Is that what you’re calling THIS? Standing up for the sanctity of this man’s life? For the sanctity of Indigenous Peoples lives?
A large group of high school students was recorded confronting a group of Native American protestors at Friday's Indigenous Peoples March.
A recording that shows a group of high school students mocking Native American protestors at Friday's Indigenous Peoples March sparked outcries on social media
A large group of mostly boys wearing "Make America Great Again" hats were recorded surrounding a small group of protestors in front of the Lincoln memorial.
In several videos posted to social media, a grinning boy stands face-to-face with a protestor as the large group shrieks, jeers, and claps along with the protestors' drum
The group was identified as Covington Catholic High School students who had travelled from Kentucky to attend the March for Life, an annual anti-abortion demonstration.
As the videos spread, the school's social media accounts were locked down and calls to the school's main phone number were met with a busy tone.
The main protestor captured in videos of the confrontation was later reported by Indian Country Today to be a Vietnam War veteran named Nathan Phillips.
The report also notes Phillips is an Omaha elder, keeper of a sacred pipe, and holds an annual ceremony honouring Native American veterans in the Arlington National Cemetery.
Phillips was notably in another confrontation with Eastern Michigan University students who were dressed as Native Americans for a themed party in April 2015. A Fox2 report of the incident said when Phillips saw the party of 30 or 40 students, they hurled racial insults and threw beer cans at him.
Videos of Friday's incident sparked sharp backlash on social media, with one user tweeting at Father Michael Hennigan of the Covington Diocese.
Users noted the many boys wearing "Make America Great Again" hats.
This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protestor at the Indigenous Peoples March. pic.twitter.com/jIb5K68vIs
— Talia (@2020fight) January 19, 2019
New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland, who is Native American, said the "display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance," particularly against an American veteran was "heartbreaking."
This Veteran put his life on the line for our country. The students’ display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration. Heartbreaking.Simar@sahluwal
A group of students from @CovCathColonels harassed & bothered this Native American protestor at the Indigenous Peoples March. Appalling.https://twitter.com/2020fight/status/1086476619877765120/video/1 …
The group had apparently attended the March for Life on the National Mall earlier in the day. The school's website lists the March for Life as a "travel opportunity" and a video posted to Facebook by Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie shows the group on the stairs of the Capitol Friday.
The incident comes a week after President Donald Trump sparked outrage when he referenced the Wounded Knee massacre to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been criticised for releasing results to a DNA test to support her past claims that she has Native American heritage.
"If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas, did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, it would have been a smash!" Trump tweeted, mocking a video Warren posted on social media.
This is so different to what is happening now and it was not so long ago