The Christian Science Monitor : 2019-02-11

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heart of the news THE HUMANITY BEHIND THE HEADLINES COVINGTON, KY. These differences in some ways mirror the nation’s cultural and political divides – but are more complex. The community around Covington Catholic feels besieged and angry, not just in response to this incident but over what many see as the national media’s barely disguised scorn for Christian conservatives like the students, who were in Washington to attend the March for Life. State Republican Rep. Adam Koenig has received hate mail from as far away as Oregon, denouncing the students as “racist Kavanaugh pigs.” “They see [Judge] Kavanaugh in these kids, and they’re still upset over all that,” he says. What it’s like to live in a town the whole country is yelling about By Christa Case Bryant / Staff writer this particular town, than it does about the divide in the country – the lack of civility, the heightened sensitivity, symbolism, and explosiveness of the slightest action or comment. Yet here, where the consequences of a blistering national media spotlight are felt by all, it matters deeply – if in different ways. Before Covington became a code word for all that is wrong in America today – whether you think that means the smugness of white privilege or the vindictive bias of the liberal media – it was known as a proud Rust Belt city on the rise. This northern Kentucky city on the banks of the Ohio River is a place where Ulysses S. Grant’s father once delivered the mail, and Stewart Iron Works built the fence that stands around the White House today. Where Hillary Clinton received more votes than Donald Trump, and voters elevated a working-class African-American woman to the role of vice mayor. One thing the city is not, at least not in a literal sense, is the home of Covington Catholic, the school at the heart of the national controversy over a Washington field trip gone awry. The school sits just outside Covington’s city limits in the wealthier, whiter, and more conservative suburbs. The nation overlooked such geographical distinctions in the firestorm that ensued after the students’ controversial interaction with protesters on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. And indeed, the uproar may say less about these particular boys, or REPORTERS ON THE JOB For this story to succeed, it needed conservative voices. But for the first 24 hours I was in Kentucky, only one agreed to speak on the record – and I had to file the next morning. Finally, at 11:30 p.m., a lawyer involved agreed to help. I’m perpetually grateful for the trust strangers put in The Christian Science Monitor. Mainstrasse in Covington, Ky., is an example of the city’s bid to attract Millennials and creatives to its quaint stores and restaurants. Guy Jones (l., in inset) joins hands with a supporter of President Trump during a gathering of Native American supporters in front of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington on Jan. 22. MAIN STREET: – Christa Case Bryant 8 THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR WEEKLY FEBRUARY 11, 2019 | PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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