When a group of American students from Covington Catholic High School decided to attend a March for Life rally held on 18 January in Washington DC little did they know their decision would lead to such a maelstrom of condemnation and personal attacks.
After a short video of the students, one in particular wearing a Make America Great cap, went viral showing them apparently confronting a Native American activist banging a drum.
The students were vilified and abused as racist, white supremacists and – worst of all – Christian.
Even though it was later discovered that the Covington students had done nothing wrong, and in fact had been abused by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites, the damage was done.
Threats rain down on school
Their school was closed temporarily due to safety concerns and students feared for their futures as they had been flamed on social media and (clearly) would always be treated as guilty.
That a group of innocent students are victims of so many poisonous, vitriolic attacks proves how powerful the cultural-left is in controlling how events are interpreted and recorded. On social networking internet sites and in much of the print and electronic media, objectivity and impartiality no longer apply. Political correctness rules anyone who fails to conform to cultural-left group think is a target.
Wearing a cap made famous by President Trump, a Washington outsider who the Democrats and Hilary Clinton supporters have never accepted as a legitimate President, makes anyone an easy target.
Being white, Christian and from a state with a Republican Governor only increases the abuse.
The media’s role
One only has to ask why the media and those on social media concentrated their attack on the Covington students and not the Black Hebrew Israelites guilty of abusing the students to see this bias.
This incident exemplifies how prejudice and misinformation now dominate public debate and also the power of the cultural-left in determining how events and issues are interpreted and reported.
It’s no secret that the majority of those working in the media are left-leaning and hostile to conservative institutions and values.
According to research carried out by the US based Media Research Centre 92 per cent of the news coverage in relation to President Trump is negative.
In Australia, according to a survey of journalists carried out by the University of the Sunshine Coast, 51 per cent describe themselves as left-of-centre while only 12.9 per cent consider themselves right-of-centre. In an election 43 per cent would give their first preference to Labor, 19.4 per cent to Green and 32 per cent to the Coalition.
With the ABC and the Fairfax Press it is impossible to find commentators and senior journalists considered right-of-centre and willing to provide a more conservative perspective on issues like same sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia, funding to Catholic schools and radical gender and sexuality programs like Safe Schools.
It is also important to understand that the cultural-left has a long history of enforcing its ideological narrative on society to ensure its dominance and control.
An extreme example involves communist Russia under Stalin’s dictatorship where the photos or references to senior party figures disappeared once they fell out of favour.
Despite the widespread famine and the death and imprisonment of millions, such was Mao’s power that the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward were only ever reported as a success and yet another example of the Chairman’s brilliant stewardship.
Less extreme, though no less important, are local examples of the way the cultural-left distorts events and issues to suit its ideological agenda.
For months the racial identity of the Somalian teenage gangs terrorising Melbournians was ignored on the basis that ‘racial profiling’ was politically incorrect and an affront to multiculturalism.
Whenever the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse is mentioned the chief offender is always the Catholic Church with no recognition there are other guilty institutions or what the Church has done to acknowledge its sins and to address the issue.
During last year’s debate about same sex marriage those advocating a faith-based, Christian perspective, including Margaret Court and Israel Folau, were demonised and attacked personally without any attempt to evaluate their arguments.
Even worse, such is the instantaneous nature of social media, the fact that it can reach thousands within minutes and that there are no safeguards or checks to evaluate authenticity, there is no recourse or ability to set the facts right.
Ed. – Following a diocesan investigation, Covington Bishop Roger Foys addressed Covington Catholic High School on 23 January and told the boys he stands with them.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and author of How Political Correctness is Destroying Education (Wilkinson Publishing)