It’s weird when the world is looking upon your tiny piece of the earth with disfavor.
I was raised in Covington, Kentucky. When Randy and I were looking for our house, Covington was where we looked over most other areas. We ended up staying in Ohio, but we’re a stone’s throw from Covington.
My parents, sisters, niece and nephew all live in a small community adjacent to Covington. My father grew up in Newport, Kentucky. He attended Newport Catholic. Covington Catholic was forever his rival. I attended Catholic school in Covington and many of the boys I went to grade school with attended Covington Catholic.
It is devastating to watch my home town dragged through the mud. It is uncomfortable to feel both ashamed and defensive.
Covington is an interesting, diverse little river town.
It is also harbors ugliness that is hard to look at.
We’ve seen the video of the young man in a MAGA hat attempting to intimidate the Native American Vietnam vet. The smugness on his face is maddening. The chaperones cheering him on makes me want to puke and cry.
How low we’ve gone. How ugly we are.
It has become commonplace to see videos of white people behaving like monsters. But this one? Wow. This one has stoked a white hot rage. With good reason.
What I’m struggling with, are the scores and scores of tweets and comments that can be summed up with: What else do you expect from a bunch of knuckle dragging inbred hillbillies who voted in Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul? Or perhaps just: Fuck Kentucky.
Mitch McConnell has got to go. He’s holding the entire country hostage.
You know who has to get rid of him? Kentuckians. Kentuckians hold the key to Mitch’s political future.
How helpful is it to vilify the entire state?
We need Kentucky to vote McConnell out. We need Kentucky to vote Rand Paul out. The entire country is depending on Kentucky to do the right thing. How helpful is it for the entire country to pile on Kentucky, when the entire country is at the mercy of Kentucky voters?
How many people can you reach if you are pointing and laughing and painting the entire state with your hillbilly MAGA brushes?
Are there a lot of hillbilly MAGAts in Kentucky? Oh, fuck yes there are.
But they don’t get to lay claim to the state of Kentucky.
There are people in Kentucky who are devoted to the resistance.
Do you know what they need? They fucking need help. Keep on pointing and laughing. Keep Trump’s base all riled up. Because that is fucking helpful. How are people within the state supposed to make any progress if the rest of the country is making it more difficult?
It is in all our best interest to do what we can to help the people of Kentucky who want to do right.
You know, we can expand this to beyond Kentucky.
There are Trump supporters in every state. Some states have more than others.
There are people in the resistance in every state. The ones who are outnumbered are the ones who most need our support.
We’ve got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot.
This in no way suggests that we shouldn’t continue to call out bad behavior. I firmly believe we must. We can’t ignore it. We can’t pretend it isn’t there. We must call it out. The young man in the video is going to learn a hard lesson. But this is a good thing. We can’t make people stop being racist, but we can collectively and definitively tell them that it is not accepted.