Catholic school apologizes after clips emerge of encounter between students and Native American activist

Screengrab from a viral video showcasing a confrontation between a Native American drummer and a group of Catholic high school students in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 18, 2019. Screenshot via YouTube.Screengrab from a viral video showcasing a confrontation between a Native American drummer and a group of Catholic high school students in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 18, 2019. Screenshot via YouTube.

Editor's note:This article and headline have been updated to reflect new information about the incident; see detailed corrections and update notes at the end of the story. See latest coverage of this incident here.

WASHINGTON (RNS) — A Catholic high school in Kentucky is apologizing after videos surfaced of students dressed in the school’s garb confronting and mocking a group of Native Americans—including one man believed to be a Vietnam War veteran—in Washington, D.C.

Advertisement

Several clips of the encounter circulating on social media show a small group of Native American drummers, who were in Washington for the Indigenous People’s March, being surrounded by a much larger band of teenagers.

Most were young men who wore hats or shirts bearing Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” Others wore clothing with references to the March for Life, an anti-abortion event convened on Jan. 18 that the students attended.

Some of the young men wore hoodies that bore the logo of Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Kentucky.

In one of the videos, the young men clap along to the drumbeat of a man who Indian Country Today identified as Nathan Phillips, an Omaha elder and Vietnam War veteran. But the moment quickly turns confrontational as the mass begins mocking the elderly man by shouting a faux Native American chant used by the Atlanta Braves and other sports teams.

The crowd then begins to laugh and shout as one young man, donning a Make America Great Again hat, stands in front of Phillips and stares, grinning.

As the crowd continues to heckle and chant, Phillips stares back and continues to drum, seemingly unfazed. But his companions appear to grow increasingly agitated as the crowd encircles them.

“You guys are acting like a mob!” one woman yells at the camera.

They released a joint statement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington Saturday afternoon.

“We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan 18., after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C.,” the statement read. “We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person. The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion. We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our most sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and all those who support the pro-life movement.”

Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel for the Lakota Peoples Law Project and a spokesperson for the Indigenous Peoples Movement, witnessed the encounter.

In an interview with RNS, Iron Eyes said Phillips and several others were closing out the ceremonies of the Indigenous Peoples March by blessing the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial when they observed 30 or 40 teenaged boys engaged in a back-and-forth with a small group of black religious demonstrators.

Another video widely shared on Jan. 20 showed the demonstrators repeatedly yelling insults and curses at the students. The students eventually responded by shouting school chants. One student removed his shirt as his companions yelled.

Iron Eyes said Phillips attempted to defuse the situation by offering a song, “trying to get young people to listen,” and video shows him walking over to the students while drumming. Iron Eyes called the AIM Song, associated with the 1970s American Indian Movement, a “spiritual symbol,” saying the wordless melody “is meant for all of us to sing.”

“To have our elders who are closing out, you know, a beautiful day—one that started kind of chilly and cold, but the sun came out and joined us and blessed us—to have them go through that was a particularly egregious ordeal,” he said.

Iron Eyes called the students behavior “unfortunate and sad.” He said that they were following the example of President Trump.

“They’re just responding to a president that is giving license to racists and bigots who have no place in our society,” he said.

Still, he expressed concern for the students.

“I wouldn’t even wish ill will on those kids,” he said.

In a statement posted online Sunday by CNN’s Jake Tapper, the student seen in the stare-down with Phillips said his actions also were an attempt to defuse the situation. Covington Catholic junior Nick Sandmann cited his Catholic faith and said he tries to live out its ideals, including being respectful of others and not taking any action that would lead to conflict or violence.

Sandmann said he was “startled and confused” when the elder walked up to him, drumming, and “said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.”

“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,” he said.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati also criticized the students’ actions, tweeting that “incident at the March 4 Life was unfortunate & regrettable.”

According to Indian Country Today, Phillips is a former director of the Native Youth Alliance and holds an annual ceremony honoring Native American veterans in the Arlington National Cemetery.

A separate clip posted to Twitter appears to show him emotionally reacting to the encounter.

“I heard them saying ‘build that wall.’ This is indigenous land —we’re not supposed to have walls here, we never did,” he said. “Before anybody else came here, we never had walls … We always took care of our elders, took care of our children.”

Phillips continued to speak over the sound of additional chanting in the distance: “I wish I could see the energy of that young mass of young men, put that energy into making this country really great — helping those that are hungry.”

Organizers of the Indigenous Peoples March condemned the incident.

“What we saw yesterday, the display surrounding Mr. Phillips, is emblematic of the state of our discourse in Trump’s America,” Darren Thompson, an organizer for the Indigenous Peoples Movement, said in a press release. “It clearly demonstrates the validity of our concerns about the marginalization and disrespect of Indigenous peoples, and it shows that traditional knowledge is being ignored by those who should listen most closely.”

In an initial statement, the March for Life described the behavior shown in the earliest shared videos as “reprehensible” and said that it did not represent the pro-life movement. The March for Life has since removed that statement from its website and Twitter account and now says they “will refrain from commenting further until the truth is understood.

