The average American spends 700 hours reading every year, according to USA Today.
But why are we still so uninformed?
On Jan. 21, Nathan Phillips became the hero of the internet by standing face-to-face with Nick Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic.
In multiple interviews, Phillips told reporters that he was approached by the group of young white males who blocked him from continuing forward during his Indigenous Peoples March.
Instantly, readers began reacting to the information from the 30-second video, many calling him a racist.
Covington Catholic High School’s Nick Sandman is one Trump-supporting disrespectful young man with wealthy parents who needs to join the U.S. Marines so a drill sergeant can wipe that smarmy arrogant smile off of his face! Disgusting – harassing a U.S. war combat vet! #racism pic.twitter.com/jXfvwW85Z3
— ViewFromWise (@ViewFromWise) January 21, 2019
We are not blind. Nick Sandman and his fellow students were disrespectful and exhibited racist behavior. Shame on Sandman and Covington Catholic for promoting and allowing this behavior. Is this what they teach at Covington Catholic?
— Tim Hankins (@TimHankins33) January 22, 2019
We were all so quick to judge the two primary subjects in the video without seeking more context. As more videos from the day began to surface, it became clear that everyone got it wrong.
Some videos, over two hours long, show a group of Black Hebrew Israelites – an extremist group who believe they are the descendants of an ancient tribe in Israel, but are not recognized by most Jewish communities – harassing and provoking the students. But never do the videos show the account Phillips’ claimed to have.
Despite the corrections, very little apology was offered to the students of Covington Catholic.
After the videos, it seemed that the topic had died down and was of little significance. Multiple celebrities took down tweets, but some people still persisted that the Covington students were in the wrong.
Even with evidence of the whole situation, people still chose to emphasize the narrative that fits their beliefs best.
It is dangerous to ignore factual information and choose to only read from news sites or people who believe the same ideas that we do.
If we are unable to challenge our thoughts and prove what we believe up against facts (not against other opinions), we have failed to actually think.
Instead of joining the fuss for the sake of being part of the “winning” crowd, we should be more open to seeking the truth and being patient as we wait for other sides to the story.