After initial outrage, claims of racism, clearer details of exchange emerge

On Jan. 18, a teenager wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, center left, stands in front of an elderly Native American singing and playing a drum in Washington. (Survival Media Agency via AP)On Jan. 18, a teenager wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, center left, stands in front of an elderly Native American singing and playing a drum in Washington. (Survival Media Agency via AP)

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- An exchange between Catholic high school students and a Native American tribal leader in Washington Jan. 18 was vilified on social media the following day, but the immediate accusations the students showed racist behavior have been stepped back as more details of the entire situation have emerged.

Many say the incident still needs to be investigated or discussed and others have pointed out that what happened can still provide a teaching moment not just about racism but also about news coverage and social media's rapid response.

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The student most prominent in the footage, junior Nick Sandmann of Covington High School in Kentucky, issued a statement Jan. 20 saying he has "received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults" based on reaction across social media. He also said he would cooperate in any investigation church leaders plan to undertake.

The group's chaperones, also criticized on social media, said later the students "were targeted from the get-go.

On Jan. 18, tens of thousands gathered in Washington for the annual March for Life, a march along Constitution Avenue after a rally on the National Mall to the Supreme Court to mark the court's Jan. 22, 1973, decision that legalized abortion.

The march, held a few days before the actual anniversary this year, took place on the same day as the first Indigenous People's March where marchers walked in the other direction on Constitution Avenue to draw attention to injustices against indigenous people.

At the day's end, while students from Covington Catholic High School who had attended the March for Life were waiting for their buses to pick them up near the Lincoln Memorial, they met up with members of the Indigenous People's March, in particular Nathan Phillips, tribal elder for the Omaha Tribe.

In clips from a video that went viral almost immediately, students are shown surrounding the leader, who is chanting and beating a drum. They appear to be mocking him and one student in particular, who is inches away from the drummer and never moves, was accused of flagrant disrespect.

Some students in the crowd were identified by their Covington High School sweatshirts but the attire that drew the most rage was the "Make America Great Again" hats worn by a few in the group. That phrase, which President Donald Trump coined during his successful presidential campaign, has been deemed to be "racist" by his opponents.

The clip caused immediate outrage.

In response to the escalating fury and disgust on social media against these students, Covington High School and the Diocese of Covington issued a joint statement Jan. 19 saying they condemned the students' actions "toward Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general."

"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," it said, adding that the incident was "being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion."

The school and diocese also said the event "tainted the entire witness of the March for Life" and they apologized to those who attended and "all those who support the pro-life movement."

March for Life president Jeanne Mancini also issued a statement that day saying the encounter did not represent her organization or "the vast majority of the marchers" and that the students' behavior is not welcome at the march and never will be.

The next day the March for Life said it in a tweet had deleted its original tweet about the students "given recent developments.

"It is clear from new footage and additional accounts that there is more to this story than the original video captured. We will refrain from commenting further until the truth is understood," the tweet said.

The day after the initial clip of the exchange went viral, extended footage of how the situation unfolded appeared on social media, and the students issued their own statements about it, like Sandmann, who was directly in front of the Native American drummer.

Longer videos shown online reveal that another group at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial included members of the Hebrew Israelites, who also were attending the Indigenous People's March to share their own beliefs that African-Americans are God's chosen people and the true Hebrew descendants.

Members of this group, as shown in video footage, taunted the students and some responded back. Phillips, the Native American, walked over to the students and the group, as an intervention, singing and beating a song of prayer.

Sandmann, in a statement, said Phillips "locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face."

"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 protesters. ... I was worried that a situation was getting out of control."

Sandmann said the group started doing school spirit chants to "counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group" and they had asked for chaperone permission to do so.

He said he stayed motionless to help diffuse the situation and also prayed silently that it would not get out of hand.

"During the period of the drumming, a member of the protester'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 protester," an action that can be seen on the video where he motions to the student to stop and points and nods to the tribal leader.

The student said he didn't understand "why either of the two groups of protesters were engaging with us, or exactly what they were protesting" and that his group was just there to meet a bus, "not become central players in a media spectacle."

"I was not intentionally making faces at the protester. 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," he added.

The student said he has been called "every name in the book, including a racist" and has received death threats and hateful insults.

