Credit: Screen grab from YouTube
Forced to Admit ‘MAGA’ Teen Did Nothing Wrong, Libs Rage Against ‘Racist’ Smirk

Forced to Admit ‘MAGA’ Teen Did Nothing Wrong, Libs Rage Against ‘Racist’ Smirk

“It’s the look of white patriarchy, of course.”

Facts have proven no match for the moral panic over a boy’s viral standoff with a Native American elder.

Even after the original liberal narrative ― that he and his teen mob harassed the man ― was effectively debunked, liberals have found reason to be outraged and aggrieved. His “smirk” alone, many have decided, was an aggressive act of sexism and racism.

To quickly recap: A widely circulated video captured a moment on Friday when the March for Life collided with the first Indigenous People’s March outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The boy, a participant in the anti-abortion rally, is seen smiling and staring straight ahead as the Native American man chants and beats a ceremonial drum.

News outlets and liberals instantly made the teen ― who was identified as Nick Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky ― a poster boy for bigotry in President Donald Trump’s America. Native American activist Kelly Hayes spoke for many when she accused Sandmann of “racist abuse.” The New York Times’ headline blared that he and his compatriots had “mobbed” Phillips.

However, additional videos and accounts have since made it clear that the Native American man, an activist named Nathan Phillips, initiated the confrontation. Both he and Sandmann said as much, though each insisted his intentions were entirely pure.

Sandmann explained in a statement Sunday that his smile was intended only to signal that he “was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation.”

Other established facts: A group of hectoring Black Israelites helped escalate the situation. And no one got hurt― at worst, the boys made a few insensitive remarks.

Given this mundane reality, conservatives were generally inclined to give Sandmann a pass. They suggested liberals settle down and do the same.

Some liberals, including CNN anchor Jake Tapper, seemed swayed. The Times even removed “mob” from its headline, and added a link at the top of the story directing readers to follow-up reporting that provides a “fuller picture.”

The multitudes, though, refused to be placated. Instead, much of the focus shifted to Sandmann’s smile, which was, they deemed, enough to make him part of the white patriarchy. For Trump nemesis Rosie O’Donnell and manymany others Sandmann triggered traumatic memories of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.

Nick Martin at Splinter shared how Sandmann’s smile haunted his sleep, and Slate writer Ruth Graham linked “that face” to segregationists, Nazis, and “popular boys.”

Nor was Graham alone in reporting having endured the unbearable power of white male smirks in her youth. Gizmodo senior editor Alex Cranz called it a “facial gesture that weaponized their privilege” and could “DEVASTATE.”

Editor Heidi N. Moore lumped Sandmann in with male reporters who have the audacity to question her.

Journalist Jeff Sharlet was sure he saw in Sandmann a future misogynistic adult, à la certain Trump supporters.

Hayes, for her part, pointed out that Sandmann’s smile wasn’t his only allegedly racist accoutrement: Don’t forget his “Make America Great Again” hat.

As is often the case in the culture wars, some conservatives embraced the liberal caricature of them. The term “assault smile” has been making the rounds.

The left has yet to adopt it.

Cover image: A teen boy faces off with Nathan Phillips amid protests in Washington, DC, on Jan. 18, 2019. (Screen grab from YouTube)



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