February 15, 2019

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (021519)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.

Positivity: Doxxed Covington Catholic senior helped raise $21K for nonprofit refuge — ‘I’m going to be optimistic’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Covington, Kentucky:

Published 2:49 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2019 | Updated 6:17 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2019

Strangers identified a Covington Catholic senior’s dream and mobilized to dismantle it.

Michael Hodge had applied to Cincinnati State, drawn to the school’s culinary arts program. A mob, angered by videos showing Hodge’s classmates chanting around a group of Native Americans on the National Mall, found a scapegoat in Hodge.

“It was crazy to see all the people, you know, so quick to judge,” Hodge, 18, told The Enquirer. Hodge was 500 miles away when his classmates joined the March for Life event and afterward encountered Native Americans and a reported hate group. Hodge had remained in the Cincinnati area for his older brother’s wedding. But he was mistakenly identified as another CovCath student, Nick Sandmann.

Around the time of the Saturday matrimony, social media users began posting that Hodge aspired to be a chef and had applied to Cincinnati State, using information from school and community magazines.

Hundreds sent “hurtful things and threats” to Hodge, he said, and dozens more made harassing calls to his mother, some lobbing gender-based invective.

The vitriol felt unrelenting.

Police officers escorted Hodge to school those first few days back. His mother, Pamela Hodge, feared for his safety.

What the strangers didn’t know: Hodge’s passion for the culinary arts had led him last summer to prepare and serve meals to food-insecure individuals at Mary Rose Mission, a Catholic nonprofit in Florence.

And about six years earlier, Hodge’s father, John Hodge, had offered engineering and architectural advice and a free inspection through his company, Century Construction Inc., to Mary Rose during the renovation of a 100-year old structure.

The nonprofit at first relied solely on volunteers for the project.

“They (John Hodge’s company) always answered,” said Cindy Carris, the executive director of Mary Rose. “A lot of people at that time knew it was me and they would go dark.”

But last month the family sifted through hundreds of hateful messages, unable emotionally to read them all. Michael Hodge deleted his Facebook account. Century Construction was targeted in the doxing.

“We were in such a bad spot, so negative for so long,” said John Hodge. “My wife (Pamela Hodge) said, ‘What can we do to change this? Make some good out of this?’ ”

They mulled creating a fundraiser for Mary Rose, to channel the attention away from hate. They feared it would create more unwanted attention, but ultimately decided to go through with it.

With donations made by check and through GoFundMe, the family raised more than $20,000. The Hodges made a $250 anonymous donation themselves and later donated $600 more to offset a GoFundMe service fee.

On Friday, the family presented a $21,170 check to Carris and Mary Rose.

Carris said the money will likely help defray costs associated with purchasing a new facility to serve as a temporary refuge for people in need. …

Go here for the rest of the story.