"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," he said. His statement was posted on the CNN website, https://cnn.it/2FOLNCC.

A local CBS-affiliate, WKRC in Cincinnati, also received statements from students, some who asked to remain anonymous, also saying they were unfairly portrayed in media coverage of this incident.

Chaperones, also criticized on social media, spoke to the TV station reiterating that the students had been taunted. "They were targeted from the get-go. Immediately, there were people running around filming and this isn't going to be a truthful depiction of what happened," one chaperone said.

Jesuit Father Jim Martin, an author and editor of America magazine, who was critical of the students' behavior on Twitter Jan. 19, said in a tweet the following day that he would be "happy to apologize for condemning the actions of the students if it turns out that they were somehow acting as good and moral Christians. The last thing I want is to see Catholic schools and Catholic students held in any disrepute."

He also tweeted: "We may never know exactly what happened and the various 'sides' may continue to disagree and condemn one another. But I hope the truth emerges."

He said the situation can provide a teachable moment with "important lessons about racism and marginalization, about dialogue and encounter, and about truth and reconciliation, during this coming week, which is, believe it or not, Catholic Schools Week."

Eileen Marx, a religion teacher at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, who also is the faculty moderator of the school's diversity club, told Catholic News Service Jan. 21 that she certainly planned to discuss this incident with her classes this week in light of Catholic social teaching which "so clearly states that we are meant to live in relationship with one another, not as enemies. We are all part of the human family."

She also acknowledged that there is more to discuss now as more details of what happened after the march are emerging.

As this story continues to be sorted out, she said, she also will bring up the role of social media with her students and its power to "build up and to knock down individuals."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
rose-ellen caminer
8 months ago

I said I don't believe they are real racists, but wearing a MAGA hat will justifiably bring blowback. They can support any one they want and wear anything they want as individuals. But a Catholic school should not be bringing students under their Catholic banner to a pro life rally, which for Catholics is a moral and religious issue not a political one, making purely political statements which a MAGA hat is.This undermines the moral pro life cause and is scandalous for the Church. MAGA is essentially a political ideology and is neither fully pro life, or Christian.

Terry Kane
8 months ago

Part of the MAGA agenda is being pro-life. That moral position is what the president ran on. Washington is political city, so one should expect to see political things, including garb.
You feel comfortable writing, "wearing a MAGA hat will justifiably bring blowback." JUSTIFIABLY????
If MAGA is anti-abortion, why is wearing a hat with that printed on it at a pro-life rally inappropriate and attacking those who wear one is to be expected?
That position seems to be anti Christian.

rose-ellen caminer
8 months ago

There is more to being pro life then being anti abortion. But does the MAGA agenda try to outlaw abortion? I don't believe it does.
If one holds immoral positions publicaly, then yes it is justifiable to get backlash for what you are promoting. Which wearing a MAGA hat is. Wearing a MAGA hat at a pro life rally just validates the belief many have that the pro life movement is myopic and hypocritical; only the lives of unborn Americans matter. That Catholics would even want to subscribe to the MAGA agenda shows a failure in Catholic education[imo] . That Catholic school teachers would allow their students to politicize a pro life rally, is pretty stupid.Wearing those MAGA hats justifiably brought a response. Though the group who responded are themselves anti white racists and anti Catholic bigots.

Bev Ceccanti
8 months ago

Rose Ellen: Blah Blah .Regardless of your personal dislike for Trump, the Planned Parenthood Party will expand the abortion industry. and the Trump appointees will curb it. Don't let your dislike for Trump blind this important mission.

lisa connolley
8 months ago

There is nothing MORAL about our President's stance on violence against women. There is NOTHING MORAL about his stance on children dying at the border. Right to Life is for ALL of God's Creation - when our President reflects that within MAGA, then and only then will MAGA hold a Godly moral ground. And I among many pray for that day!. Until our President repents and turns toward our God of Love for ALL Creation, all humans, this is a Dream....A Dream Rev. Martin Luther King preached of, and Pope Francis invites us into with Laudato Si. Let there be Peace on Earth - let it begin with me, and I pray our Catholic students.

Terry Kane
7 months 4 weeks ago

rose-ellen
You wrote, "wearing a MAGA hat will justifiably bring blowback." Is rape justifiable if the girl was wearing a mini-skirt???? Wasn't she just asking for it??
Sad

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 3 weeks ago

Rape is a crime. Political symbols signal to others their politics. Sometimes signals get responses.