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), the first Native American woman elected to Congress, decried the students’ actions on Twitter Saturday, saying they displayed “blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance.”

Phillips was reportedly the victim of a separate incident of student harassment in 2015, when Eastern Michigan University students dressed as Native Americans allegedly threw a beer can at him and shouted racial slurs.

 

Corrections and updates:

RNS updated the original story with information from newly discovered videos of the incident and to clarify the details of the initial encounter between the Native American group and the students.

According to the first RNS filing, Iron Eyes said that students approached the Native American group which had observed them harassing others. The updated filing significantly revises that account and now reports that Native American group approached students after observing a verbal “back and forth” between the students and a third group.

Additionally, since the initial report on Jan. 19 one of the students has issued a statement strongly countering testimony of other actors from the encounter.

The story has also been updated to reflect the March for Life's withdrawal of its original statement.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
J Jones
6 months ago

It was only a matter of time before another group of smug white teenage boys from an elite Catholic school exposed themselves --- and the self-promoting myths the Church, adults and kids tell ----- in this way.

If these racist thugs hadn't been caught on camera, "March for Life 2019" would have been front and center on their college applications... and on the carefully curated high school calendars they trot out decades later when someone remembers their thuggishness.

"No I didn't humiliate a United States Veteran and Native American elder on January 20, 2019! I was with PJ and Tobin and Squee and Mark at the March for Life!"

This incident also exposes a problem with the ProLife narrative about the March as proof that youth are passionate about stopping abortion and participate in the March prayerfully, full of the Holy Spirit, driven by love of all God's creation.

No. This is every American school kid's dream: a long, rowdy, poorly supervised, parent/school subsidized, overnight roadtrip to DC on a school day.

THAT explains the crowds of youth. And every honest school administrator, teacher and priest knows it.

Groups of adolescents showing off for each other is nothing new. It is expected. Groups of teenagers turning into a mob? It's regularly encouraged by adults as "school spirit" and acceptance-hungry kids are UP for it. It is expected.

THESE kids are racist.

In the year 2019, kids who are NOT racist would have walked away.

In the year 2019, non-racist kids would have hauled that smirking thug away by the jacket.

In the year 2019, non-racist kids would have told him to stop.

In the year 2019, non-racist kids would have put themselves between him and the United States Veteran, Citizen and Native American elder and walked that thug back and away.

Kids who were truly pro-life and not just on a parent/school-funded roadtrip; prayerfully passionate kids; kids who believed what they were chanting at the March for Life ------- THOSE kids would have chosen life and, thus, they would have allied themselvrs with that United States Veteran and Native American Elder.

But THESE kids acted like thugs.

A shame. The March would have looked so good on their applications to Georgetown and Harvard. Right, Squee?

Beth Cioffoletti
6 months ago

Well said J Brookbank.

J Cosgrove
6 months ago

This is a fake news story. The conclusion is just the opposite of what J Brookbank said. Between 100,000 and 200,000 were there. About 25% were probably from Catholic Schools or between 25,000 and 50,000. And this has been going on for over 30 years. So we literally have millions from Catholic Schools and we now may have a few who were provoked by others. This actually speaks very highly of Catholic School students. And the focus is on a few who were provoked. By pointing out an occasional exception (and this is really not one), one is actually strengthening the opposite of this exception. J Brookbank's argument is fallacious and in reality the opposite is true.

Stanley Kopacz
6 months ago

How have white people been treating Indians for centuries? Like that. This was not one or two jerks. It was 30 or forty. A good sampling, at least of Kentucky.

J Cosgrove
6 months ago

Have you seen all the video? There is a lot. You could make a really good case the older man was taunting the young boy. The Covington boys were waiting for their bus when the older man went toward them beating his drum. Is this fake news? It appears so. Here is the student's statement https://nyp.st/2sDELsD.

Do you understand the concept of a sample? It doesn't look like it.

Are you refighting the Indian wars here?

Marie Almada
6 months ago

This is exactly what you and your people have done for the last 400 years...justified every horrific act you committed, and blamed every disgusting behavior you've had on your victims. You and those like you have killed, maimed, pillaged all over the planet, and each time you've blamed your victims for your savagery.

Stanley Kopacz
6 months ago

The Indian Wars are over. The genocide was mostly successful. That was America being "great" and the Orange Poltroon will make it "great" in that sense once again. Anyway, it looks like it's even more complicated than an old man "provoking" these unfortunate lads. There was some kind of group calling themselves black hebrews involved. This is at least an example of Trump's divided America.

J Jones
6 months ago

Again, you demonstrate that a lot of us Catholics resist thinking critically about ourselves and the myths we tell ourselves and others.

Andrew Strada
6 months ago

Can you identify a time when you actually thought critically about yourself?

