By Jeff Jobe
Monday, I spent a cold afternoon with a nice cross-section of individuals remembering the sacrifices made by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and hope all that attended left feeling as I did.
The burdens I carried into the service were heavy and the weight was completely removed. Why would any part of me be surprised, after all, this is why we go to church.
The message was presented by Pastor Barrett Wright and centered around Dr. King’s strength in speaking to power.
Few things represent power in our country more than the media. Whether it is newspapers, radio, television or the Internet; their influence is everywhere because of today’s technology.
With power comes a responsibility for truth; I speak of it often with our editorial team. Yet some in my profession just can’t seem to put down their biases.
The biggest scandal over the past few days involved a group of Catholic schoolboys from Covington making a field trip to Washington. They attended a pro-life rally and while there came in contact with two other groups, described as Hebrew Israelites and Native Americans.
A video clip went viral showing what appeared to be a standoff and disrespect for an older Native American man and a young catholic boy wearing a red MAGA hat.
The national media and even one of my own was quick to judge the boys as guilty and in defense of anyone who saw it, I will say it was quiet damning and if true; my faith in who we are as Kentuckians would forever have been shaken.
I even posted on Twitter asking where can I get the full video. I can’t imagine any excuse for this behavior. However, I do know those you mention (Gerth and Cross) would without a doubt ignore any hint of reasoning.
Gerth enjoys making fun of people for getting angry with him; it seems he thinks they should just excuse the fact that his opinions don’t have to contain truth. So for him tweeting, “Do you know how I know ‘Build the wall’ is a racist, xenophobic idea? Because white kids thought it appropriate to chant it at people with a different color skin, even though we took this country from them. It’s all about skin color,” – he has a history of not caring if damage is done.
The same would be fine for Cross but he is also a journalism professor at the University of Kentucky and he tweeted, “These students’ behavior makes me sick, for several reasons: a poor reflection on my state, a failing of a great institution, an offense to honorable people, and the preening ignorance of privileged boors.”
His tweet and Facebook comments had numerous other education professionals condemn the boys as well.
Fortunately, full-length videos began to show up and showed the Native American was actually a paid activist and his details for what happened was a lie. The videos also detailed how the boys were verbally assaulted and called names because of their religious beliefs by the black Hebrew Israelites.
Gerth, Cross, and few other liberal media outlets have yet to apologize or detail the true happenings involving these Kentucky boys. I will forever be amazed at how Kentuckians like Gerth, Cross, Ronnie Ellis, and a few others can take a position they know is hurting Kentucky, and this is why Governor Matt Bevin says he refuses to do interviews with them.
People don’t want educators or news professionals who ignore accomplishments of our elected leaders and certainly not one’s eager to attack our high school students.
Monday the pastors spoke of how we can’t follow God’s vision if we only love those who love us, and the importance of speaking truth to power. It is because of this powerful message that I chose not to sit quietly as these young men were wrongly attacked. This is my commitment today for any child.
Jeff Jobe is founder and CEO of Jobe Publishing, Inc. His commentary reflects his personal views and does not reflect the views of personal or professional associations and affiliations. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his previously published commentary at sckentucky.com.