Bev Ceccanti
7 months 3 weeks ago

So you don't think Trump's Judicial appointments will help the pro life cause? You think the Planned Parenthood Party offers more hope?

Bev Ceccanti
7 months 3 weeks ago

We're at critical crossroads and the MAGA hats are the right call for a pro life march.. We'll vote to do the right thing or we'll give the political reigns to a Party which promotes abortion for any reason, at any time, up through the eighth month of gestation. We'll lose our opportunity for generations if we miss this chance to appoint Justices who respect human life and will strive to balance the God given rights of all of us, even if the argument for true justice isn't 'trendy'.' The MAGA Hat connects Trump to what he's done and what he will do.. Do you want the fact that the Democratic Party is clearly differentiated, (evidenced by their own unholy signage) from the Trump led Republicans to be unclear to pro life voters when the infinite importance of this choice weighs in the balance? There are a lot of people I know who would wear the Hats but they fear assault from the left. And they're not in any way bigots.( They're even afraid to speak. )

Baron Corvo
8 months ago

Catholic high schools in Chicago have strict guidelines referring to school and off-campus apparel - it is school-approved, sponsored and sold. Period. No outside caps - EVER.

Of course, this second-rate, almost-segregated, laughable school couldn't even manage to arrange a trip with WATCHFUL CHAPERONES who could herd their charges away from trouble, so the dress code thing probably isn't in place either.

Bev Ceccanti
8 months ago

The best hope for our pre-born children are Trump appointees to the Supreme Court. Pro-lifers need to have this point driven home or we will lose our opportunity to get judges who respect the Constitutional rights of all of us. The hats were totally appropriate to this important message. Period.

rose-ellen caminer
8 months ago

All his appointees repeat the un Christian and immoral view; i'm against the killing of the unborn BUT; either "its settled law", or, "I would not tell women what to do if pregnant". Wearing those hats conflate Americanism [ Trumps version]with Christianity.And the Constitution can be interpreted to mean whatever [just enough people in positions of power] people want it to mean. And/or , it can be amended.Appealing to the words of the Constitution is a deflection. it tells us nothing about right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust laws and policies. Abortion was once illegal, now its legal ;same Constitution , different ["evolving"] morality, values. Same for many other laws and policies.
The Christian Right MAGA people made their deal with the devil; all they care about are their tax cuts,unborn American lives and the hell with every one else; the poor, the sick, the desperate.

Baron Corvo
8 months ago

Right.

And the LIVING, BREATHING children in Trump's CONCENTRATION CAMPS prove WHAT about his "christian charity" or "constitutional protectiveness" ?"

Stop with the fetus worship.

J Jones
8 months ago

The PR firm hired by the Sandmann family --- the PR firm which released and distributed and thus coached if not wrote the statement attributed to the student ---- is a Louisville crisis management and PR firm owned by powerful Kentucky Republican operatives.

Terry Kane
8 months ago

OMG! A "PR firm owned by powerful Kentucky Republican operatives," then the whole statement must be all lies.
Obviously the initial media reporting must be the REAL story.
Sad

Scott Cooper
8 months ago

Do you happen to know the name of this PR firm? Being a bit of conspiracy theorist myself, I really appreciated your “...owned by powerful Kentucky Republican operatives... “ Nice touch—very ominous—I honestly got chills.

J Jones
8 months ago

RunSwitch PR in Louisville.

See the Courier -Journal article link in my comment to Terry above.

Mark Chandler
8 months ago

Very first thought on seeing the picture: Why are the students allowed to wear hats with a racist motto while representing the school?

Terry Kane
8 months ago

Mark Chandler
Do you not want America to be greatest country on earth? Right now other nations are growing in strength and importance to the point where they are rivals of the USA.
Those "hats with a racist motto" are intended to restore this country to the pinnacle of nations, as it had been until recently. You do not want America to be the greatest it can be?
What would you think of Keep America Mediocre, or Keep America Adequate? What motto would you suggest?

rose-ellen caminer
8 months ago

Xenophobia ,bigotry, walls, do not make America great again, that's why.

