I don’t like the idea of defending a kid in a MAGA hat, but if I wanted to be a reactionary ignoramus who ignores evidence that conflicts with my initial assumptions, then I’d get a MAGA hat of my own.
If you look at Nick Sandmann’s “smirk” in the context of a kid who stood still as an elder, Nathan Phillips, walked up to him and chanted in his face, then the smirk becomes more like what the kid described in his statement – a smile showing that on the one hand, he’s not going to back down but on the other, he’s not going to do anything aggressive. Had it been an old man in a MAGA hat who walked up to a kid who smiled in return, we would be cheering that smile.
In this case, it was the kid who was wearing the MAGA hat. And his friends were laughing at adults. That all sucks. But this kid, who so many doxed and vilified, didn’t do what so many of us assumed he did. He didn’t get in the face of a Native American elder. The elder got in the face of the kid.
He’s still just a kid. He’s no older than the kids who the right wing vilifies for speaking out after the massacre of their classmates. He’s no older than many who are murdered by authority figures before wingnuts in MAGA hats assume without evidence that they must have deserved it
If we don’t admit when we’ve made assumptions that were later contradicted by evidence, than we become like them. I’d rather defend one of them than become one of them.
Editing note: This post was extensively expanded. The original was just one paragraph.