It's embarrassing but we'll admit it - we totally fell for the video allegedly showing a Covington Catholic student mocking a Native American protester. The smirk, the MAGA hat, and smug self-assuredness all led us to conclude that another white Republican frat boy was showing off his sense of entitlement and privilege, ironically to a person whose ancestors were on this land long, long before his had arrived.
You all know the story by now and that subsequent video of the larger chain of events showed a very different narrative. This whole case is an excellent example of how schema works, how we create a backstory and a explanation for what we see based on our own history and experiences. We all too often mistake our little fictions for the actual truth, clinging to our little narratives while both attacking other versions and defending our own.
We've written a lot here in the past about schema and mental models (Sanskrit: samskara) and this isn't another post about all that. What we're wondering is why no one is asking what seems to be the obvious questions - why were Catholic school students bussed to Washington and provided with MAGA hats to participate in an anti-choice protest?
We thought Catholic schools were church-based, and their tax-free status meant that they didn't participate, at least overtly, in politics. We get it that the Catholic Church disapproves of abortion, and that many individual Catholics might want to participate in an anti-choice march, but this appeared to be an official outing of a tax-free parochial school. Further, where did all those MAGA hats come from? Did all the boys just so happen to have one, or were they provided by the tax-free school? If the latter, how is that not political activism and why should they be allowed to maintain their exemption?
That's the part we still don't understand, but we have one follow-up question. Reportedly, this whole incident started because some group calling themselves the Black Hebrew Israelites were insulting the Catholic-schools kids, hurling bizarre epithets at them like "children of incest." Our follow-up question is what did the Covington kids door were believed to have done that brought that scorn and contempt down upon them?