A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on. – C. H. Spurgeon
Last Friday, protesters with vastly different worldviews collided in Washington, D.C.
The incident itself was not nearly as troubling as the mainstream media’s portrayal of the incident. This is reminiscent of another time the MSM only showed a portion of a video to skew the truth and support a politically correct agenda.
In case you are not familiar with this story, here’s some background.
Students from Covington Catholic – an all-male high school in Kentucky – were in D.C. for the March for Life rally. That day, a Native American group was participating in an Indigenous People’s March.
Both groups met and what unfolded has been widely misinterpreted by the mainstream media.
A short video clip and an image of an alleged confrontation between the students and the Native Americans spread like wildfire over the weekend, resulting in widespread condemnation of the boys on social media.
The image above (and similar photos) circulated through social media, along with claims that the boys were harassing, taunting, and mocking the Native American men.
Outrage over the image and the short video clip led to calls for doxxing, shaming, punishing, and even expelling the students. Nick Sandmann, the young man in the photo above, has even received death threats.
The initial video showed Sandmann, in a “Make America Great Again” hat, standing very close to and staring at Nathan Phillips, a Native American and Vietnam War veteran, while Phillips played the drum and chanted.
That video let to interviews with Phillips, whose accounts of the incident do not reflect what actually happened.
The MSM ran with it, apparently not doing any deeper research.
Mainstream media outlets took the short video clips, photos, and Phillip’s side of the story and ran with it, apparently without doing a bit of research into what actually happened.
Phillips, 64, an elder of the Omaha Nation, told the Detroit Free Press that he noticed a verbal clash in front of the Lincoln Memorial steps and decided to intervene. He claimed the incident started when the group of students was listening to a group of Black Hebrew Israelites speak:
“They witnessed these individuals on their soapbox saying what they had to say,” Phillips said. “They didn’t agree with it and got offended.”
“They were in the process of attacking these four black individuals,” Phillip said. “I was there and I was witnessing all of this … As this kept on going on and escalating, it just got to a point where you do something or you walk away, you know? You see something that is wrong and you’re faced with that choice of right or wrong. “
Phillips said some of the members of the Black Hebrew group were also acting up, “saying some harsh things” and that one member spit in the direction of the Catholic students. “So I put myself in between that, between a rock and hard place,” he said.
But then, the crowd of mostly male students turned their anger towards Phillips.
“There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey,” Phillips said. “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”
Unfortunately, Phillips lied about the incident, and the mainstream media believed him without doing any research or fact-checking.
The media only told one side of the story…and it isn’t supported by video evidence.
The boys who were involved in the “confrontation” were not contacted for their side of the story…until a longer video surfaced that showed what actually did happen that day.
That longer video is nearly two hours long, and it tells a very different story than Phillips’ version of events.
Robby Soave of Reason explains how the additional footage contradicts the mainstream media’s narrative:
Far from engaging in racially motivated harassment, the group of mostly white, MAGA-hat-wearing male teenagers remained relatively calm and restrained despite being subjected to incessant racist, homophobic, and bigoted verbal abuse by members of the bizarre religious sect Black Hebrew Israelites, who were lurking nearby. The BHI has existed since the late 19th century, and is best describes as a black nationalist cult movement; its members believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites, and often express condemnation of white people, Christians, and gays. DC-area Black Hebrews are known to spout particularly vile bigotry.
Phillips put himself between the teens and the black nationalists, chanting and drumming as he marched straight into the middle of the group of young people. What followed was several minutes of confusion: The teens couldn’t quite decide whether Phillips was on their side or not, but tentatively joined in his chanting. It’s not at all clear this was intended as an act of mockery rather than solidarity.
Phillips doesn’t enter the scene until the 1:12 mark, but the footage prior to that is crucial to understanding the full context of the incident.
If you’d like to see for yourself, here’s the full video.
Warning – the video contains a lot of offensive language.
The BHI protesters threatened the students with violence and attempted to provoke them into attacking first. The students resisted the taunts. They laughed at the hecklers, and they performed a few of their school’s sports cheers.
