Tags: Donald Trump | nathan phillips | drum | catholic | lincoln memorial | hebrew

Student, Native American in Viral Video Give Their Sides of Story

a diocese in kentucky has apologized after videos emerged showing high school students mocking native americans.

Flags fly over the Covington Catholic High School stadium in Park Kills, Ky. (Bryan Woolston/AP)

By    |   Sunday, 20 January 2019 06:45 PM

There’s a deeper story to the highly-publicized encounter between a Native American elder and Catholic High School students that took place in front of the Lincoln Memorial last Friday and gained national attention, says the elder and one of the students, and there's video proof.

Nathan Phillips, who was attending a Native American rally in D.C., said he started singing and playing his drum at a March for Life event after he noticed tension between a group of mostly white students from Covington Catholic High School and about four men who identify as Hebrew Israelites.

CNN's Sara Sidner on Sunday reported that the men can be seen on a video "taunting people of all colors, other black visitors, Natives, and a Catholic priest."

The students, Phillips said, were upset at the speeches being given by the Black Israelites, and more than 100 assembled at one point and "were in the process of attacking these four black individuals," he said.

Nick Sandmann, a junior at Covington who stood face to face with Phillips in the video, said in a statement to CNN that he and his classmates were singing their school spirit chants in response to the taunts. He also said Phillips walked up to him and got into his personal space, which videos prove. 

"I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protestor," said Sandmann, refuting accounts that he blocked Phillips from crossing his path. "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."

Phillips said he intervened "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," he added.

The men from the Black Israelites group were also acting up, said Phillips, and one member spit in the direction of the students.

"So I put myself in between that, between a rock and a hard place," he said.

Then, he said, the students turned their anger toward him.

"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."

Sandmann said he's received physical and death threats through social media but said he "will not stand for this mob-like character assassination of my family's name."

"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."

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There's a deeper story to the highly-publicized encounter between a Native American elder and Catholic High School students that happened in front of the Lincoln Memorial last Friday, says the elder.
nathan phillips, drum, catholic, lincoln memorial, hebrew
Sunday, 20 January 2019 06:45 PM
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