J Cosgrove
6 months ago

For those who dont know what this is about. The students from Covington Catholic HS were on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial waiting for their bus. A couple demonstrations were taken place nearby. A black religious group and some native Americans were in the vincinity. Both these groups were there before the boys arrived. At a point the native American group approached the boys beating drums. The leader went up to the boy wearing the MAGA hat and beat the drum in his face. He was standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. surrounded by class mates. The aggressor was the elderly native American beating the drum.

Philip Fabiano
6 months ago

fallacious argument? Using this thuggery and un-Christlike behaviour as an argument to point out the virtue of Catholic School students on a broader scale is fallacious. (Oh, and with respect to these particular young men, do you suppose they harassed any other person or group they found beneath them that just wasn't caught on tape?)

J Cosgrove
6 months ago

There was no thuggery and un-Christlike behavior on the part of the students. Most of the un-Christlike behavior is by those who are condemning the students who essentially did nothing when they were provoked by others. The article and many commenters have it backwards. Several videos confirms all this. People should look at them before commenting. The elderly Indian man came from a distance to the students who were waiting for their bus and then beat his drum in the face of a young man.

J Jones
6 months ago

J, very thorough and nuanced reporting (based on review of the longer videos) by the Washington Post and New York Times call your description of the Native American elder's behavior into serious question.

Further, the statement reported to be "by" and "from" the boy in the MAGA was, in fact, released and distributed by -------- and, thus, created by a Louisville public relations company.

A Native American elder chanting and drumming as he approaches a group of 40 white male teenagers at the Lincoln Memorial is a threat only in a racist narrative and that is the one the boy and his PR team are spinning and trusting Americans to swallow.

In a non-racist narrative, that same Native American man chanting and drumming would be received as a respected elder speaking spiritually in the traditional language of his people.

In a non-racist narrative, grounded in a non-racist education about indigenous and non-white people's, that kid would have recognized in that elder not a (manufactured) threat to be contained but an adult whose authority is akin to the adult leaders in that boy's community, adults whose greater life experience and wisdom and spiritual maturity should be respected and accepted by young people.

The PR statement only deepens the racist hole that smug kid dug for himself when he decided he did not need to defer to a Native American elder and, in fact, responded to that man with a defiance that would never be tolerated were it directed toward an elder in his own community and then cast himself as the hero.

J Cosgrove
6 months ago

Please tell me what I described is wrong. I watched a couple hours of video. Everything I have said is from these videos. The boys were standing on the steps being taunted by a black religious group. From a distance to the right appeared the elderly native American gentleman beating a drum and followed by several colleagues. He went right into the boys standing by the steps beating his drum. He settled in front of one student with a MAGA hat and beat his drum into his face for several minutes. One or two of his colleagues then taunted the boys. What part is not true?

Lisa M
6 months ago

J Brookbank: Why shouldn't it be reviewed and edited by a PR firm?. My God, if that were my child, whose only crime is staring at someone, in at best ,a disrespectful way, and half the country is asking for his head on a platter, my God!!!

J Jones
6 months ago

Lisa, it is a hard reality for white America that the accountability chickens have come home to roost. Most of the country is now unwilling to give a pass to white people casually disrespecting black and brown people. We are finally at the point, at least "on the streets", of true zero tolerance. The answer is this: white adults need to start teaching their kids that they will NOT get a pass when they disrespect brown and black people. If they get caught, the consequences will BIG and the costs will be HIGH. That kid publicly defied, with a smirk on his face throughout, a brown-skinned elder in a manner which you and I know would never be tolerated by the elders in his own white community.

Only our racist narrative, history and systems allows for the transformation of a 64 year old Native American elder drumming and chanting traditional songs into a threat needing the management and containment of a beatific white Catholic boy.

(PS

The longer videos show this kid relaxed and laughing seconds before he refuses to step aside for Mr. Phillips.)

Philip Fabiano
6 months ago

fallacious argument? Using this thuggery and un-Christlike behaviour as an argument to point out the virtue of Catholic School students on a broader scale is fallacious. (Oh, and with respect to these particular young men, do you suppose they harassed any other person or group they found beneath them that just wasn't caught on tape?)

robgc1 Leonidas
6 months ago

J Cosgrove is absolutely correct

Robert Lewis
5 months 3 weeks ago

You are right, but none of these virtue-signaling "social justice warriors" who are as bigoted and fanatic as any McCarthyite ever was is going to listen to you. I have taught in Native schools, and I heartily agree that the American people have CRUCIFIED the indigenous people of the Americas, but that is no justification for the rude provocations that the black and Native activists here submitted these children to, and it is no justification for supposed "adult" figures calling for the CHILDREN to be hurt in retaliation. If you watch the WHOLE video you see that the young red-capped Mr. Sandman only smiles ONCE at the drumbeating provocateur, and mostly looks at him respectfully. Indeed, at one point, he turns to a classmate who is uttering some confrontational slogan, and tells him to calm down.
If anyone is to be blamed regarding this brouhaha, it's the stupid school teachers, who persisted in allowing their charges to remain in a dangerous, potentially violent setting. They, and only they, should be disciplined. The folks writing here who are attempting to demonize CHILDREN should hang their heads in shame.

