False accusations of racism and abuse against boys from a Kentucky Catholic high school – only because they wore MAGA hats – have spurred many supporters of President Donald Trump to action, but the POTUS himself has been missing.
In a story that spread like wildfire on Saturday, students from the Covington Catholic High School were accused of racism and harassing a Native American elder and Vietnam veteran outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Social media overflowed with outrage, doxxing and death threats – even after further videos from the scene showed the original story was entirely wrong.
The fact that many of the students – including the one confronted by the Native American protester – wore the iconic red hats with Trump’s 2016 slogan “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) contributed to their vilification by the media, but also a spirited defense by a number of journalists and lawyers who support the sitting president.
As celebrities and virtue-signaling pundits began deleting their social media posts, and the media peddling the original story tried to walk it back without actually apologizing, Trump supporters launched petitions, published videos debunking the original story, and assembled lists of social media outrage for evidence in upcoming defamation suits.
We aren’t going to “drop it.”
Y’all tried to get children murdered.
We aren’t going to forget this and we aren’t going to move on.
— Mike Cernovich 🦍🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) January 21, 2019
This is one of the most significant causes I’ve ever worked on.
I’m putting it all out on the field.
Twitter terms, law enforcement, advertiser boycotts, local event being planned.
These families will not go quietly into the night. Glad to be with them.#StandWithConvington
— Ali Alexander (@ali) January 21, 2019
One activist sought help from First Lady Melania Trump, who has campaigned against online bullying, asking her to invite the boys to the White House as a gesture of support.
.@FLOTUS, 24 boys from Covington Catholic had their lives upended after a misleading video went viral. They were labeled racists, bigots, and white supremacists.
They were bullied by #VerifiedBullies. Can we get an invite for them to the WH to show them bullies never win?
— CJ Pearson (@thecjpearson) January 21, 2019
The scandal has resonated outside the US as well, with Polish parliamentarian Dominik Tarczynski tweeting in support of the Covington students and inviting them to address his colleagues.
“You are very welcome to come and speak out what you believe in!” Tarczynski said.
Yet one prominent Twitter personality who could have been expected to spring into the defense of the Covington boys was notably absent: President Trump himself. As the weekend turned into Monday, some of his supporters began to notice – and weren’t shy about pointing it out, either.
— Allum Bokhari (@LibertarianBlue) January 21, 2019
Trump tweeting about baseball and ignoring #CovingtonCatholic is disheartening. If he can’t defend 14-16 year old children… we have a problem.
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) January 21, 2019
There’s NOTHING wrong with demanding action from Trump. There’s NOTHING wrong with holding his feet to the fire over issues you believe in.
He’s the man we elected to lead OUR MOVEMENT.
You don’t have to sit back & be patient. You can & should SPEAK YOUR MIND & hope he listens.
— Amy 😏 (@RightHookUSA) January 21, 2019
“Loyalty is a two-way street,” attorney Will Chamberlain said in a Periscope on Monday. “We are not sycophants, we are his supporters – but that support is voluntary.”
Chamberlain pointed out that Donald Trump Junior was aware of the issue, and had tweeted about it – but not his father. He was at a loss to explain why the president was unwilling to speak up in defense of his supporters.
So far on Monday, Trump has tweeted about manufacturing jobs, Democrats, federal workers who aren’t getting paid through the ongoing government shutdown, and the holiday dedicated to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. About the scandal involving the Covington schoolboys, he has said not a word.
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