Apparently, MAGA hats are the new Klan hoods.
Or so I’ve been told relentlessly the past few days after the infamous incident with the MAGA hat wearing teens and the Native elder at the March for Life over the weekend. The narrative about Trump supporters being the new Nazis or Klan has been developing for a long time, and this weekend brought it back with the fury of a hurricane. I have watched this video from every conceivable angle, and read every single interpretation of the event. I have written before about how our biases and prejudices color every event we witness, and this is one of the clearest examples I’ve ever witnessed. The Scott Adams “Two movies, one screen” theory that I wrote about in my book has never been more evident than it was during this entire narrative. Both sides saw their version of events, so let’s have a look to see if we can uncover the truth.
One side saw a bunch of MAGA hat wearing thugs surrounding a Native American, hearkening back to the harassment of African Americans during the Civil Rights era. The teen’s “weaponized smirk” as I heard it called by one prominent leftist, to them is a manifestation of everything they have railed about during the entire Trump presidency. The smirk and surrounding chants were the fulfillment of Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-people of color message. For them, the smirk was the culmination of white male privilege in the Trump era. In the wake of the episode, the teens were not only targeted by outrage mobs calling for them to be expelled but also numerous threats of both violence and doxxing of their private lives.
The other side saw teens standing around chanting school fight songs when a man they didn’t know came up to them and started beating a drum in their faces. Unlike the other side, many on this side at least attempted to provide some semblance of nuance. After watching the initial video, many on the “right” decried the actions of the teens as the behavior of idiotic high schoolers, yet still denounced their behavior. Once additional videos began to surface depicting the entire incident from many angles, some on the right completely switched to supporting the teens.
What then is the truth?
It doesn’t matter, and in a moment I will tell you why, but first, let’s look at the evidence.
One of many angles of the video: https://youtu.be/sIG5ZB0fw1k
Based on my viewing of the original, uncut tape, shot from a wide angle, I concluded that the teens could have been a bit more deferential to an elderly man, but I saw absolutely nothing wrong with their actions. In the unedited tape, the teens are clearly approached by left-wing protestors, who began to harass them, then, the elder placed himself in between the groups. He was not surrounded in any way by the teens, and if you watch the longer video, they are actually chanting “whoa, oh, oh,” in rhythm with his drum beats, a chant I have heard at countless Kansas City Chiefs games. I heard no racial slurs, nor did I hear the claim validated that they chanted “build the wall,” or any such other political rhetoric. Sure, the main kid in the video could have backed up and shown more deference, but keep in mind, he was there first. A man he did not know approached and started banging a drum in his face. What should he have done? What would you do?
So let’s assume what I just wrote is “the truth.”
It still doesn’t matter. The narrative is set.
Regardless of the truth, millions of people already shared the initial video, and have already received confirmation of what they already believed, that Donald Trump is leading a new movement of white supremacy and hate in America. They will not look at the full video and apply any context or nuance whatsoever. Even if the main players in this episode, the news media, back down after viewing the entire video, it won’t matter because the hard left has already received the validation they needed. Since they believe they are combatting a modern day Hitler youth or SS brigade, they have all the justification necessary for assault or ruining someone’s life. Even if they acknowledge that this particular incident was not as bad as they were led to believe, they still feel that it fits an overall “pattern” of behavior of people during the Trump administration.
As an aside, this situation is precisely why even video and photographic evidence are no longer the bulletproof evidence that we sometimes believe them to be. Nearly any incident can be changed entirely by even a few seconds worth of editing, completely altering the context. If you are on the right, or even the middle, you must now understand that any action you take may be edited out of context to make you look guilty. Once that edited video surfaces and the outrage mobs descend upon you, the truth will not matter one iota. You are just another modern day Nazi, ready to ship people off to concentration camps, and you must be stopped at all costs.
When ANTIFA members physically assaulted a veteran, or when a group of BLM advocates literally beat a 70+-year-old man, it got ZERO mainstream coverage outside of Fox. Ask yourself why that is, that one side is capable of getting a free pass for outright assault, and the other is demonized as Nazis just for wearing a hat and smirking. In addition, I will tell you what most Trump supporters already know and have known from day one. If you wear a MAGA hat in public or have a Trump shirt or bumper sticker, you are highly likely to be assaulted physically. I know many hardcore Trump supporters that will not breathe a word of it in public, solely because they are completely aware that they are likely to have their property destroyed, or receive physical harm.
Ask yourself why one side can get away with outright assault without a blip on the radar, and the other can’t even wear a hat in public. Dangerous times are ahead, now that teens don’t even get a pass for being…teens, so I hope you all stay safe.
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Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.