Stanley Kopacz
6 months ago

You nailed it. And where were the chaperones for this roaming "Lord of the Flies" cast?

Vincent Gaglione
6 months ago

You have expressed almost the totality of my feelings and thoughts upon reading about this incident. I have written a letter to the principal of the school, cc'd to the Bishop of Covington, suggesting a retreat for the school's population that includes ALL the elements of the right to life.

Phillip Power
5 months 4 weeks ago

If you watch the whole of the video, you will understand that your rush to judgment gives an excellent example of why we shouldn't do that. The kids were open minded, friendly and kind. The black group there was Hebrew Isralites (or something close to that) a known anti-white violent hate group. The native Americans went for the kids, after an hour of the black crew abusing them, calling vile ands and making physical threats of violence.

The boys were waiting for their bus, so couldn't leave.

These weren't racists at all. The only racism here was the response to their actions, which when viewed completely show them as the good guys here. Everyone else simply lied. Nathan Phillips has been proved to be a liar by the video itself. For instance the boys didn't chant "build that wall" the leader of the Hebrew Israelites said it. Once.

I hope that everyone will look at the raw footage and then ask why they are being mislead like this? I hope we can all do better in the future.

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Phillip, most people have seen the full video. An adolescent white male Catholic school student wearing a political hat on a Catholic school sponsored trip to a political rally defied the culturally established authority of an older man, smirking at the older man while refusing to step out of the older man's way.

(And, yes, most us know that the statement purchased from a PR company by the boys' parents and regurgitated by the boy on the Today show says that this is not what happened. But it is what is on the videos, all the videos.)

That is not acceptable behavior. That is disrespectful behavior. This is not behavior this kid would get away at home, at school, at church, on the court. Chances are good this kid wouldn't even TRY this behavior with any of the adults in his life because none of them would tolerate it.

But he did behave this way with an older Native American man in a ceremonial location, an older Native American man who walked slowly toward him, playing a hand drum and chanting tradional songs. This Native American ritual is commonplace and widely understood as ceremonial, spiritual and peaceful. The only appropriate response was for this kid to defer to this man and step out of his way.

Let the kid try that ONCE --- let him stare down his principal/teacher/coach/dad/priest with that smirk on his face while refusing to move ------- and then let's see what happens.

Lisa M
5 months 3 weeks ago

J Brookbank- I'm just curious, do you scrutinize the Native American elder's behaviour at all, or does he just get a free pass because, why exactly? I can't figure that part of your thinking out; or are your conclusions based solely on what you insist the end be, and work your narrative around that? If the student's 'sin' is he didn't show enough respect to the elder, because he did not step aside, what disciplinary action do you deem fitting for such a violation?

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Lisa, I have seen the videos. I see an older Native American man who appears somewhat physically frail walking slowly through a crowd at the Lincoln Memorial, playing a hand drum and chanting in a Native American language. He is able to move freely through the crowd until a white male about 16 or 17 years old refuses to step aside and stares at the man with a smirk on his face. The older Native American man stands silently in place and continues to drum.

He rightly assessed a growing tension. Impirtantly, he was the ONLY adult who took action to address it, meaning the adult chaperones left an opening for him to intervene and to use his own ritual and skills to do so). He employed a ritual form of Native communication and invitation to participate peacefully as a collection of "relatives" as he is later seen referring to the gathering. That ritual behavior is familiar to every single American, despite some nonsensical claims to the contrary.

I ----- like 99.999999999% -------- of Americans knew nothing about this man other than the above facts.

Honestly, the "discipline" has happened. Not only to this student but in general; not only in this incident but in all the many and seeming daily incidents in which we see white Americans treat non-white persons with disrespect. The majority of Americans expect non-white people to be treated the same way white people are treated, and the majority of Americans believe disrespect should be sanctioned as an intolerable behavior.

If white adolescents are expected to respond respectfully to the white adults they know, they are expected to respond identically to the non-white adults they know and the non-white adult strangers they encounter in the world.

When they don't and they get caught, they will be publicly censured as will white adults who get caught.

It is pretty tough, I agree, for this one kid to bear all that.

But times have changed. We whites are soon to be just one more minority community in a nation of minorities and the non-white minorities ate quickly becoming a collective majority AND huge numbers of white Americans celebrate this "right-sizing" of the white numbers on land that has home to briwn people for all of pre-history and most of history . So it is a majority value and goal that white people knock it off yesterday and that we teach our kids to knock it off now. It is so important goal and value that kids may well be more powerfully censured because they are the future leaders and increasing numbers of Americans of all colors are determined that racism will not be tolerated.

