The Climate of the Country in Regards to the Incident at the ‘March for Life’ in Washington D.C.

What does the media's initial reaction say about the climate of the country?

by Jana Seal, Editor In Chief

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On Friday, January 18, a confrontation at the March for Life in Washington D.C. would make headlines of both liberal and conservative news outlets– before the full story even surfaced.

In a group of Black Israelites’ attempts to provoke a group of ‘MAGA’-hat-wearing students from Covington Catholic High School (CCHS), a media war broke out; were the students disrespectful for shouting their school chants, or were the Israelites disrespectful for calling out their beliefs and motives? And what about the Native American man beating the drum?

Drawn to the center of the controversy by a viral video were CCHS junior Nick Sandmann and 62 year-old Native American veteran Nathan Phillips. In the clip, the two can be be seen standing uncomfortably close to one another, with Phillips sounding a drum in protest of the students’ chanting to “build the wall” and Sandmann staring into his face with a, as described by many, smug look on his.

In the eyes of the right-wing, collectively, the students were simply defending themselves against the hateful and misguided group that was insulting them. In the eyes of the left-wing, the boys were disrespecting a group that was justifiably offended by their stances and attitudes, as well as a Native American elder who was simply trying to diffuse the situation. The truth? Likely, the truth is somewhere in between. Many involved on various sides have come out and admitted that in hindsight they would act differently. Conflict doesn’t need to be two-sided. Conflict is a complex web of perspectives that, when critiqued as if it is two sided, is severely misconstrued.   

In a day and age when ballot boxes are checked according to a single letter next to them, opinions of events seem to be preconceived, as individuals reverberate the stance taken by their “side” prior to contemplating the event on their own. There is a lust for right and wrong, good guys and bad guys… and this has manifested itself in the form of a collective confirmatory bias. People reacting, whether negatively or positively toward Sandmann and the Covington boys, so immediately are the ones who are pursuing information and events that match their belief system– so much so to the point that they form opinions based on what would support their already existing points of view.

Information should be sought out in its entirety, not adapted to fit the mold of a preconceived bias– a basic ethical principle being eluded by some of the most “reputable” news sources in the country. If not a trustworthy collective media, what have we as a nation?