Today it was reported that officials at the Zionsville, IN Community High School are investigating an Instagram photo that appears to show 10 members of a local boy's soccer team giving a Nazi salute.
Also today, a video went viral on social media showing high school students, mostly white teenage boys, several wearing Trump's red MAGA hats, mocked a Native American man who was beating a drum and singing a song of unity for indigenous people to "be strong". It happened on the Washington Mall near the Lincoln Memorial.
What is going on with our kids? I think it's simply a case of Monkey See, Monkey Do.
In this era of Donald Trump, we are repeatedly seeing scenes of adults, usually white males, giving Nazi salutes or white power gestures. In all too many instances, such as the Charlottesville, VA "Unite the Right" rally in 2017, violence and even death is the result.
When adults act in such a way, young people often feel emboldened to do the same. And the racist actions and attitudes reflected by the president, only makes that worse.
In the Zionsville incident, most of the students were wearing shirts associated with an indoor soccer team called the Rumblin’ Bumblers while one is wearing a Zionsville school jersey. The photo was first posted to Instagram, with a caption that stated, “Rumblin bumblers isn’t just a indoor soccer team, we are a cultural phenomenon.”
In an email, Zionsville Superintendent Scott Robison said the photo was brought to the school's attention after a concerned student forwarded the image to a teacher who then sent it to Robison. “Our school community’s efforts to foster cultural understanding will proceed, though they are set back mightily by this repugnant image,” Robison's email said.
In the Washington incident, the Native American man at the center of the throng of high school students was Nathan Phillips, 64, a Vietnam veteran, who said he felt threatened by the teens as they swarmed around him.
He was singing the American indian Movement song of unity that serves as a ceremony to send the spirits home. and said he felt tensions rise as participants from the nearby March for Life rally began taunting the indigenous crowd. "Build that wall, build that wall," some chanted.
“It was getting ugly, and I was thinking: ‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln Memorial,’ ” Phillips told The Washington Post. “I started going that way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn’t allow me to retreat.”
So, Phillips kept drumming and singing, thinking about his wife, Soshana, who died of bone marrow cancer nearly four years ago, and the many threats that face indigenous communities around the world, he told The Post.
Young people, if you are going to follow an example, let it be people like Nathan Phillips, not Donald Trump.