On Friday the media erupted with a snippet of video that they claimed showed a bunch of Trump hat-wearing school kids mocking a group of Native Americans. But after the truth emerged, this attack on the kids turns out to be 100% fake news.
On Friday, a group of teenagers from Kentucky were visiting the Lincoln Memorial after attending the March For Life. Many of the teens had on Donald Trump’s red campaign MAGA hats and some wore Trump t-shirts.
Meanwhile at the Memorial, a group of Native Americans were also in D.C. to protest, and they came upon the MAGA hat-wearing kids.
According to the media narrative, the kids confronted the Native Americans and began mocking them and calling out “build the wall.”
The media went wild condemning these kids, especially after it was reported that one of the Native Americans was Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam veteran.
It all seemed like a clear-cut case of punk, white kids who love Trump harassing some poor Native Americans.
But the truth is exactly the opposite.
First of all, no video clip shows these kids chanting “build the wall.” That was just a lie that the media passed on uncritically.
But it appears that what really happened was that the kids were just minding their own business when the protesters — including a group of black men as well as the Native Americans — sought out the kids and confronted them. It was not the other way around. The kids were the ones accosted, not the minorities.
A person who claims to be a witness of the incident says that the kids were just standing around when a group of black men came over and began screaming hate-speak at them. The blacks began calling them murderers, racists, and any manner of name calling.
At first the kids ignored them but eventually the taunting back and forth began. And that is when the Native American guy jumped in and began assaulting the ids with his drum beating.
Indeed, in that context, the video makes sense. The kids are simply standing their ground in the video as the Indian man beats his drum within inches of their faces.
This longer video helps with context:
Clearly it is the Indian man who was doing the harassing by drumming his drum right in the kids’ faces.
Minds have started changing about this incident, too.
At first, conservative-leaning cartoonist and writer Scott Adams slammed the kids as racists. But as the truth began to come out, he realized he was wrong.
Turns out that the Covington Catholic kids were the good guys in the story. Consider this my public apology for assuming otherwise in my Periscope yesterday. I got fooled by @CNN fake news. That's 100% on me. https://t.co/GhkWigsDQQ
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) January 20, 2019
Sadly, the kids’ Catholic school jumped the gun and fell for the lying media’s garbage hook line and sinker. Covington Catholic High School quickly put out a statement condemning the boys.
Furthermore, the Native American seen banging his drum in the kid’s face is a well-known left-wing activist who has made charges against people before.
Back in 2015, Nathan Phillips similarly confronted a group of white kids trying to get them to engage in racist taunts so he could make a big deal out of it for personal gain.
Phillips is a publicity seeker. And his actions in D.C. this month is an example of how he tries to gain personal fame.
These kids are innocent and anyone who condemned them Friday and Saturday owe them an apology.
Then there is this first hand account: even if he was mistaken about the how the incident started, one Native American who the Associated Press says was involved in the incident said that it ended in harmony.
Marcus Frejo, who the Associated Press said was “a member of the Pawnee and Seminole tribes who is also known as Chief Quese Imc,” destroys the media’s narrative that the kids were all mistreating the indians.
Frejo said that at first it seemed as if the students mocking the Native Americans, once the situation began to calm down he “was at peace singing among the scorn and he briefly felt something special happen as they repeatedly sang the [anthem from the Native American Movement].”
“They went from mocking us and laughing at us to singing with us. I heard it three times,” Frejo said. “That spirit moved through us, that drum, and it slowly started to move through some of those youths.”
Frejo also said a “calm” fell over both groups before they left the scene.
This first hand witness does not speak to a hate-filled atmosphere.
Finally, this is a MUST READ Twitter thread showing some of the liberal attacks on these innocent Catholic teens who were accosted by liberal activists in Wash. DC.
1. Shaun King is a dangerous, race-baiting hack. Once again, he is sharing selective and false information in order to push an anti-white narrative. This time, a selectively edited video pic.twitter.com/EPSTybjwQF
— Stephen Knight (@GSpellchecker) January 20, 2019
By Sunday night, the teen seen being confronted by Nathan Phillips, Nick Sandmann, a Covington Catholic High School junior, released a statement to the press to set the record straight:
I am providing this factual account of what happened on Friday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial to correct misinformation and outright lies being spread about my family and me.