Here are some of the ways the BHI protesters tried to provoke the students.
The first hour of the video shows the BHI protesters hurling obscenities at the students. They call them crackers, f*ggots, and pedophiles, among other shockingly vulgar insults.
At the 1:20 mark (which comes after the Phillips “incident”) the BHI protesters call one of the few black students from the Catholic school the n-word and tell him that his friends are going to murder him and steal his organs.
At the 1:25 mark, they complain that “you give f*ggots rights,” which prompted booing from the students.
“A bunch of babies made out of incest,” one BHI protester said to the students. “You worship blasphemy.”
Another BHI protester began shouting about “sodomy” and “homosexuals,” and told the students that Donald Trump kissed Rudy Giuliani while Giuliani was in drag. “Your president is a homosexual,” he said.
“Who cares. That’s homophobic,” a student said back.
Phillips was biased.
Yet, in his interview with the Detroit Free Press, Phillips said:
“The Black Israelites, they were saying some harsh things, but some of it was true, too,” Phillips said. “These young, white American kids who were being taught in their Catholic school, their doctrine, their truth, and when they found out there’s more truth out there than what they’re being taught, they were offended, they were insulted, they were scared, and that’s how they responded. One thing that I was taught in my Marine Corp training is that a scared man will kill you. And that’s what these boys were. They were scared.”
The students had a “mob mentality” that “was scary,” Phillips said. “It was ugly, what these kids were involved in. It was racism. It was hatred. It was scary.”
That quote explains a lot, doesn’t it? It exposes Phillips’ bias and provides us with a possible reason that he would portray the students as the guilty party in this debacle. It is interesting that Phillips says the students were racist and hateful, but makes no mention of the racial slurs and hateful comments the BHI protesters were hurling at the boys.
The SPLC calls the Black Hebrew Israelites as “supremacist” group.
By the way, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a report on the Black Hebrew Israelite group, calling them the “black supremacist wing” of the Hebrew Israelite movement. Here’s an excerpt:
Around the country, thousands of men and women have joined black supremacist groups on the extremist fringe of the Hebrew Israelite movement, a black nationalist theology that dates back to the 19th century. Its doctrine asserts that African Americans are God’s true chosen people because they, not the people known to the world today as Jews, are the real descendants of the Hebrews of the Bible. Although most Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly racist nor anti-Semitic and do not advocate violence, there is a rising extremist sector within the Hebrew Israelite movement whose adherents believe that Jews are devilish impostors and who openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery.
Phillips’ claim that the boys were a scary, angry mob that surrounded him is not at all truthful, as Kyle Smith of the National Review explains:
Friday he waded into a group of Covington students, evidently hoping to troll a response out of them suitable for a viral video. According to the Washington Post, Phillips, 64, said that he felt threatened by the teens and that they swarmed around him as he and other activists were wrapping up the march and preparing to leave. This is a lie. They didn’t swarm around him. He strolled right into the middle of their group.
Here’s a statement from one of the students.
Last night, Sandmann, the student in all the pictures, issued a statement about the incident. Here it is in full:
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.
Thankfully, independent media outlets have shared the facts.
Independent media outlets like Reason and National Review have shared the facts about this incident in an attempt to set the story straight.
Independent journalist Tim Pool created a video called The Truth About “MAGA Kids” And The Native Americans and asked that people share it to “correct the false reporting.”
Here’s that video:
Today, several mainstream media outlets are publishing updates about the incident and some have shared Sandmann’s statement.
But the damage has already been done.
Many are still clinging to the original story and are still posting hateful comments about Sandmann and his fellow students. However, I have yet to see any mainstream media outlets apologize to the boys for their original reporting.
I am reminded of a scene from the movie Doubt.
Once a story spreads online, it is hard to retract it. The damage is already done – there’s no going back from here.
And if you’re wondering why people in the United States are so divided? It’s irresponsible journalism like that that props up the mainstream media’s obvious agenda.