Terry Kane
8 months ago

rose-ellen
Not sure what your comment relates to, but the Vatican has a great big wall, is that a bad place?
If one is married to an immigrant, does that make one xenophobic? If the holy book of a certain faith is anti-Christian and anti-Semitic, if one acknowledges that fact, does that make one a bigot?
Can you explain the comment you posted to make it more clear?

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 4 weeks ago

Terry;being married to an immigrant does not make one a xenophobe, nor does it negate being a xenophobe. Because bigotry and xenophobia are prejudices ,it is common that when one actually meets a person one was prejudiced against, the bigot and xenophobes finds they can fall in love ,or be friends or work together.They find that the other are not so other. Xenophobes and bigots always have exceptions when they get a dose of reality which confounds their prejudices, and they can then attenuate their bigotry and xenophobia [ if they don't give it up altogether] ; "you are not like the rest of them", or "well THESE immigrants are all right, or[as Bev said,paraphrasing] ;"I love these immigrants see I now even attend their church services", but it's THOSE people who are other.And since you are married to an immigrant you might not need me to remind you that some of the most bigoted and xenophobic people can be immigrants .They show their bona fides that way.Like your MAGA wearing spouse maybe?They are gonna be more American then the Americans![lol]
The issue with the wall is not that we don't need barriers but having a wall across the whole southern border. That means suffering and death for desperate people. Desperate people will try all sorts of things . It expresses a paranoid , xenophobic; there is US ,and there is everybody else, fortress mentality. Having barriers where there are towns and cities so that they are not over run with people , is wise ,but out in the desert is cruel and absurd and unnecessary.

Bev Ceccanti
8 months ago

Rose Ellen: Though 3rd generation, I grew up in an entirely immigrant family community....All my grandparents, aunts, uncles, many friends of family, etc.. came to escape war and poverty and sought the great opportunity that the USA offered . There was no welfare. They had sponsors..they sponsored others...they shared their homes... . There was no safety net. No welfare. They came through Ellis Island and were screened for diseases. I married a man with the same immigrant background. I Now live and work and attend Church in a largely Hispanic community and I love it because I feel at home among these Catholic people. I'm not racist. I'm against Capital Punishment & I'm sick to death of the Planned Parenthood Party and their allies trying to impugn my motives. Anyone who doesn't vote for curbing the runaway holocaust in this country when we have that opportunity either doesn't care or is naive beyond words. The hats were appropriate because they illustrated the only path available to sincere pro lifers and the millions more pre-born children who will be killed if Planned Parenthood appoints the judges..

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 4 weeks ago

You Terry are honest about your religious bigotry.We now have a president promoting religious bigotry so you have alot of company; the president ,and people wearing MAGA hats. You Bev sound disingenuous."I can't be a bigot here are my bona fides;my best friends are... variety"]You both know that Trump ran on expressing bigotry ;wanting to ban people for their religion,juxtaposing northern European people with people from blank hole nations in his immigration narrative , fanning distrust and paranoia towards desperate migrants and refugees ; people risking life and their children's lives to escape desperate conditions, saying that ones ethnic ancestry makes one a biased judge.,and won. So wearing a MAGA cap expresses support for such xenophobia and bigotry.And will justifiably result in backlash. Bigotry and xenophobia needs to be confronted verbally and the MAGA hat is the iconic symbol of it for our time.
Trump and his judges will not lift a finger to end the holocaust of the unborn. MAGA does not have anything to do with ending legalized abortion! !Is Planned Parenthood still getting government subsidies? MAGA has nothing to do with pro life agenda;ending abortion or any other pro life cause!

Terry Kane
7 months 4 weeks ago

rose -
You should do some research on the "religion of peace." The people who put COEXIST bumper stickers all over their cars should, too. This isn't the place for any education in that regard, but it really isn't a virtue-signaling place either.
Do not let the media shape your beliefs. Donald Trump has not said lies about Moslems and Mexicans. He spoke the truth about each. He said Mexico was not sending their best; they aren't. He said there was something going on with Moslems; there is.
Facts are not xenophobic or bigoted.
The president ran on an anti-abortion platform and so it follows that MAGA has much to do with the pro-life agenda.

