Covington youth handle tense situation better than adults

Covington youth handle tense situation better than adults

Martin Kurle, Podcast Reporter

A conflict in front of the Lincoln Memorial between a group of Catholic high school boys wearing Make America Great Again hats, a group of Native American men and five black Hebrew Israelites which consisted of shouting racial slurs, chanting and even pounding a drum in a boy’s face was first interpreted by the media as the students being the instigators, racists and at fault, but video evidence has proven quite the opposite. The Covington students were the most mature of the three parties and did not instigate or even retaliate to any harmful degree.

Many students from the all boys Catholic school in Covington were waiting for their bus after the March For Life when a group of five black men who identified as Hebrew Israelites, a known hate group, were shouting racial and rude comments. A few of the students approached them and were immediately victims of verbal assault. Video evidence displays the Hebrew Israelites shouting at the boys calling them “crackers” and “future school shooters.” As the racial slurs continued, the students asked a chaperone if they could do one of their school chants to drown out the hateful speech, they were given the ability to do so. As they did, a group of Native American men approached their group. One had a camera and one had a hand drum that he was banging on. The students began to dance to the beat likely because they thought the Native American was their ally in the situation. Nathan Phillips, one of the Native Americans, was the man on the drum. He started walking into the group of students and stopped in front of Nick Sandmann. Sandmann stood there looking at Phillips with a light smile on his face while Phillips stared at him banging on the drum and singing. Soon after, one of the Native Americans started debating with another student. He was telling the teenager to “Go back to Europe” and “This is our land.” Sandmann signaled to his classmate to shush, and the students left for their bus.

Phillips was interviewed on several occasions about the incident, and in every one he was blaming the students for being angry, hateful and racist. All of these claims are lies. In Nick Sandmann: The Truth, a video produced by Sandmann’s lawyer, there is a clip of Phillips saying, “There was a group of over 200 young angry white men and they were facing down just four black individuals.” This audio clip played over footage of students laughing and dancing with each other.

Not one of the students looked angry or like they had the intentions of inflicting any type of pain or harm. Junior Tristan Thomas who is also part Chickasaw said, “I think the videos show the boys are just having fun and saw Nathan Phillips as an ally.” This shows that Phillips is straight up lying about the situation. Telling media that the group of students was like an angry mob when there is video evidence proves that Phillips is lying, and therefore is the one in the wrong.

Do you believe the Covington students are being honest?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

The students were accused of being the instigators of racist controversy at the Memorial, but that title belongs to the five Hebrew Israelites. Videos show the five men shouting racist slurs at people before the students even arrived, and when they came, a few of the students walked over to the Israelites and were immediately being yelled at. “You little dirty a** crackers your day coming,” yelled one of the Israelites to the three students. They then continued the harassment by yelling at the whole group of students. “This is a bunch of future school shooters,” they said.

Students could not possibly be the instigators of racist events if there was already tension before they got there. They were not even involved until they tried to drown out the hateful speech. Even then, they were not being harmful in any fashion.

The media jumped to harass, make fun of and complain about a group of boys in MAGA hats with little to no evidence they did anything wrong. They jumped to a serious conclusion without knowing the facts. Because of this, a 16-year old boy was made fun of by celebrities, received death threats and got a bombardment of hate comments directed at him.

This is an example of the media jumping on a prime chance to bash on a Trump supporter. They see one image of a kid wearing a MAGA hat with a smile on his face looking at a Native American and immediately think to tweet things like what Reza Aslan tweeted, “Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?” This is ridiculous that an adult would call a boy’s face “punchable” when he did nothing wrong. Thomas told me about why he thinks the media rushed to the conclusion, “Given the current political state, we take every chance we can to bash on Trump or any Trump supporter even if it’s just a 16 year old kid.”

If there is anything to take out of this story, it is not that Nathan Phillips is a liar nor is it that the students did nothing wrong. It is that we should not act on sensitive topics with little evidence to support our opinions.