That is the discipline. A culture-wide discipline. It has been a long time coming. And the moral is this: white people would be wise to develop a conscientious ethic and practice and commitment to treating white Americans the same way you treat white Americans. White Americans can dig their heels in and say "this isn't fair! They are just kids." And all they will accomplish is to make their kids' lives harder because this IS the way it is going to be, Lisa, now that white Americans are a minority demographic AND because huge numbers of white Americans also refuse to excuse or tolerate disrespect of non-white communities and individuals.

An interesting reality that helps me understand some of this dynamic:
Trump supporters, the MAGA hat-wearing crowd, have given a vulgar bully who stiffs his worker, lies reflexively and speaks in racist dogwhistles a pass to the (once) most powerful leadership role in the world. It strikes me as logical that they are perplexed that the rest of the United States has developed a strict intolerance for behavior that smacks of racism and has begun to punish it with swift condemnation.

Robert Lewis
5 months 3 weeks ago

Listen, Mr. Social Justice Warrior, the boy smiled ONCE; all the rest of the time he simply stood at attention, in such a way as could be interpreted easily as "respectful," in the same way that Kapaernik is described as being "respectful" on the football field. The crowd was too packed in closely for ANYONE to be able to "step away," and the Native "activist" spends much of his time CREATING confrontations, by, for example, disrupting masses in Catholic churches.
These are BOYS--do you know anything about BOYS?! Their judgments are always poor and unfocused at this stage of their lives. The people responsible for this mess are the adults provoking the boys, or allowing them to be provoked: the teachers, the black militants AND Nate Phillips.

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Robert, your disdain for "social justice warriors" surprises me: you are one of the most consistent and passionate voices here for social justice for the gay community.

Surely you understand that it is the smirk in combination with the refusal to step out of the older Native man's way that is the problem?
Unfortunately for this arrogant kid, he is stuck with what we saw on video AND the statement his parents purchased for him: he calmly, consciously and with full awareness of the situation decided that he did not need to defer an older Native American by dropping his eyes and stepping to the side.

I agree that the adults traveling with (AND educating AND parenting) these kids are culpable. The adults who abdicated their responsibility that day and the adults educate and raise this kid are the source of the kid's confidence that he would get away with disrespecting this older man. And those same adults are source of the confidence of the kid who stripped off his clothes that he would get away with that behavior. And those adults are the source of the broader group's "chop" gestures which associates all Native Americans and ritual with violence. Try pointing guns at people as part of "school spirit cheers" and let's see what happens.

Human beings have known how to back out of the way for others in a crowd since humans started gathering in crowds. This kid's back was NOT against a wall literally OR figuratively. He chose not to respectfully step two feet to either side to let this older Native man pass. And society's message is loud and clear: the new and long overdue cultural expectation is "respond to brown and black people ALWAYS. EVERY SINGLE TIME. with the same respect you respond to white people". Anything less will be swiftly punished.

BTW, the more apt "what about the black guy" comparison is this: the countless American black male adolescents (and men) who are physically assaulted, tazed, cuffed, arrested, charged, jailed and even killed for disrespecting white adults in what you describe as the "always poor judgment of boys". Our society is largely unconcerned about their young lives.

This was garden variety racist insolence from a 17 year old white male Catholic school student who almost certainly would NEVER pull this, no matter the provocation, with a white male adult at home, at school, at church, at Scouts, on the court or even with a adult white male stranger who approached him in public on a school trip. And yes the adults are culpable. And yes society is going to punish even casual racism from children because it is absolutely sanctioned, unacceptable, disallowed and No. Longer. Tolerated.

Robert Lewis
5 months 3 weeks ago

Sorry, but in looking at that boy facing that man with the drum, I do not see what you are seeing. I judge people as INDIVIDUALS, not as STEREOTYPES, and I saw only ONE smile--not even definitely a "smirk." Just as it's fair to see Kaepernik's bent knee as just as much a sign of respect for the American Constitution (as well as a protest against racial injustice), it's easy to see the erect posture and the locked eyes, as an indication of respect and acceptance. EVERYBODY in this situation, in my opinion, is being blinded by bigotry and fanatic allegiance to ideology.

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Robert, to equate Mr. Kaepernick's to a SONG and a piece of FABRIC with a teenager's response to a MAN is to further the inherent racism here.

That is far more egregious than using as the red herring of the day a black man protesting police brutality and the muder of black men and boys.

ONLY in the military would that the boy's physical response be interpreted as respect, and that "respect" is reinforced in boot camp by the implied threat of severe punishment.

(Before you lecture me about that song and that flag: I am the child of a decorated Vietnam vet with medals for heroism and who fully, vocally, repeatedly defended the right of Americans to burn flags and sit out the pledge and the anthem. I grew up in Catholic churches on war mobilized bases.)

Smart ass white teenagers who stare down and refuse to move for older Native American men at the Lincoln Memorial don't deserve death threats and they don't deserve excuses. They deserve lessons on racism.

The point isn't that the kid disrespected a Native ritual. The relevance of the ritual is that it was well-established, commonplace *peaceful* behavior.

The point is that this INDIVIDUAL adolescent make stood in front of forty other adolescent males and refused to step out of the way while staring down an INDIVIDUAL older Native American man.