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 4 weeks ago

I know what my religion says; love your neighbor as yourself.. What percentage of the Mexicans, legal or illegal do you know anything about?He tells you that they are not Mexico's best. Maybe they are.People who have the courage to uproot and face their challenges frequently are their best.When he suggests that Muslims are all terrorists,he is lying to you, as he is about Mexicans all being rapists. Certainly he can point to individual cases of crimes being committed but that is not representative of the immigrant community, legal or illegal.

To support Trumps bigoted agenda simply because he made allusions to being pro life in his campaign, is adherence to a misleading agenda.

I have a coexist bumper sticker ,because the Muslims I know are decent and moral people.You are doing what all bigots do;you find an example that seems to prove your point and run with it.There may be passages in the Koran that are critical of Jews and of Christians but there are other passages requiring the faithful to be tolerant and accepting.Our bible also includes anti Semitic passages and intolerance.If your interpretation of the religion of peace is that it teaches only hatred and intolerance then it is not the same as mine.

Terry Kane
7 months 4 weeks ago

rose-ellen
Your religion also says judge not lest ye be judged, right? You dispensed with that maxim when you judged the Covington boys, the president and me, but that's OK because we all like Trump - right?
You have let the media shape your thoughts. The president NEVER said all Moslems are terrorists and he NEVER said all Mexicans are rapists. The media let you believe he did - he did not.
The fact is we have enough problems here now, to allow illegal immigrants into our country is crazy. Trump want to have plenty of legal immigrants, no illegal ones. The face is that illegal aliens make up an inordinate percentage of felons in our jails and prisons - we need no more.

Which passages of "Our bible also includes anti Semitic passages and intolerance"? I'd like to see them.

I am not saying that all Moslems are any one thing. The problem is Islam, not those who claim to be Moslem. There must be numerous good people who say they are Moslem.
I would like to hear the "passages requiring the faithful to be tolerant and accepting." There are many which condemn Jews and other non-Moslems.

Somehow I suspected you had COEXIST bumper stickers. Please seek alternative sources of news - you are being lied to.

If only 10% of Moslems think violent jihad is OK that would be a substantial number of people. Studies show that MORE than 10% think jihad is justified.
Please look into Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer's work. They and a few other people can enlighten you about the real Islam, not the "religion of peace."

You seem to be an honest and sincere person who has been misled by the fake news media. Let this Covington students episode show you that the media can twist things to make them appear to be what they really are not.
Take a look at this <10 min video with Sharyl Attkisson about fake news for your edification.

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 4 weeks ago

I AM honest and sincere. And MAGA is a xenophobic and bigoted agenda.Which you support. When you proclaim your bigotry as you do, there is no real point in talking to you as there is no winning when talking to bigots, and citing lines from Koran or Bibles won't help ,nor would statistics about crimes or definitions of what people mean by support for "violent jihad";defensive war, for their land, their people? You always come back with something to buttress your religious bigotry or xenophobia.That's what bigotry is and that's what bigots do!The 2 people you cited of who you get your "knowledge" of Islam from are two of the most hateful propagandists in the media today. They say that even the nice Muslims are all faking and really will behead you for not being Muslims the moment they can! You know G and S talk like that.They say all Muslims are liars.and can't be trusted. So either you are lying when you say that you agree with me that individual Muslims are good people, or you support their telling malicious lies about Muslims?Both are sins according to our faith Terry.
And I side with the Covington boys as I see them as innocent. I blamed the school for allowing them to wear the offensive provocative MAGA hats at a pro life rally under the banner of a Catholic school.
I am not going to dissuade you of your bigotry and xenophobia. Today's dunce caps are MAGA caps that xenophobes and ignorant bigots themselves can proudly choose to wear for all to see[lol]
There are things about Trump I like; but not his MAGA agenda nor his xenophobia and religious bigotry and how he promoted it. I love when he calls the Mueller probe a witch hunt, and the media fake news for obsessing on the role of Russia in his winning the election!I like his sense of humor and his personality actually.They call him thin skinned; really its the opposite they are thin skinned[his opponents] and he is thick skinned[lol. The on going shut down is outrageous ; I say give him the 5 billion he's asking for, for barriers where appropriate[not all along the desert]and border and migrant infrastructure, in exchange for daca people becoming citizens right away, and amnesty to all illegals now .

