It’s certainly not surprising that people who’d kill the young in the womb would kill them in the media — especially when political dissent can be killed in the process. But this is precisely what happened when video emerged of the January 18 schoolboys-and-Indians affair at the Lincoln Memorial.
The students, who’d attended this year’s March for Life, never suspected the event would change their whole lives, that agitators on site and in media would viciously portray them as the very face of hate.
But the boys from Covington Catholic High School (CCHS) in Park Hills, Kentucky, had to face the hate. A 60-second, out-of-context video hit the news January 19, showing a grinning, MAGA-hatted, 16-year-old Nick Sandmann face-to-face with drum-beating Omaha tribal “elder” Nathan Phillips while a throng of the student’s uproarious classmates stood around them. Phillips, billed as a “Vietnam veteran,” later said that the boys surrounded him, Sandmann prevented his egress, and he feared for his safety. Phillips also claimed he heard the students saying “build the wall, build that wall!”
So the story was simple: A bunch of “racist,” white, Christian, Middle American, MAGA-hatted kids were taunting a hapless elderly Indian, there just to attend an “Indigenous Peoples Rally” (held concurrently with the March for Life). Sandmann was the main bully, essentially holding Phillips hostage and smirking in silent mockery. It was the perfect metaphor for the Trump era.
But Phillips spoke with forked tongue. More extensive video showed that as the boys waited at the Lincoln Memorial for buses to take them home, Phillips waded into their midst beating a drum, followed by an entourage recording what transpired. A few seconds later Phillips made a slight right turn, got directly “in Sandmann’s face,” and stood there like a south-going Zax (hat tip: Dr. Seuss), beating his instrument inches from the boy’s head.
Yet while this is now fairly well known — though likely not as well as the initial, lie-infused narrative — the backstory is not.
To begin, let’s just say that as for Phillips’ story, his tongue apparently has more tines than a sardine fork. Remember, he initially claimed the boys surrounded him so that he felt (I imagine) like Custer at Little Bighorn. But after the longer, eye-opening videos got around, Phillips changed his story, claiming he was playing peacemaker by getting between the boys and four “old black individuals.” “They were in the process of attacking these four black individuals,” Phillips told the Detroit Free Press January 20. “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?” “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey,” he added, “and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that,” the paper also related.
Oh, the humanity!
CNN had a slightly different take on the “four black individuals,” calling them the “African-American young men preaching about the Bible and oppression” whom the Catholic boys had clashed with early in the afternoon. (Emphasis added.) Chalk one (just one) up for CNN here. The men were the Black Hebrew Israelites (BHIs), and, hardly old, they appeared to be in their 20s and 30s. All were vibrant, and the leader, a big, burly man, was not prey but predator. Phillips could have told you this, too, were he honest — because the black protesters went to the Lincoln Memorial for the express purpose of confronting the Indians.
It’s all recorded in a two-hour video the BHIs created themselves. As the left-leaning Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan wrote January 23, beginning with what the BHIs’ leader began shouting at the Indians:
“Before you started worshipping totem poles, you was worshipping the true and living God. Before you became an idol worshipper, you was worshipping the true and living God. This is the reason why this land was taken away from you! Because you worship everything except the most high. You worship every creation except the Creator — and that’s what we are here to tell you to do.”
… A few more people in Native costume gather, clearly stunned by his tirade. “You’re not supposed to worship eagles, buffalos, rams, all types of animals,” he calls out to them.
… The preacher [also] tells a woman that “you’re not an Indian. Indian means ‘savage.’ ”
This prompted more Indians to gather and engage the BHIs, but this proved fruitless. “At this point, most of the Native Americans who have surrounded — ‘mobbed’? — the preacher have realized what the boys will prove too young and too unsophisticated to understand,” writes Flanagan, “that the ‘four young African American men preaching about the Bible and oppression’ are the kind of people you sometimes encounter in big cities,” and it’s wise to avoid them.
In fact, from forked to acid tongues, the BHIs’ leader was harshest with the boys. As Sandmann related in a statement he issued January 22, the four black protesters “said hateful things. They called us ‘racists,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘white crackers,’ ‘fa***ts,’ and ‘incest kids’ [one also used the term n***er]. They also taunted an African-American student from my school by telling him that we would ‘harvest his organs.’”
Video confirms the above. The BHIs were impugning our country and President Trump, and also called the kids “child-molesting fa***ts” and “future school shooters.” Note that even the Southern Poverty Law Center labels the BHIs a “hate group”; this is significant because the SPLC only thus classifies leftists when they’re fit for Dante’s Eighth Circle of Hell.
Returning to the Black Israelite-Indian War, one Indian woman remained behind debating the BHIs. She deftly stumped them at times, according to Flanagan, which apparently inspired a strategy shift. As Flanagan writes, “It was heating up to be an intersectional showdown for the ages…. But when the Native woman talks about the importance of peace, the preacher finally locates a unifying theme.”