Purchased PR statements aside, the behavior was calibrated to humiliate an older Native American man with the teen's show of might in front of 40 other adolescent males.

Most Americans have decided that the humiliation of black and brown people will NEVER be tolerated again.

That is the new reality. The learning curve for some white Americans and some Catholics is apparently going to extremely sharp but that doesn't change the reality.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 3 weeks ago

Brookbank - you were first to comment on this story, and paid for it. If you were honest, you would feel an awful fool re-reading this now, just a few days later ("racist thugs") Or, you are in denial. All your traditional allies have abandoned you since the evidence is so conclusive against you. Your sexist and racist prejudice is so overwhelming, it is possible you will not even realize how prejudiced you are. With your complete misreading of the claims of gang rape against Justice Kavanaugh only a few month ago, you are on a streak.

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Tough times when society is changing, Tim. It is changing, Tim. Looks like the learning curve is going to very sharp for many Americans and many Catholics: casual sexism and racism is no longer tolerated and is so antithetical that it is going to continue to be mer with harsh and swift censure. Those are the facts on the ground.

PS i have never commented on whether I believe Kavanaugh or the women who accused him. I most definitely said the process was rigged. Very few people here ****or anywhere else**** commented on the gang rape allegation against Kavanaugh, except to challenge the insistence that it was an impossibility given the school, the good boys, the church, the career, ad infinitum. Silly rabbit you are, Tim.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 3 weeks ago

Ha - only 6 secs to respond. You must live here. But, this rereading is good for your soul. Caitlin Flanagan at the Atlantic should make your white face blush even more.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/media-must-learn-covington-catholic-story/581035/

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Well, really, it took me 14 minutes and 33 seconds, right? Silly rabbit, Tim, there is laundry to do!

Read Flanigan yesterday. You mean a white woman disagrees? That means i *MUST* be wrong!

But, nope, this is a sunburn, not a blush.

Tim, the world is changing and I know it is hard for you and it is STILL going to keep right on changing until white Americans as a group are simply another minority with a minority portion of the power and influence in this country. Again, it looks like it is going to rough going for you. Be well.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 3 weeks ago

Brookbank - I'm not worried. I don't identify by race. Never have. I am Christian and the believing Asian, Hispanic and African Christians are more my people than the secular pro-abortion pro-sterile-sex elite you defend. Demographics determine who will inherit the earth, and that group is dying so fast throughout the world. But, back to your smug (smirking?) deep denial. Even Lewis recognizes an injustice when he sees it. Try this analysis by Andrew Sullivan (or not, there is so much laundry to get to - so much reality to whitewash.) http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/01/andrew-sullivan-the-abyss-of-hate-versus-hate.html.

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Read that one, too. The Black Hebrew Israelites are a hate group and have long been identified as such by most reasonable persons. Any adult caretaker who, in the day of ubiquitous cell phones and even in DC on that day, does not move the children in their care out of range of a hate group needs to be relieved, permanently, of that role.
Reasonable adults don't provide hate groups targets by remaining passive for 90 minutes while the adolescent targets shift for themselves. But these wholly incompetent chaperones were the choice of that school and those parents. People pay good money for odd things, yes? So be it.

A 17 year old engaged in behavior calibrated to humiliate an older Native American man in front of 40 other teenagers (and that hate group and those passive chaperones). Whereas the school was fine with their students being mistreated, it turns out Americans are not okay with older Native American men being humiliated by teenagers.

In my mind, the MAGA hat is information about the ADULTS in this kid's life, at least on that day, which is why I have not commented on his hat. Long before Trump, the world was losing its tolerance for the humiliation of brown and black men. Trump has turned up the speed on that process. It is a good and just process.

PS I also read pieces that disagree with Sullivan and Flanigan. My experience is you only read and share what supports your worldview.)

Tim O'Leary
5 months 3 weeks ago

The chaperones did their job - making sure the kids were safe until the bus came. The Black Israelites got a pass from all your early comments, as your racial sexist prejudice requires less of certain groups. I haven’t seen you share articles you don’t agree with, so that claim is also false. You have condemned a kid based on his face. George Orwell in 1984: “to wear an improper expression on your face was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it: facecrime.

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Tim, I am and have been -- as I said -- satisfied with the assessment of the chaperones --- and you and many others here --- that the kids were safe. I would not allow kids or anyone else to be treated that way for 90mi utez by a known hate group; I would move us away -- and, until this, ddn't know of any adults who would. I stand corrected: here are adults who think it appropriate caretaking to expose teenagers to 90 minutes of hate speech rather than make a cellphone call and there are other adults, who clearly understand that the men are a religious hate group and who assess that the chaperones made the right decision and that the teens were "safe". Knowing all those facts, you insist the kids were safe and approve of the decisions of the chaperones. There was never and is not now anything more to say.

The decision by one person or group of persons to tolerate disrespect toward themselves or children in their care does not confer upon that person or group of persons justification for demanding that others tolerate disrespect of others by one or more of those children.