Terry Kane
7 months 4 weeks ago

rose-ellen
Well, at least you think a MAGA hat is a dunce cap as opposed to a white sheet!
Now you are on the side of the boys, that's a good step. However, you still seem to think that the "provocative" headgear led to the confrontation. Would a mini-skirt be said to have led to a rape????
Facts are neither bigoted nor xenophobic. You have dismissed two honest truth tellers in Geller and Spencer. The media have blinded you to the work these two have done.
I sincerely would like to learn about the Bible's passages where intolerance and violence is put forth as the correct behavior. The koran has many of those, but the Holy Bible, not so much.
Instead of relying on the media to tell you what DJT says, find the actual statements he has made - they are all over YouTube. You have been lied to, either by omission or commission, about the president's words. The last paragraph of your post shows that you are open to individual thinking and not held captive by group think which the media impose. The media really are the enemy of the people when you consider what the do and do not let the public know.
I have enjoyed our correspondence and I hope you have also. It is good to express oneself in writing about topics of importance. I think religion is of ultimate import, with our nation and world next. (Of course, family is right under God in importance).
P.S. - I am not bigoted or xenophobic, I am, however, accepting of things as they exist. I think that people are people - good and bad. However, if one is a faithful follower of Islam, it is hard to be good. I do know some Moslems who are Americanized (or Westernized) and that eliminates them from the category of "good Moslems." The jihadists are good Moslems. Yet, there are more Moslems who we would consider good people; they just do not practice the faith as written in the koran. This is not so much a religion as it is a political philosophy with some religious elements. Do not let the media delude you into believing what they tell you about the "religion of peace." That's too easy for us to accept because we are generally Christians who want to believe in the goodness of others. Do a little more research into that faith - it may shock you. Geller and Spencer are really good people - she is a Jew and he a Catholic who have studied and experienced a great deal.

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 4 weeks ago

You are not accepting things as they are. Their preferred pronunciation is MUSlim. You know this and you choose to disrespect them by mispronouncing [miss spelling] their identity. Such willful disrespect is an expression of hateful bigotry. I called you out and with every response you show yourself to be a lying ignoramus; a hateful bigot.

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 4 weeks ago

Did you ever see the film passion of the Christ? That is as anti Semitic as you can get. Taken from the Gospels; the fanatic irrational Jewish mob screaming for the death of the good Jesus. These religious fanatics are juxtaposed with the calm ,rational civilized Romans ; I see no fault in him exculpatory statements. The Romans are the rational American occupiers in the Iraq war and the screaming Jews calling for blood are the fanatic Muslims of today in that film made during Iraq war. Anti- Semitism will always be with us , apparently; now its applied to Semitic Islam. In the movie the camera hones in on these screaming fanatic Jews and some faces morph as devils. The soldiers are portrayed as occupying young solders always are; getting caught up but in the violence of the moment but really just following orders of how to deal with pesky natives out to undermine their noble task of bringing civilization to a bunch of backward superstitious, quarreling fanatics.Pilates wife is the face of American womanhood; serene and composed and temperate in a land of backward barbarians.In the end when Jesus has been crucified, the Jewish tabernacle is destroyed by an act of God,this is biblical; see even God hates these people! [ The birds peck at the eyes of the evil Jewish priests; or was it the bad thief? That is what you get for not believing?How compassionate]! The name Judas, sounds very much like Jew.Coincidence? [this is a film review really].

Terry Kane
7 months 4 weeks ago

Moslem has been the term until I was in my 30s. I am not going to readjust my use of terms because you say so. How do you know what "Their preferred pronunciation is"? Did you ask them??? Do you accept the new pronouns zee and shim because somebody on TV tells you that trans folk prefer that? If so, you have been deluded by the media.
I take back my saying that you seemed open-minded. Calling me "a lying ignoramus; a hateful bigot" was uncalled for and I refuse to be insulted and will no longer continue this conversation after I read and/or respond to you last comment.
I will, however, pray for your soul. Good night.

