An Open Letter to Straight White Progressives

by Jason Frerichs

I’m not going to pull punches here.  You really let us down in regards to the MAGA bros associated with Covington Catholic High School.  When the first video came out, your reaction was the correct one.  As a member of the LGBTQ community, I know that smug smirk on Nick Sandman’s face very well.  It’s the same arrogant smirk that I’ve seen on the face of every person who has ever called me a “fag.”  Then “alternative” videos came out and the families of the racist MAGA bros quickly rallied together and hired a PR firm that cast doubt the authenticity of the account of Nathan Phillips.

My Facebook feed was a litany of straight white “progressives” tripping all over themselves to apologize for their “rush to judgment.”  It was very telling seeing who was saying what.  None of my LGBTQ friends or my nonwhite friends did this.  We kept reading and finding out more information.  We learned that those kids threatened random women walking by with rape.  We also learned that these same kids made ape noises at black people.  This school recently had a star basketball convicted of rape, not once but twice.  This school’s students dressed in blackface to taunt an opposing basketball team.  There is clearly something rotten at this school.  It starts with the teachers and the parents.

The disappointing white-washing of this event by supposed progressives is not surprising.  Latent racism caused many to immediately believe the narrative of the innocent white kids being hated just for wearing a hat.  The fact is that the MAGA is a 21st century Klan Hood.  Those who put it on know exactly what it means and what they are trying to stay.  It’s a symbol meant to intimidate marginalized communities.  I now know who my allies are.  If you are willing to white-wash white supremacy, I know you won’t stand up for me when my community is under attack.

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

Martin Luther King Jr

Letter from a Birmingham JailAugust 1963

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