“He tells her there won’t be any food stamps coming to reservations or the projects because of the shutdown,” Flanagan continues, “and then gesturing to his left, he says, ‘It’s because of these … b*****ds over there, wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.’”
At this point the BHIs direct the camera at their new prey, five Covington boys, one sporting a MAGA cap, listening curiously a respectful distance away. “‘Why you not angry at them?’ the Black Hebrew Israelite asks the Native American woman angrily,” Flanagan relates. One of his fellow cultists chimes in, “That’s right, little corny-a** Billy Bob.”
The boys didn’t react negatively to this insult, nor did the Indian woman respond to the instigation. She pursued her discussion with the BHIs, and bested them. They then accused her of being “distracting”; “You’re out of order,” their leader said. “Where’s your husband? Let me speak to him.” This fuss caused the Covington onlookers to grow to approximately a dozen, some of whom wore MAGA hats. This gave the preacher an even greater opportunity to end his losing battle by targeting a (hopefully) common whipping boy. “‘Don’t stand to the side and mock,’ the speaker orders the boys, who do not appear to be mocking him,” Flanagan also relates. “‘Bring y’all cracker a** up here and make a statement.’ The boys turn away and begin walking back to the larger group.”
“You little dirty-a** crackers. Your day coming,” the BHI leader then hissed. “‘Your day coming … ’cause your little dusty a***s wouldn’t walk down a street in a black neighborhood, and go walk up on nobody playing no games like that,’ he calls after them, but they take no notice,” Flanagan tells us. “‘Yeah, ’cause I will stick my foot in your little a**.’” (Mind you, the Indians hurled verbal abuse as well. In particular, one tough-talking, foul-mouthed activist accompanying Phillips could be seen on video telling the kids to “go back to Europe.”)
What happened next was that the students got permission from a chaperone to begin school spirit chants to counter “the hateful things that were being shouted at our group,” as Sandmann put it. Note, there’s no evidence that at this point or any other the boys yelled “Build that wall!” (though nothing is wrong with that). They can be heard on video chanting “C-C-H” (Covington Catholic High) and humming the stadium-staple opening bars of “Seven Nation Army” while jumping up and down. But it was around this time that the Indians began a ceremony and that the drum-wielding Phillips, perhaps inspired by the BHIs, perhaps not, waded into their group. Many of the boys’ jumping then naturally became synchronized with the drumming. In fact, the Daily Caller quoted Marcus Frejo, a Seminole/Pawnee among the drummers, as saying, “That spirit moved through us, that drum, and it slowly started to move through some of those youths.”
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This article appears in the February 18, 2019, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.
For his part, Sandmann wondered why Phillips targeted him. I may know. Videos of the incident show that, contrary to enemedia (the mainstream, “enemy” media) framing, only a handful of the scores of boys present sported MAGA hats.
Sandmann happened to be one of them. So he was a perfect publicity-stunt prop. Christian? Check. White boy? Check. MAGA hat? Check. That was the trifecta — all they needed to do was get in his face and evoke a reaction.
They got one, too — from the enemedia and beyond. The boys were pilloried, for being ignorant by commentators ignorant of what had actually occurred (because they never bothered investigating); for being privileged by tenured ivory-tower academics drawing high salaries and possessing bully pulpits; and for violating “the dignity of the human person” by their own school and diocese, which didn’t respect their dignity enough to wait and get the facts. The Diocese of Covington’s Bishop Roger Foys did issue an apology January 25, saying they shouldn’t have allowed themselves to be “bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely” and that there would be an “independent, third-party investigation” of the affair. Unfortunately, another Kentucky bishop, John Stowe of the Diocese of Lexington, then condemned the kids as if the exculpatory video had never surfaced.
But social media was downright vicious. Muslim author Reza Aslan tweeted that Sandmann had a “punchable face.” Ex-Democrat Party head Howard Dean called CCHS “a hate factory.” Disney producer Jack Morrissey tweeted “#MAGAkids go screaming, hats first, into the woodchipper,” along with imagery portraying such carnage. Journalist Erik Abriss was fired for posting on Twitter, “I just want these people to die. Simple as that. Every single one of them. And their parents.” Ex-Saturday Night Live writer Sarah Beattie tweeted that she will “b**w whoever manages to punch that maga kid in the face.” Then, GQ’s Nathaniel Friedman urged people to “Doxx ’em all,” meaning, make the Covington kids’ personal information public. So it happened, too, which is why we know Sandmann’s name. The result? CCHS students, their families, and people confused with them received death threats and the school was closed January 22 over safety fears.
As for Phillips, it will surprise few to learn that he wasn’t merely some kindly grandpa-type ceremoniously beating his drum as (according to him) a “supplication to God.” Rather, he’s a radical left-wing activist who, just the day after confronting Sandmann, led 20 protesters in an effort to disrupt a Saturday night mass “at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.,” Fox News informed January 23. Security stopped them, but they proceeded to pound on the locked doors.
