“Toxic” Masculinity or None at All?

By | January 27, 2019 | 2 Comments

The photo is of 16-year-old Nicholas Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky. He was confronted by an apparent Native American beating a drum in his face in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Later he was interviewed by Savanah Guthrie on NBC’s “Today” show. Or rather, he was grilled in a hostile and confrontational manner, entirely inappropriate for speaking to a young person on national TV. The interview would have been more appropriate in a police station, with detectives grilling a suspect in a terrible crime.

But my complaint is not only over the tone of the interviewer. Much more, my complaint is over the content of the questions. My complaint is what those questions reveal about what current political correctness expects of young people in general, and boys and young men in particular.

Watch the interview. Liberals saw the eight-minute interview as a too-gentle effort of a white woman to protect a white boy. But conservatives, including me, saw it as a series of soft-spoken attempts to throw guilt on the young man. It seemed that Guthrie was either (1) attempting to get Sandmann to admit his guilt, or (2) trying to goad him into becoming angry. If so, she failed on both counts.

The young man was more calm, more mature, more well-spoken, and more logical than I would have been. I would probably have confronted Guthrie for repeatedly assuming things not in evidence. Consider some of her questions:

Did you feel you owe anybody an apology? For what? Standing on the sidewalk, waiting for the school bus, and having a drum beaten inches from your face? Having black “Hebrew Israelites” hurl racist, homophobic insults at him and his classmates, including, “child molesting f**gots,” “dirty a*s crackers,” “future school shooters,” and “incest babies”? Being the recipient of death threats? For all that they should apologize?

● Do you feel it was your own fault in any way? How? Does being white, being pro-life, or wearing a red cap constitute “fault”?

● Do you think it was it was a good idea to start chanting back at the protesters? Why not? Do the protesters have a right to shout insults, but the students have no right to give high-school yells in return? What is the proper response to insults? Silence? What about the proverb, “Silence equals agreement”?

● Did anyone in your group yell racist insults or “build the wall”? There was no evidence of this on the video, which was available to NBC. So why ask an accusatory question to which she already knew that the answer is no?

● Why didn’t you walk away?

This last question is the key. Catholic high-school students are confronted by a man beating a drum in their faces, while another group shouts insults. The students are waiting on a public sidewalk for their school bus to pick them up. But why didn’t they retreat? Who will defend our nation, and our civilization, if you teach young people, especially young men, to retreat from confrontation?

We walk endlessly about bullying and how to end it. But what do we actually do about it? When young people are bullied, we accuse them of starting the trouble, and we accuse them of not retreating or, in Guthrie’s words, “standing their ground.”

So what, exactly, are we teaching young people? We may intend to teach them to stop bullying, but in fact, we are teaching them to tolerate bullies, to give in to bullies, and to retreat from bullies. In fact, we are enabling bullies and bullying – in the schoolyard, on the street, and in the world.

To me, Nicholas Sandmann exemplifies the best of religious and patriotic young men. He is calm and self-assured without being conceited. He is firmly rooted in religious principles of patience and self-restraint, and in American principles of freedom of speech and expression. He and his classmates have just as much right to demonstrate in front of the Lincoln Memorial as does any other non-violent group that wishes to do so. He and his group have no more duty to retreat than do any other people who are in a public place, exercising their constitutional rights.

More specifically, Nicholas Sandmann is well on his way to growing from a boy into a man. And by man I do not mean the current definition: a sexually mature male. No, I mean a man.

Talk to young, and not-so-young, women. Ask them why they are still single. Ask them whether their problem is too-masculine males, or males who are insufficiently masculine. Ask them if their problem is males who always pick up the dinner check, or males who never do. Ask them if their problem is males who insist on supporting them, or males who want women to support them. Ask them if their problem is males who always hold the door for them, or males who never do, even when their arms are filled with packages.

Ask them if their problem is too many men, or too few. I would bet serious money that their answer would be too few.

The family, the nation, and civilization itself depend on turning boys into men. Leftists from radical feminists to the American Psychological Association can talk endlessly about “toxic” masculinity. But the end result of their efforts would be no masculinity at all. As between this goal and Nicholas Sandmann, I’ll take Nick every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. And yes, the double meaning of Sunday was intended.

Unlike the products of “progressive” schools, Nicholas Sandmann knows how to stand his ground. His ground is America. His ground is Judeo-Christian civilization. His ground is our ground. Will we stand it as well as he did?

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

www.stolinsky.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.