A professor who teaches at one of America’s elite Ivy League colleges went on a Twitter rant about the Covington High School controversy, saying “the smiling face of Whiteness” is one that “always hides a knife behind its back.”
University of Pennsylvania Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education, commented on 16-year-old Nick Sandmann’s demeanor when he and his classmates faced racial slurs, verbal abuse, and confrontation by adult men merely for wearing a Make America Great Again hat.
“Whiteness endlessly forgives its own transgressions,” Thomas wrote. “It rarely, if ever, gives those of us it harms and maims and kills time to process our motions [sic].”
Campus Reform captured the tweets before the professor made her account private:
Thomas continued, saying white people need to do better.
Thomas said she would not share video between Sandmann and the Native American man who stood inches from his face beating on a drum as the group labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as black supremacist called them products of incest, told them to go back to Europe, and bashed them with horrific names. Her reason wasn’t out of concern for the kids but for those harassing the kids.
“BTW, not RTing the video,” she tweeted. “It’s circulated enough. Yes, it’s important that we know what happened, but out of respect for and solidarity with my Native, First Nations, and Indigenous friends, family & colleagues, there’s no way I’m going to RT that visual trauma again.”
Nowhere does Thomas, who works in education to prepare teachers to instruct and nurture young people, comment on the vulnerability of the minors who were put in a hostile situation by the adults around them. She doesn’t see the individuals, the apprehension of these boys, or their particular circumstance. She only sees a collective defined by race and judges through that prism.
This is a point lost on many people in this controversy, but it is one that could have tragic consequences if it goes unchallenged in our society. When people are willing to put children at risk and even applaud those who are abusive to children in the name of a collectivist ideology, we are heading down a steep path to ruin. The black men who verbally abused the students didn’t see boys, human beings with feelings and thoughts of their own. They saw only MAGA hats and the whiteness of those wearing them.
According to the Washington, D.C., statute against disorderly conduct, these men appeared to break the law by verbally attacking the boys in a public place. Few, however, seem to care about the illegality of the incident much less the immorality of it. This Ivy League professor certainly doesn’t.
Instead, she and others who have treated these boys like they’re terrorists or “Nazis” equate whiteness with violence — the “knife” behind the back. If this is how one group perceives another simply because of the color of their skin, there can be no peace, no trust, and certainly no mutual affection that is necessary for the stability and progress of the civil society.
This ominous trend is why it is important to hold those who label others this way accountable. Such perceptions can spread like a disease through society, and indeed this is what is happening. The Covington controversy is proof of it as media, entertainers, and politicians have dehumanized and victimized a 16-year-old and his friends on the basis of race. If the welfare of children will not restrain such hostility, what will?