Context matters. But so do the facts and the aftermath of what happens when media rushes to judgment in hopes for clicks. If you haven’t seen it, this is kind of what happened. Despite the initial stories that came out, the teen in the center of this viral video, Nick Sandmann, wasn’t the one who caused the confrontation. Except he is the one who received the majority of negative attention and now even death threats thanks to “selective editing.” Sandmann’s statement is below the video.
Teen accused of taunting Native American protesters in viral video says he's receiving death threats and has been falsely accused. @ErielleReshef reports. https://t.co/vI3rQhg330 pic.twitter.com/VVmmKkGxtC
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 21, 2019
Here are some partial excerpts from Sandmann’s full statement, which can be found here.
When we arrived, we noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group.
The protestors said hateful things. They called us “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “faggots,” and “incest kids.” They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would “harvest his organs.” I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear.
In other words, the Catholic students didn’t start anything. Since context matters, it was the students who were being harassed first, not the other way around. I know in our current time, white boys are to blame for everything from male privilege to the popularity of Cardi B. But it’s not the case.
The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.
Like previous media narrative fails, when media is more interested in pushing a narrative instead of the truth, in this case, that a Trump supporting white teen male is Satan incarnate, despite not even close, it’s not the media which is taking the fall. It’s not media which is hiding in its house, out of fear for its life.
The teen is being targeted for further harassment and even death threats. Thanks to a FALSE story.
I am being called every name in the book, including a racist, and I will not stand for this mob-like character assassination of my family’s name. My parents were not on the trip, and I strive to represent my family in a respectful way in all public settings.
I have received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults. One person threatened to harm me at school, and one person claims to live in my neighborhood. My parents are receiving death and professional threats because of the social media mob that has formed over this issue.
Unacceptable. The initial story reported about Nick Sandmann was as true as a flat earth expose. Technically this isn’t a story at all. People got heated at a protest. So what? But since the media has a narrative, since they’re trying to divide us on racial lines, they jumped on the chance to malign a teen, a symbol of what they think Trump’s “America” is and ran with it, damn the consequences to that teen.
No excuses here. Wait for the facts, media. Do a little digging. Find that context.