UPDATE 1-20-19: This story appears to be more complex than what was seen in the video above and from news reports in the Washington Post, CNN, New York Times, and other major news media. After watching a much longer video that shows the lead-up and aftermath of the incident, it doesn't look like the high school students were harassing the Native Americans as was reported yesterday.
James Martin, a Jesuit priest, an editor at large America Magazine has excellent insight into the complexities of this still-unfolding story, which he wrote in the form of a Twitter thread:
And I don't agree with Reason all the time (I agree with their stance on civil liberties and disagree with their stance on unfettered free markets) but the Reason essay the Jake Tapper retweeted is worth reading if you are interested in this story:
.@reason: “Video footage strongly contradicts Native American veteran Nathan Phillips' claim that Covington Catholic High School boys harassed him. The media got this one completely wrong,” writes @robbysoave https://t.co/9Ki4iiTkQ9
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 20, 2019
I'll continue to update this post as new information emerges.
Kentucky's Covington Catholic High School's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts are on lockdown this morning after a video was posted that shows a mob of students intimidating a Native American elder in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
The all-male school was participating in a March for Life rally, which coincided with the Indigenous People's March. As shown in the video, the students have surrounded a Native American man playing a drum and are hooting war cries and mocking him. The elder's name is Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam veteran and an Omaha keeper of a sacred pipe.
One of the students gets very close to Phillips' face and stares at him with a disturbing grin for several minutes as Phillips sings and beats the drum.
From Indian Country Today:
The elder is Nathan Phillips, an Omaha elder who is also a Vietnam Veteran and former director of the Native Youth Alliance. He is also a keeper of a sacred pipe and holds an annual ceremony honoring Native American veterans in the Arlington National Cemetery.
Phillips is also the subject of a previous racially-based incident when he was taunted and harassed by Eastern Michigan University students who were dressed stereo-typically as Native Americans. As reported in FOX 2 News, he was yelled at and hit by a thrown beer can.