Moreover, Phillips is “a radical separatist who flew the U.S. Flag upside down at a Dakota Pipeline protest,” reported the Independent Sentinel January 20. He has also pulled the victim card before, having claimed harassment after a 2015 incident in which he “confronted Eastern Michigan students who were at a themed party[,] with some dressed as Native-Americans,” the Sentinel further informs.
Then there are more lies. Phillips claimed in a year-old video posted at the Native Youth Alliance Facebook that he served in Vietnam; he never did. He also lied about that lie. He told Vogue magazine he was a “recon ranger” but wasn’t; he was a refrigerator repairman who never left the states. Worse still, he went AWOL at least three times, and has a long rap sheet that includes a charge of escaping jail, a destruction-of-property charge (that was dropped), charges of driving without a license and negligent driving, multiple charges of underage alcohol possession, and pleading guilty to assault.
As for Phillips’ assault on Truth, when told by NBC News that the Covington kids were just issuing school chants, he replied “School chants should be in school.” This makes as much sense as saying that Indian drumming belongs on Indian reservations. It’s the kind of nonsense uttered by a dishonest person who has no legitimate rebuttal and won’t cede the point.
The boys’ behavior appears stellar in comparison. Note that video-recording devices are ubiquitous today, and incidents such as the Lincoln Memorial affair are filmed by multiple people from multiple angles. Were the boys guilty of anything significant it would be on video somewhere. But there’s nothing — anywhere.
Yet despite video indicting the BHIs and Phillips and vindicating the boys, the latter are still demonized. Sure, the enemedia backtracked somewhat initially; some commentators apologized for condemning the students, others just quietly deleted tweets, while yet others let their libels stand. But they soon regrouped and went back on the offensive, albeit in a milder form. For example, the Today show’s Savannah Guthrie interviewed Sandmann January 23 and, echoing others, implied that his MAGA hat was the problem. Representative John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) had already called for a ban on teens wearing the hats. American Thinker noted the hypocrisy the next day, writing, “According to progressives, on the head of a female, a pink p---- hat is a commendable accessory, while on the head of a male, a red MAGA cap is akin to Hester Prynne donning a scarlet letter or analogous to a white hood of the KKK.”
Yet there’s another factor here. The demonization of “Build that wall!” and “MAGA” hats and utterances reflect an effort to squelch dissent. Consider here that powerful slogans and symbols are how you market your ideas; analogous to this, this is why businesses use jingles, slogans, and trademarks. Imagine how marketing might be hobbled if McDonald’s, Geico, or Vaseline could no longer use, respectively, its golden arch; talking gecko; or, well, its name, Vaseline. What’s happening politically is that anything rhetorically effective for conservatives — anything that has influenced people or threatens to do so — is labeled hateful. It’s the neutering of effective opposition via socially enforced hate-speech prohibitions against it.
Then there’s the neutering of the Left’s main demographic opposition (as voting patterns prove): white men. Note here that Guthrie also told Sandmann, “There’s something aggressive about standing there, standing your ground.” Staggering. Consider: What if a white man had confronted a black teen, getting in his face, and the media said the black kid should have backed down? What would be the reaction?
Growing up, a well-raised child is usually told that while we shouldn’t necessarily get aggressive when confronted, we should stand our ground. When it’s said that a member of a certain group has an obligation to back down, the message is that he’s subordinate and, by implication, that his group is subordinate. What’s next? Will whites be expected to bow before confrontational non-whites?
In contrast, Guthrie threw nothing but softballs when interviewing Phillips on January 24; not only didn’t she ask about his many lies and contradictions — she allowed him to repeat some of them and continue maligning the boys.
Amazingly, all this got started with literally seconds of video, one snapshot, really, showing what Reza Aslan called, again, Sandmann’s “punchable face.” The boy explained this in his statement, saying he smiled at times because he wanted Phillips “to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation.” But even if Sandmann had at times been tickled by an old man drumming in his face and uttering what some have described as not an Indian language but gibberish, so what? The real trespass was judging a mid-teen by one facial expression. In fact, “George Orwell imagined a world like this 70 years ago, in his book 1984,” Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson explained on his show’s January 23 episode. “For the disfavored, Orwell wrote, ‘The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself.... To wear an improper expression on your face ... was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it ... : facecrime.’” (Elipses added.)
Explaining the fatally slanted Covington-affair reporting, Carlson later stated that the media “haven’t watched the [full] video, and they don’t plan to. This isn’t an argument about facts and evidence and truth. It’s an argument about identity. The Kentucky students are being attacked for who they are, not what they did or didn’t do.” Or as the Spectator put it three days prior, “The progressive media doesn’t care about what really happened when it has white boys in MAGA caps to hate.”
For sure. Why do you think politicians such as Senator Liz “Fauxcahontas” Warren and Irish Bob (“Beto”) O’Rourke try their best to feign minority status? They know that today, you’re guilty until proven non-white.
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