Tim, you are correct I don't share here articles I disagree with. I also don't share articles I agree with unless it is an offer of a better articulation of my thoughts. You tend to offer them as proof of your view. Most recently you posted a piece by a woman in a progressive magazine (Flanigan in the Atlantic) and said "I bet you are blushing" as if you found proof of your position that is irrefutable. Tim, your data literacy, as we have discussed elsewhere, is lacking.

Be well.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 3 weeks ago

Brookbank - it is not your data illiteracy that worries me, but your inability to adjust your erroneous position based on new information (It is tough going, isn't it, when our myths are challenged?). I sent you left wing links (Flanagan and Sullivan) so you see that most across the political spectrum now understand their original characterization of the boys was wrong, and that Philips lied, and most apologized. But, not you. You think that a strength. Sad.

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

For the record, Tim, Sullivan and Flanigan are well known conservative writers who publish in magazines that tend to publish more progressive voices. They are not at a place on the political spectrum that is opposite your conservative position; they are simply LESS conservative than you. I encourage you to explore the writings of the part of the political spectrum that includes many of voices of color. Be well, Tim.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 3 weeks ago

"many of voices of color" - Brookbank, it seems you are incapable of thinking outside racial terms. As Lewis says above re SJW: "who are as bigoted and fanatic as any McCarthyite ever was is going to listen to you." FYI - there are plenty of African American, Asian and Hispanic pro-lifers. Here is some reading to nudge you ever so slightly off racist categories. https://faithfullymagazine.com/african-american-pro-life-movement/ “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.”

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Abortion is not the topic of this article nor of most articles, etc, commenting on the incident at the Lincoln Memorial nor has it been the topic of any of my comments in this thread nor it is the topic of the articles by Flanigan or Sullivan. That is not the conversation I was having, and I leave you to it.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 3 weeks ago

Brookbank - you forget that the only reason these kids were in town was to protest the mass killing of the unborn, who (for those who can only think in racist sexist terms) are disproportionately girls and boys "of color and is a main stated reason for objecting to their presence and behavior. if these kids were there supporting the Woman's march, they would never have been attacked by the SJW.

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Duplicate.

J Jones
5 months 3 weeks ago

Duplicate

Steve McCormick
6 months ago

Brookbank, are you saying these young people are acting out what they are taught at the Catholic school they attend? That they are behaving in a way that is approved by those who have taught them the Catholic faith? It sure sounds like it. I attended Catholic schools almost all my life and there were always groups of kids who never responded or if they did, only tepidly, to the faith that they are taught to emulate and live. So yes, they attend a Catholic school. Are they taught to disrespect and mock the values of that faith or other people around them? Certainly not. If caught behaving like this at their school would they be disciplined? Yes, of course.
So let me suggest you cool down your jets on the rhetoric you are using against the church and these "elite" Catholic schools. From what I know of the religious make up of students at Catholic schools these days, these students are probably not even nominally Catholic. By using this incident and linking it to what these young people are taught at the school they attend is pure bull.
I agree with your assessment on the students taking the school day off may be a better line of reasoning. And don't forget an important element to everything that is done in every incident here in these glorious states of the US. That the social conditioning in all its forms in "the media" are much more powerful than most any other teaching method. The young people of this country are fed a steady diet of instructions on how to disrespect, abuse, and dominate others for the love of money and pleasure. Maybe those 'issues' could use some looking after as well. But implying that the students are taught to behave like this at the Catholic schools is unconscionable, irresponsible, and deceitful on your part.

J Jones
6 months ago

Never said the kids are taught this by their Catholic schools. I said there is a mythology about Catholic school kids, especially the wealthy Catholic school kids.

Read the nonsense promulgated by Catholics in the aftermath of the all the myth-making and myth-protecting in the aftermath of the Kavanaugh hearings. America Magazine was chastised for daring to acknowledge the reality known by most people (adults and current kids alike) every who know elite/privately educated wealthy kids ---- including the Catholic school kids, including the sacramentally, every Sunday Mass Catholic kids ----- a significant portion of thse Catholic school kids are out of control and the adults around them tend to be aware but dismiss it as long as the kids produce on paper.

(FYI: I went to an elite school and knew kids from the local Catholic prep).

Another Catholic school kid in that video -- Owensboro Catholic, this time --- told that United States Veteran and Native American Elder to his face that "land gets stolen All the time. That is how it works".
Money on it that kid heard that at home and has repeated it at school.

But the school spokeswoman called it a "flippant statement" and said it isnt right for that boy to be lumped in with the Covington Catholic kids.

So......maybe I SHOULD have said Catholic schools are teaching this racism. That kid's willingness to say that to a Native American elder is emblematic of racism and his CATHOLIC SCHOOL SPOKESWOMAN thinks it is not akin to the racist behavior of 30-40 Catholic Church educated teenagers.

So, yeah, those Catholic schools have a problem with what they are teaching their kids.

