JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS
ABOUT THOSE COVINGTON BOYS
My friend and former Hillsdale College colleague, Dan Bisher, has gained some prominence as a regional historian through his book, Faded Memories, which examines Michigan’s frontier period, as well as through presentations he gives at libraries and schools.
A special focus of his work is the Potawatomi Indian culture that flourished in south-central Michigan until the infamous “Trail of Tears” episode that saw removal of indigenous people to reservations in the American southwest.
Dan’s talks are well attended, and they generate plenty of questions, especially from children, who are always interested in native American life.
Indian lore is a fascination for kids, exposed as they are from a young age to storybooks, TV shows, movies, and school lessons about the earliest residents of the Western Hemisphere. When they learn about the displacement of native culture by European civilization, youngsters tend to feel a special empathy that blends romance, nostalgia and a sense of loss. I dare say no other people have quite the same hold on their hearts as American Indians do.
Which is why I was quite perplexed when I saw the first video images of those Covington, Kentucky, school boys confronted by a native drummer on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.