Sometimes I wonder how much of this is a phenomenon of our current culture and how much of this is simply known because we document things better than they did in the past.

Sometimes I wonder how much of this is a phenomenon of our current culture and how much of this is simply known because we document things better than they did in the past.

The “Fake News” crowd got a bone handed to them this weekend when a Kentucky Catholic High School took some kids to Washington D.C. for the March for Life.

I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that somehow the kids either got Make America Great Again hats from their school or on the trip. It’s part of the Republican uniform now. If you don’t have a red hat, you’re not on the team.

There have been occasions when the MAGA hats have been worn by young white men to identify with their team and enjoy certain privileges that economically stable male whiteness allow. You can’t say every kid who wears a MAGA hat is a racist. That’s unfair. Some kids even wear them ironically.

Some kids just love President Donald Trump and walls and - I don’t know many other things that would make me wear that hat, but I know racism isn’t the primary reason to wear one.

This weekend, those kids were hanging out near the Lincoln Monument. That’s a good place to be.

A photo and short video clip made their way around social media with one of the young men apparently mocking a tribal elder playing a ceremonial drum. The man turned out to be a Vietnam vet and the fuse was lit. “Racist young Trump supporter mocks military vet, tribal leader,” the headline wrote itself. There were even reports that the students chanted “Build that wall” at the indigenous people groups.

I even added a tweet that made fun of the fact that these students chanted about building a wall at people who are literally native to America.

The situation wasn’t quite as it seemed. The photo wasn’t doctored. It was just incomplete. Soon, a two-hour uncut version appeared and told another story.

There was a group of Black Hebrew Israelites who exist simply to stir up trouble who were executing their prime directive. The boys from the Catholic school weren’t doing anything wrong. These BHI guys started shouting at both them and apparently some of the Indigenous people groups who were also in D.C. to protest.

One thing I noticed in my vacation to Washington D.C. last summer is that there are a lot of people there who are only there to deliver a message. There are a lot more messages being delivered than received, if you know what I mean. Most of these protests have the same effect as talking into your phone before dialing it.

The three messages intersected. The BHI protesters were shouting threats and making vile comments and obscene remarks trying to goad other groups into conflict. The indigenous people wanted nothing to do with them and the students responded pretty well.

Soon, the students started doing some harmless school or sports cheers to drown out the other groups. That’s when Nathan Phillips stepped in between the groups to separate them. His actions created a mild conflict with the students. That’s when one student stood in front of him and didn’t yield. He didn’t really do anything wrong. But the photo of him smirking at the Native American man and wearing his MAGA hat looked pretty bad when a tweet accompanying it gave only partial context.

Many on the right came to the boys’ defense, blaming many - including me in reality - for tweeting about this without the full story. That’s a fair criticism. A big time right wing PR firm even helped write and distribute a statement from the young man who was singled out in the photo.

One part of the statement said that the student lives the ideals of his faith, “to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence.”

It seemed that the initial story was entirely debunked.

And then another video surfaced showing Phillips walk into the group of students and play his drum. Again, I want to believe his motives were pure in that. Who knows? I’m not going to pretend to understand this story in its entirety.

But while Phillips played, the students stopped being respectful and started dancing around and mocking the drummer. It was basically a continuation of the sports or school chants from before with some modern rap dance moves mixed in for fun.

It wasn’t racist, but it was far from respectful.

This whole incident proved a lot of obvious truths to still be true.

First, a group of teenage boys can’t stay out of trouble forever. Considering what could have happened and what groups from other schools might have done, I’ll give the boys in the MAGA hats a B minus for how they handled themselves. It could have been better but it could have been worse.

I would give Mr. Phillips the same grade. Even if he meant well in separating the other groups, he could have been a little more vocal and helpful in peacemaking. I don’t blame him for being mocked, but he did insert himself in a tough spot on purpose.

The BHI gets an F. They always do. Without their presence, the other incidents don’t happen. That would make them proud.

The media and social media mob get an incomplete grade.

If the entire story came out first, it would have generated mild interest. The immediate overreaction created an immediate overreactive blowback which then proved to be only partially true as well.

Video after video after video prove that the truth can be an ugly beast and hard to find.

It makes you wonder how many events in history with short videos and photo evidence really have “other side of the coin” stories that never got told because, at that point in history, every human wasn’t equipped with a device to record photos and videos with immediate access to large audiences.