American kids are exposed to lots of hateful role models.

But THIS was a mob of Catholic school kids ------ from two different Cathic schools ---- on a Catholic school trip to engage in Catholic political activism.

So, again, yeah, Catholic education and it's myths are relevant here. Just like Catholic education and its myths were relevant when Brett, Mark, Tobin, Timmy, PJ and Squee were telling us what good Catholic school boys they were. Time for the Catholic Church and Catholics to quit with the myth-making. It is a habit that conditioned the Church for the abuse of, wait for it, thousands of Native American women and girls by priests after their land was, wait again, stolen.

Lisa M
6 months ago

J Brookbank: The notion that kids who attend private Catholic schools come from wealthy backgrounds is simply not the case, and misrepresents both the aim of the schools, in most instances, and the makeup of the student body. Naturally there are plenty who do, but in my experience, as a parent who chose to have her children educated in private Catholic schools, it was with great financial sacrifice, as it is for many parents. Most of these schools offer generous bursaries to families in financial need, in order to attract and maintain a diverse background.

I find it a bit troubling that while outraged at the behaviour of these boys, you are so quick to link their behaviour with the pro life movement, their religion and their supposed elite privileged background. Is that not doing precisely what you are criticizing them for, which is mocking another faith or ethnicity while knowing absolutely nothing about him/them?
Yes, their behaviour is disturbing, even more so while at a pro life march, and knowing they attend a Catholic school is particularly hurtful for those of us who believe in Catholic social and moral teachings. Yet, to blame this behaviour on a school, a faith and a wealthy background is disingenuous if your argument is for " choice and inclusion", as you have painted a whole group of people with one brush, without even considering we are all individuals.

Maggie Frost
6 months ago

He is not mocking, I didn’t get that at all. Brookbank is speaking hard truth.

Lisa M
6 months ago

Maggie Frost. Generalizing about a group a people in a negative way is mocking them, and most certainly is not speaking the truth. To group Catholics in that manner, or ANY group of people is hardly advancing the concepts of unity, respect and inclusion.

J Jones
6 months ago

Lisa, I am Catholic; I went to an elite school; my parents sacrificed for me to go there (though that "sacrifice" is relative, I and they know. Millions of parents sacrifice to buy their kids clothes, shelter, food. The ability to spare ANY money for private education is, in itself, a comparative indicator). It is entirely appropriate for me to think and speak about my community.

It is tough going, isn't it, when our myths are challenged?

These are Catholic school kids on a Catholic school-sponsored trip, many wearing Catholic school clothing to engage in Catholic political action in a time period when Catholic narratives about Catholics are exploding to reveal a lot of ugliness and a lot of dishonesty and a lot of myth-making swallowed whole. It is entirely appropriate to evaluate the conduct of these boys in the context of Catholic education and Catholic political action.

The Kavanaugh hearings exposed an unpalatable but factual counternarrative about elite all male Catholic schools and the power of Catholic myth-making and the toxicity it often breeds.

There is a both/and to everything, Lisa. The myths were never true. There is simply proof now.

In response to your comment below about the more complete video: it provides context but does nothing to refute the description of harassment and racism.

The ONLY possible APPROPRIATE response by those children was for them to step out of the way of a drumming, singing Native American elder and let him and the rest of the procession pass.

I do not believe for a minute that those boys would have behaved that way had the Native American procession been, instead, a group of priests or soldiers or white men in business suits.

They did not respect these Native men as MEN. As ADULTS. As ELDERS. As AUTHORITY figures.

Therein lies their racism, Lisa, and the expanded video only makes that racism more evident.

(One of the boys present wrote a local paper that they thought the Native procession was a "cultural event", as if all Native Americans with drums are "powwowing" for the entertainment of white kids. Imagine how you would feel if a group of Catholic priests and nuns were praying the rosary while walking at the Capitol and a bunch of kids from a secular private school, there for a political action, refused to step out of the way and started kneeling, standing, kneeling, standing, chanting cheers while making the sign of the cross and then said "we thought it was a cultural event" and wanted to participate but didnt know the words.

Anyone in their right mind would be outraged and hurt and you would wonder what the hell their school and that political action were teaching them.

It is entirely appropriate to evaluate --- as relevant to the narratives about both Catholic education and the March --- this show of truly stunning arrogance and dominance and privilege by Catholic school students in Catholic school clothing on a Catholic school trip for Catholic political action.

Thank you for directing me to the full video.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Pope Francis proclaimed that the former Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston can no longer participate in the liturgy and commands him to make amends for the harm he caused.
What started as a "Gilmore Girls"-themed trip through New England gave me and my parents far more than we had expected.
Detail from a Latin Missal (iStock/wwing)
Latin is often seen as an outdated tradition, but language student Grace Spiewak writes that it can foster pride in our global church, reminding us of our unique and complicated history.
Grace SpiewakJuly 19, 2019
Callahan was an independent scholar working at the frontier where ethics meets medicine, law and religion.