Where did students in D.C. confrontation learn bigotry?

I write this letter through tears at how horribly every level of authority and influence has so clearly failed the lost, misguided, hate-filled students shown in the viral harassment video of an Omaha elder in Washington, D.C., this weekend (“Stare-down between teen and Native American comes into focus,” The Herald, Jan. 21). What in the name of all that is holy is going on at this Catholic high school, the Catholic community in Kentucky, and in America?

In the videos, the boys from Covington Catholic High School seen taunting and harassing a U.S. veteran and Native elder are so devoid of human dignity and basic decency, it’s utterly heartbreaking.

What of the supervisors, teachers, parents and bystanders? On this day, and all their days leading up to this disaster of hateful expression, what of everyone‘s shared part in allowing this to germinate and grow?

We witnessed a complete and total lack of empathy from everyone (except Nathan Phillips who showed remarkable empathy and poise) on that those video clips. I know I don’t have all the facts but what I do know is that the degree of heartlessness, the degree of white, entitled privilege and gut-punching bigotry displayed is taught.

There needs to be top to bottom assessment, consequences and decisive action taken.

Everyone in a position of authority from the Kentucky Diocese level (I wonder if the pope heard) down to the school, parents and even fellow students should be devastated and alarmed at what happened.

Roxanna Cardenas


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