I am the student in the video who was confronted by the Native American protestor. I arrived at the Lincoln Memorial at 4:30 p.m. I was told to be there by 5:30 p.m., when our busses were due to leave Washington for the trip back to Kentucky. We had been attending the March for Life rally, and then had split up into small groups to do sightseeing.
When we arrived, we noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group.
The protestors said hateful things. They called us “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “faggots,” and “incest kids.” They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would “harvest his organs.” I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear.
Because we were being loudly attacked and taunted in public, a student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group. The chants are commonly used at sporting events. They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school. Our chaperone gave us permission to use our school chants. We would not have done that without obtaining permission from the adults in charge of our group.
At no time did I hear any student chant anything other than the school spirit chants. I did not witness or hear any students chant “build that wall” or anything hateful or racist at any time. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. Our chants were loud because we wanted to drown out the hateful comments that were being shouted at us by the protestors.
After a few minutes of chanting, the Native American protestors, who I hadn’t previously noticed, approached our group. The Native American protestors had drums and were accompanied by at least one person with a camera.
The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.
I never interacted with this protestor. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protestors, and when the second group approached I was worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers.
I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.
During the period of the drumming, a member of the protestor’s entourage began yelling at a fellow student that we “stole our land” and that we should “go back to Europe.” I heard one of my fellow students begin to respond. I motioned to my classmate and tried to get him to stop engaging with the protestor, as I was still in the mindset that we needed to calm down tensions.
I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protestor. He did not make any attempt to go around me. It was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why.
The engagement ended when one of our teachers told me the busses had arrived and it was time to go. I obeyed my teacher and simply walked to the busses. At that moment, I thought I had diffused the situation by remaining calm, and I was thankful nothing physical had occurred.
I never understood why either of the two groups of protestors were engaging with us, or exactly what they were protesting at the Lincoln Memorial. We were simply there to meet a bus, not become central players in a media spectacle. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever encountered any sort of public protest, let alone this kind of confrontation or demonstration.
I was not intentionally making faces at the protestor. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation. I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me — to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence.
I harbor no ill will for this person. I respect this person’s right to protest and engage in free speech activities, and I support his chanting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial any day of the week. I believe he should re-think his tactics of invading the personal space of others, but that is his choice to make.
I am being called every name in the book, including a racist, and I will not stand for this mob-like character assassination of my family’s name. My parents were not on the trip, and I strive to represent my family in a respectful way in all public settings.
I have received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults. One person threatened to harm me at school, and one person claims to live in my neighborhood. My parents are receiving death and professional threats because of the social media mob that has formed over this issue.
I love my school, my teachers and my classmates. I work hard to achieve good grades and to participate in several extracurricular activities. I am mortified that so many people have come to believe something that did not happen — that students from my school were chanting or acting in a racist fashion toward African Americans or Native Americans. I did not do that, do not have hateful feelings in my heart, and did not witness any of my classmates doing that.
I cannot speak for everyone, only for myself. But I can tell you my experience with Covington Catholic is that students are respectful of all races and cultures. We also support everyone’s right to free speech.
I am not going to comment on the words or account of Mr. Phillips, as I don’t know him and would not presume to know what is in his heart or mind. Nor am I going to comment further on the other protestors, as I don’t know their hearts or minds, either.
I have read that Mr. Phillips is a veteran of the United States Marines. I thank him for his service and am grateful to anyone who puts on the uniform to defend our nation. If anyone has earned the right to speak freely, it is a U.S. Marine veteran.
I can only speak for myself and what I observed and felt at the time. But I would caution everyone passing judgement based on a few seconds of video to watch the longer video clips that are on the internet, as they show a much different story than is being portrayed by people with agendas.
I provided this account of events to the Diocese of Covington so they may know exactly what happened, and I stand ready and willing to cooperate with any investigation they are conducting.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.