, and they perform a few of their school’s sports cheers.

It was at this moment that Phillips, who had attended a nearby peace protest led by indigenous peoples, decided to intervene. He would later tell The Detroit Free Press that the teenagers “were in the process of attacking these four black individuals” and he decided to attempt to de-escalate the situation. He seems profoundly mistaken: The video footage taken by the black nationalists shows no evidence the white teenagers had any intention of attacking. Nevertheless, Phillips characterized the kids as “beasts” and the hate-group members as “their prey”:

“There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey,” Phillips said. “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”

Again, all the evidence suggests that Phillips got it backward.

He also claimed that he heard chants of “build the wall.” While I cannot rule out the possibility that some of the kids indeed chanted this—those who were wearing MAGA hats are presumably Trump supporters—I did not hear a single utterance of the phrase in the nearly two hours of video footage I watched. Admittedly, the kids do a lot of chanting and it’s not always possible to tell what they are saying. Their stated explanation is that they engaged in a series of school sports chants: That’s what one student told a local news reporter. His account largely tracks with the video.

“We are an all-male school that loves to get hyped up,” said this student. “And as we have done for years prior, we decided to do some cheers to pass time. In the midst of our cheers, we were approached by a group of adults led by Nathan Phillips, with Phillips beating his drum. They forced their way to the center of our group. We initially thought this was a cultural display since he was beating along to our cheers and so we clapped to the beat.” According to this student, the smiling student was grinning because he was enjoying the music, but eventually became confused, along with everyone else. (Indeed, multiple people can be heard to shout, “what is going on?”)

It would be impossible to definitively state that none of the young men did anything wrong, offensive, or problematic, at some point, and maybe the smiling student was attempting to intimidate Phillips. But there’s shockingly little evidence of wrongdoing, unless donning a Trump hat and standing in a group of other people doing the same is now an act of harassment or violence. Phillips’ account, meanwhile, is at best flawed, and arguably deliberately misleading.

Unless other information emerges, the school’s best move would be to have a conversation with the boys about the incident, perhaps discuss some strategies for remaining on perfect behavior at highly charged political rallies—where everybody is recording everything on a cell phone—and let that be the end of it.

The writer accurately sums up the situation:

The boys are undoubtedly owed an apology from the numerous people who joined this social media pile-on. This is shaping up to be one of the biggest major media misfires in quite some time.

This is what a media mob looks like, and provides us with another reason to distrust the media.

 

 

A New Approach To Getting Out Of Doing Something You Don’t Want To Do

High School is not fun for everyone. Teenagers are often not the kindest of people–particularly to anyone who might actually be an individual or be different in some way. Social media has made that worse–bullying doesn’t stop anymore when you close the front door of your house behind you. Bullying on social media has resulted in teen age suicides. Bullying has always been a problem, but it seems as if we are not teaching our children to be resilient. One article seeking to solve the problem might without realizing it illustrate why the problem exists.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article stating the following:

Middle and high school students are citing anxiety as their reason for pushing back against assigned in-class presentations as research shows that nearly one-third of teenagers have an anxiety disorder.

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that an estimated 31.9 percent of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 exhibit some form of anxiety. It’s an increase that experts say has been driven by the rise of social media, more pressure on students to go to college and other factors.

Students and teachers are split about whether offering alternatives to oral presentations will help anxious students or hurt them by letting them get around developing public speaking skills. The issue was brought to the foreground of discussion after a Sept. 8 tweet from a high school student that said “stop forcing students to present in front of the class and give them a choice not to” was retweeted more than 130,000 times.

“Nobody should be forced to do something that makes them uncomfortable,” a 14-year-old eighth grader identified only as Ula told The Atlantic in a Wednesday story. “Even though speaking in front of class is supposed to build your confidence and it’s part of your schoolwork, I think if a student is really unsettled and anxious because of it you should probably make it something less stressful. School isn’t something a student should fear.”

The word I would use to describe the above statement is not suitable for this blog. If students are not taught to face their fears as students, how are they going to face them as adults? Taking challenges away from students robs them of the opportunity of learning how to overcome challenges. The world is not always going to be sweet and padded. They might as well learn that before they leave school. For example, if I were allowed to vote on whether or not to go for my annual physical exam, I would vote not to do it. It makes me anxious. Therefore I should not have to do it. I really don’t think that works in real life.

What Are We Teaching Our Children In School?

According to Business Insider, the median age of an Apple employee is 31 years old. That really doesn’t tell us much except to imply that half of the employees are under 31 and half are over 31. A much more interesting number comes from an internal survey of Apple employees.

On September 1, InfoWars reported that 71.98% Of Apple Employees Say Repeal The First Amendment. It is ironic that the First Amendment protects their right to say that. I would venture to say that the number who also want to repeal the Second Amendment is probably comparable.

This is what happens when you do not teach history to American students. Our republic is always a generation away from disappearing. If we are to maintain our freedoms, we need to teach the value of those freedoms to our children. If they don’t value those freedoms, they will not preserve them.

This is a warning to young parents. If your children are not in a school that teaches the founding documents of America, the principles behind them, and why they are important, find another school. It’s that important.

What Is Happening At Our Colleges?

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article some recent events at Swarthmore College. The administration of the college has announced that it may discipline five students for taking over an administration building for four hours last month. The students have responded with disappointment and confusion.

The article reports:

The demonstrating students are part of Swarthmore’s Mountain Justice group, a campus organization which is perpetually demanding that Swarthmore’s trustees sell all the fossil-fuel stocks in the school’s luxurious $1.9 billion endowment portfolio.

The latest divestment protest occurred on Swarthmore’s campus on Feb. 24, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

…Then, on March 17, Swarthmore’s administration sent disciplinary citations to five of the students. The quintet of protesters now faces punishments ranging from a mere warning to possible probation.

In a statement, Swarthmore president Valerie Smith observed that the college has a long tradition of student protest, but noted that the protesters “crowded into” Amstutz’s (Mark C. Amstutz, the chief investment officer) office and prevented him “from completing all but the most menial of tasks and restricting his movements and rights.”

The students “were warned multiple times that they were in violation of the student conduct policy and were given the chance to move to the hallway to continue their protest,” Smith said.

Turns out, keeping administrators from doing their jobs is a violation of Swarthmore’s student conduct policies.

The students claim that they broke no rules and even helped with shredding some papers in the office. Wow. I wonder if they were papers that Amstutz wanted shredded.

There are a lot of things to think about in this article.

The article reminds us:

Swarthmore costs $63,550 for a single year of tuition, fees and room and board.

By way of comparison, Swarthmore’s $1.9 billion endowment is worth more than the entire annual gross-domestic product of Belize.

The students who attend Swarthmore are either very smart and go there on a scholarship or they are the children of privilege. These students find it disappointing and confusing that they were expected to follow the rules listed in their student handbook. Theoretically, these students would be the leaders of tomorrow. If they cannot even follow the rules in the student handbook, what kind of leaders will they make?

The article concludes with an amazing fact:

In 2014, a then-sophomore at Swarthmore, Erin Ching criticized her school for allowing Christian conservative thinker Robert George to speak on campus. “What really bothered me is, the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion,” Ching whined — apparently without irony.

Wow.