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 4 weeks ago

Yes I asked them.I too always preferred the word Moslem ;it is easier to say, and looks and sounds better to my sight and my ear and I thought that was proper or neutral till I learned from them that they have a preference. {We used used to say Peking too.Are you good saying Bejing or are you also intent on disrespecting Chinese people]? People have the right to self identify and label and if you were not such an ignorant bigot you would acknowledge that too.
Of course you won't readjust your terms as that would show tolerance and respect and dare I say the capacity to love or to attempt to love the least of your brethren, and the whole point of bigotry is to have a people, be it ethnic or national or religious, you can lash out against, vilify,hurt and disrespect,feel morally superior to which makes you feel good about yourself , with impunity .[ that's why targets of bigotry are generally powerless marginalized groups on the bottom of the socio/political rung so there is no push back].
You are angry I gave you push back,how dare I; trump and maga people talk like you do all the time with impunity .I gave you punity.
Everything you've said about the targets of your bigotry, was insulting. to them.And now you get indignant about feeling '"insulted."The one who insults does not like being insulted![lol . Except I did not insult you.Terry. I called you out on a few of your lies, and ignorant hateful bigoted comments which YOU articulated. You insulted yourself .

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 3 weeks ago

"You should do some research on the religion of peace".Like you have;You are like the Taliban; your knowledge of Islam comes from some self anointed "experts on Islam" who have distorted the religion, But you are worse then them; for you are a US citizen; a citizen of the most powerful most free, most open to information, most educated , nation on earth, and have allowed your mind to be manipulated . They on the other hand, are from one of the worlds poorest most backward most ravaged by wars from super powers, mountain people on earth.

Bev Ceccanti
7 months 3 weeks ago

Rose Ellen:You're the one who's a bigot for ascribing to me traits based on your own preconceived notions .. You don't know me. Are you telling me I must give up my proverbial "maga Hat' to convince you I would have other reasons to wear it other than being a racist? Your notions have nothing to do with me.........and are borne of your trust in a radical, demonstrably bigoted, liberal press.

Bev Ceccanti
7 months 3 weeks ago

Rose Ellen: How dare you try to make a contrived point by ascribing a fraudulent quote..to me (.with quote marks) which is also an unequivocal misrepresentation of anything I've ever said. You say "You Bev sound disingenuous." You continue to quote me as saying "I can't be a bigot here are my bona fides;my best friends are... variety" I defy you to find the words in my comments that in any way state, paraphrase or resemble what you put in those quote marks.

rose-ellen caminer
7 months 3 weeks ago

Your going on about your immigrant roots; my quotations included the word "variety". Your statements about your extended immigrant family roots, is what "variety" alludes to. A "variation" on the standard; some of my best friends, are so therefore that means I can't possible be , trope that bigots use. Trump ran on a bigoted agenda; made many bigoted comments, fueled fear and paranoia and distrust of people based on where they came from and how they got here, and wearing a MAGA hat as an adult , is support of that agenda. He never stressed stopping the killing of the unborn,he paid lip service to the gullible, but the first thing he said was telling us how there are a lot of bad people coming from mexico and how he was going to ban all Muslims from coming in. It was the issue of immigration;,who comes in and who doesn't and the perils of those Mexicans that mexico sends, it was his saying that he wanted less people from blank hole countries where their governments are murdering them but that's not our problem,we want norwegiians, that got him elected. MAGA and immigration; his bigoted agenda around this issue is what MAGA represents most succinctly for that was his agenda and his rhetoric, that separated him from the pack , and got him elected!Your telling me about Ellis island is another trope comparing immigration then[ no welfare ;hard working europeans with familiar religions] with today's immigrants.

Bev Ceccanti
7 months 3 weeks ago

Rose Ellen: I give up.

Andrew Strada
8 months ago

Time to send in the fact checkers. Is Mr. Phillips a Vietnam veteran or a Vietnam-era veteran? Two very different things.

Joseph J Dunn
8 months ago

David Brooks has an interesting analysis and commentary in the New York Times. Worth reading. The title, "How We Destroy Lives Today." https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/21/opinion/covington-march-for-life.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage.

Carla Eble
8 months ago

Nothing says "pro-life" like yelling "slut" at fellow marchers. These guys were making trouble even before the encounter that gained them notoriety. https://www.indy100.com/article/maga-hat-boys-covington-catholic-harassing-women-washington-nathan-phillips-twitter-video-8739981?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR2cp7cWA6eiZa3gqSS-m7N5M6tP1Ra5_FFDZ5kyvBCiHWuO0aMNiPvtkMM#Echobox=1548162651

Catherine McKeen
8 months ago

Joseph Dunn recommended today's NY Times essay by David Brooks titled "How We Destroy Lives Today." I second Joseph. Brooks has written the most sensible analysis of this bizarre event that I've seen so far. We should also be asking why Catholic spokespeople are so quick to condemn their own.

