The Lack of any Viable Alternatives Makes the Smirking Kid Cement His Ideology

The Lack of any Viable Alternatives Makes the Smirking Kid Cement His Ideology

By Don Hall

Was the dress blue or gold?
Was C.K. funny or not?
Were they protesting or looting?

I can guarantee you that your answer to these bizarre viral moments in internet history — based on snap judgments pulled rapidly out of asses large and small, tight and loose — serve to identify where you stand on any number of issues but mostly on which side you will stand in the coming American Social Civil War.

Establishing for the moment that a Catholic Prep School — mostly white, rich and all male — sent a field trip of sixteen-year-old boys to D.C. to march in a protest against abortion and ignoring that some of them decided to wear those goddamned MAGA hats is the source of a lot of putrid, vomited hate and should be shut down like the diners of old that refused to serve black people or bakeries who refuse to serve gays. Establishing that most sixteen-year-olds are borderline mentally deficient due to an influx of hormones, video games, too much fucking screen time and Tide Pods. I say most because some of them, in a trial by fire, get their shit together and are forced to grow up too fast by some active shooter in their school and set an example that is both inspiring and unrealistic in the cases of 99 percent of the sixteen-year-old population.

Establishing those two aspects as dogma, let’s just say, for shits and giggles, that the kid in the video decided his immediate reaction to being taunted for an hour by Black Israelites then suddenly confronted by a Native American man drumming and singing at him was out of line. That he bought into the polemic that “I’ve seen that smirk and I know what it means” and realizes the mistake he made in the absence of any real time options he had at the moment.

Yeah, I hear you. You would’ve done better because you are on the right side of history. You knew that a Native American elder drumming and singing was a call for peace because how could anyone not know that?

After the two sides of the Neo-Union and Neo-Confederacy go to bat, either defending him or condemning him, what’s that kid supposed to do with it? What are his options in how to move forward?

He can:

  1. Double down and defend himself, fully owning the racist hat he wears

  2. Conform and start the loop of endless apologies that will never be forgiven

  3. Eat a gun

What the fuck do you think he’s gonna do? What would you do if you were a) sixteen years old and b) called names by thousands of assholes you’ve never met who have decided that their opinion of you is sacred text?

Yeah, I hear you. You were far more evolved when you were sixteen. You were whipsmart and filled with the lazy cynicism and biting wit of every episode of The Gilmore Girls. Instead of reacting with fear or rage or righteous indignation, you’d be the Martin Luther King of teenagers and calmly put the thing to rest.

This is the Wonderful Suckhole Existence of the Callout Culture, fuck-os. Where the assumption of motivations is second nature and stereotyping is just the only way to go because anything more complicated than good and evil is too taxing for your demented marshmallow brain. Get used to it.

First, none of this one situation in the Mall in D.C. was simple. You have this predictable confluence of a group of high school kids in town to protest abortion who may or may not love Trump (or maybe just love conservatism counter to the identity politics that paint anyone white as evil), a group of professional activists who, for hours, stand and insult everyone they can in hopes of their viral video moment they can post and get their cause (Black Israelites? What?) some fifteen seconds of notice, and a group of Native American activists marching for their Indigenous People March all converging in fifty square feet of sidewalk.

However you choose to view the multiple videos of this encounter, the last thing it is is simple. The white kids are dickheads (in part because they’re kids in a group, which is a thing that sidesteps all racial or gender identities because all kids in a group are dickheads), the Black Jew Guys are dickheads with an agenda, and the Native Americans, while not dickheads (not trying to be divisive or ugly about things) could’ve easily continued marching past the other two groups but chose a different path. The kids are challenged by the African Hebrews, they respond the way kids would, things get heated up and Nathan Phillips comes into the fray to calm things down with assumption that both of the other groups understand that a Native American elder banging a drum and singing a prayer means they’re supposed to shut the fuck up.

By the way, this is not a “boys will be boys” argument but a “most kids are dumb as a box of burrito wrappers” argument.

Second, only the Native American group had a permit to even be there. The black dudes just showed up to piss on people and the kids are just out fucking around.

Third, the hypocrisy. Good Christ, the hypocrisy. The Rage Profiteers are banking serious credibility with their fight against internet bullying and, without a single rational self-reflective thought, use the internet to bully a sixteen-year-old kid because the Hive Mind thinks he deserves it because he’s a) white, b) male, and c) wearing a fucking Trump ball cap. None of the chaperones had their mugs and names thrown out in the Twitterverse and publicly pilloried; none of the administration of the established racist, sexist, classist, Catholic Prep school was thrown to the horde. Not even the kids in the background yelling “Build the Wall” and doing tomahawk swipes were outed. Just the kid who smirked. Are you all fucking idiots? Sociopaths? Zealots without any regard for basic rationality?

Fourth, this is complete bullshit:

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Seriously. Whomever took the time to type that and post it on their Faceborg wall is a moron.

Racism stems from ignorance and limited experience. Sure, the racism exhibited by those in power is about power but I’d posit that 95 percent of those who hold racist attitudes aren’t in any kind of power, so the meme is crap. Grow up.

Those in power love this shit. They wallow in it like a four-year-old rolls around in a ball pit. Power is the game and as long as those of us with no power focus on nonsense like a smirking kid, a staring kid, an angry black woman, a strident white talking head on FOX, we aren’t paying attention to them as they continue to bilk us all for trillions.

Back to the smug kid. As a society of free thinkers, we have a choice as to how to approach him. We can do all we can to bury him in shame and rage knowing that unless he chooses a dirt nap, he’s only going to become more concretely entrenched in the dogma he was taught in that fucking school. Or we can go after the school that made sure they continued pumping out Hitler Youth one smirking kid at a time. We can give that kid some room to become a bit more educated and perhaps change his mind and take down the adults who want him to stay stupid or we can destroy the kid (and fuck you if you think that a mob of a thousand tweets isn’t destroying someone, you anti-bullying hypocrite) and let the school apologize and expel him and get a pass.

You wanna be “woke?” Wake up to that, dipshit.

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