Viral Videos of Protests Spark National Outrage



Haley Hartner, News Editor

This story has been updated to reflect the most current information,obtained January 21, 2019.

A group of teenagers appeared to mock a Native American elder and Vietnam veteran during the Indigenous Peoples March last Friday, outside of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

A video exploded on social media over the weekend of young, predominantly white, men and women surrounding Native American Omaha member, Nathan Phillips, as he chanted the American Indian Movement anthem and played the drum.

The teenagers persisted to laugh and mock Phillips, while chanting, “Build that Wall!”

Later footage revealed that the actions of the students and the involvement of Phillips aroused from a confrontation that initially took place between the teenagers and members of a group known as Black Hebrew Israelites, who were participating in a protest.

The videos confirmed that the Hebrew Israelites began by preaching their beliefs in a provocative way towards the high schoolers and the Native American group, for close to an hour. During their “preachings,” racial slurs and insults were exchanged between the students and the group until Phillips stood between the two in hopes of diffusing the situation.

This is when Nathan Phillips became the center of the incident.

Phillips responded to the actions of the group by saying, “This is indigenous land. You know we’re not supposed to have walls here. We never had walls.”

The group consisted of Kentucky students from Covington Catholic High School, a majority of which were wearing Trump paraphernalia, who were on a school trip in D.C to attend March for Life, which happened to take place the same day.

Covington Catholic High School released a statement on Saturday, announcing that they will “take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion,” and issued an apology to Phillips.

“This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person,” they wrote.

The actions of the students sparked immediate outrage from all across the country. Native American Democratic representative from New Mexico, Deb Haaland, turned to Twitter following the video’s release.

“The students’ display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration,” Haaland said. “Heartbreaking.”

For a synopsis of how events have unfolded to date, watch the video below.

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