You know what I want?
I want one kid who was on the Covington Catholic HS trip to speak up.
I want one kid to say, “We knew what we were doing.”
I want one kid to break the code of silence and say, “That statement my classmate put out is nonsense.”
I want one kid to say, “I haven’t slept since this happened because I am ashamed at how I got caught up in a moment that ended up being way more than I ever thought it would be.”
I want one kid to say, “We knew we were making fun of Nathan Phillips.”
One kid out of 60.
And I know the social cost for that kid would be astronomical. His parents would probably have to remove him from that school. But I want one kid to stand up and do the right thing.
I also know that the stakes are now incredibly high outside of his immediate community as well. I don’t know if he did speak up how he would be received. I don’t know if the harassment would abate or increase or just shift valence. And there’s no question that the incredibly charged political theater that has taken place as a result of this moment makes speaking up and telling the truth even harder.
But it is also what the moment demands. Because it’s the truth. Because it is maybe the only step toward restoration and healing that any of those kids could actually do. Because it might quiet all the noise.
Because that’s the moral thing to do.