On Friday, a series of videos were captured of a group of teens outfitted in “Make America Great Again” gear intimidating a Native American elder in Washington D.C. On Saturday, the clips went viral and the outrage followed.
The videos, which are hard to watch, show the students surrounding an elder Native American man who is playing a drum and singing an ancestral song. One of the students positioned himself directly in front of the Native American elder and put his face just inches from the drum.
There were a couple of videos shot from different angles. Here they are:
This is painful to watch. A group of teenagers in MAGA hats surrounded and harassed an elder Native American veteran yesterday at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. #ResistTrump #EndWhiteSupremacy #indigenouspeoplesmarch pic.twitter.com/w57wU375Ju
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) January 19, 2019
Here’s another video of these kids harassing this Native American protestor. The ignorance, the bigotry, is infuriating. This is not the future of this nation.
— Simar (@sahluwal) January 19, 2019
A woman who as at the event posted a photo explaining what happened, she wrote:
“At the close of the Indigenous People’s march and rally, the few of us left lingering to chat and meet were confronted by 50-70 young people wearing Trump’s hats, T-shirts and other apparel. The group consisted mostly of white men who sought to intimidate, mock and scare us with a mob mentality in order to silence a demonstration that was mostly concluded. The group outnumbered us and enclosed on our small group, chanting ‘build the wall’ and other Trumpisms.
The group was clearly looking for ANY opportunity to get violent and they consistently infringed upon our space, inching closer and closer, bumping into us and daring us to get physical. They surrounded us, screaming, cajoling and mocking the elder singer with intentionally disrespectfuly dancing and attempting to chant/sing louder than him. He did not break focus or move an inch fro the entirety of the encounter. And perhaps the saddest apart of all is that his song was medicine to calm the anger and toxicity of these men.”
A number of the men were wearing shirts that read “Covington Catholic,” which is a private, all-boys Catholic High School in Kentucky. On the school’s website, they show that they sent students to the March for Life in Washington, which was held on Friday.
Online, people widely condemned the actions of the teens:
The contrast between the calm dignity and quiet strength of Mr. Phillips and the behavior of #MAGA brats who have absorbed the spirit of Trumpism–this spectacle is a lesson which all Americans can learn. https://t.co/EbXMa6Bbel
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 19, 2019
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. https://t.co/NuPnYu9FP4
— Congresswoman Deb Haaland (@RepDebHaaland) January 19, 2019
Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam veteran, stood dignified and unbowed in the literal face of white aggression. As expected. The MAGA hats make it easier to see, but this is older than Trump and his flock. It isn’t “kids being kids.” It is America being America. pic.twitter.com/udHYot6EGZ
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) January 19, 2019
As the ugly video began to gain steam, the school locked down their social media accounts. The school hasn’t commented yet.