Terry Kane
8 months ago

Catherine
You are exactly right! It's not just the spokespeople, the bishop condemned the boys and so did so many others. I wonder if the boys' parents will withdraw their sons from that school. How must they feel when, after paying tuition and supporting the school in other ways, the principal and others did not stand up for these kids. The school even threatened expulsion based on a brief video - without even asking to hear from the boys and the chaperones. Sad!

Baron Corvo
8 months ago

Catholic high schools here in Chicagoland have strict dress codes for students that allow for ONLY school-marked and marketed apparel - no exceptions when appearing off-campus representing the school.

Was the fetus-worshipping march somehow different ?

What about the racist mocking of the chanters by babbling nonsense and doing the 'tomahawk chop' ?

Some videos show a priest hanging back, away from his misbehaving charges. WHERE were the "chaperones" ?

It makes me sick to see this article place quotation marks around the word racist when talking about the characterization of the red Trump caps.
THEY ARE A RACIST FLAG, whether you recognize it or not, and NO CATHOLIC SCHOOL SHOULD ALLOW THEM ON THE HEADS OF THEIR STUDENTS, ON OR OFF CAMPUS.

Andrew Strada
8 months ago

We need to prepare ourselves for Phase III in this apparently never-to-be-ending saga. Here is the outline for Fr. Martin's next remarks:

"It is true that there may have been an initial overreaction and some of the more emotional comments have been dialed back appropriately. Still, there are aspects of the students' behavior that do not seem entirely consistent with Catholic principles. And it is critical that we not allow the uncertainty about exactly what happened in Washington to obscure the very real oppression experienced by people of color on this continent since the earliest days of European settlement."

Remember folks, you heard it here first.

Lisa M
8 months ago

Andrew-haha, well needed humour but definitely representative of the problem, and why so many of us are frustrated by those who speak for the Church. Can they spell S-O_R_R-Y?

Kristin Wiener
8 months ago

I am so disappointed in America Magazine for caving to the false conservative narrative put forth regarding the MAGA-wearing Covington Catholic School boys mistreatment of a group of Native American peacemakers on the day of the "March for Life." First, conservatives have made an art form of "rebranding" words and actions by racists to make it seem that they are the real victims in any given situation, this one included. Second, instead of emphasizing (rightfully) that these kids were obviously in the wrong, we are encouraged to try to understand and have compassion for the aggressors. This goes along with the current dynamic that we often see in politics - conservatives behave badly, liberals call them on it, conservatives spin alternative facts to make their actions look acceptable, and liberals are expected to try to "understand the other side of the coin.". Until liberals and moderates reject this dynamic, conservatives will continue to spread their false, and in this case racist, narrative.

Baron Corvo
8 months ago

Precisely !

A few commenters here get RepubliKlan Party Academy Awards for toeing the Party Line and calling into question each and every other commenter here that DARES to point out the blatant disrespect and pure racist superiority the miscreant student displayed to the Elder.
I guess that passes for "catholic education" among the yokel trash in Covington.

Andrew Strada
8 months ago

I think that Mr. Corvo and Fr. Martin make a great team. Perhaps they could prepare a joint position paper for our edification.

rose-ellen caminer
8 months ago

I'm willing to give the boys a pass in their behavior towards the man beating his drums.It is very possible that they were confused or misinterpreted what the drummer was doing and may have thought that he was with the group that was taunting them.. So chanting upon hearing the drumming was their response in lieu of making nasty comments back. The one guy in the drummers face appeared from one angle to be smirking,and in your face, but maybe that was not a real smirk, or if it was maybe he thought the drummer was with the group taunting them. Maybe the drummer got in their space[physically or audio] so to speak, and so they were reacting to HIS aggression towards them or to what they perceived was his aggression towards them.That all this was fallout of wearing those MAGA hats, is on them, but it does not mean that they are real racists for wearing them, or for how they reacted if what they perceived was that they were being taunted by the drummer in league with the other real anti white racist and anti Catholic, taunters.

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