Posted by on January 20, 2019 2:08 am
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Categories: Activism Bigotry and Racism Veteran Issues

Friday afternoon, a group of racist teenagers harassed a native American elder honoring the memory of veterans in Washington, DC. The incident was caught from multiple angles on video.

Vox reports

According to Vincent Schilling from Indian Country Today, the elder targeted in the video clip is Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam veteran and former director of the Native Youth Alliance. Phillips is a keeper of a sacred pipe, Schilling reports, and each year hosts a ceremony honoring Native American veterans at Arlington National Cemetery. The commemoration coincided Friday with the first annual Indigenous Peoples March, which was organized by a coalition of tribal councils, activists and youth leaders to raise awareness on issues facing their community, from police brutality to mental wellness to violence against women.

More video shows Phillips wiping away tears in reaction to the harassment.

Some well-intentioned social media detective(s) identified a wrongdoer — but they got it completely wrong.

Social media users have wrongfully identified Michael Hodge as the student mocking Native elder Nathan Phillips at the Indigenous Peoples Day March in Washington DC on Friday.…

Social media users found a post on the Covington Catholic High School Facebook page before it was deleted showing a senior named Michael Hodge in a kitchen. Hodge apparently has dreams of becoming a chef and attending Cincinnati State, according to the post. …

While Hodge does look similar to the student social media users are hunting for, upon closer inspection it becomes clear it is not the same student. The student in Phillips’ face has clear problems with his teeth, where Hodge does not. It also appears the two students have different eye color and other facial features.

A tentative identification of the actual bigot seems to have been made, but we will await more formal media confirmation.

UPDATE: The bullying racist in question has confirmed his identity — and done himself no favors in the process:

The student at the center of the video has been identified as Nick Sandmann, a junior at Covington Catholic, after he came forward to issue a statement. Sandmann says he and his classmates were not mocking or intimidating the Native American protesters and had started “school spirit” chants after being yelled at by an unrelated group from the Black Hebrew Israelites.

A mother of a Covington student wrote her own rant-ridden e-mail to Heavy, strongly suggesting that many in their community are stubbornly fact-challenged.

The Covington Catholic mother wrote, “Shame on you! Were you there? Did you hear the names the people where calling these boys? It was shameful. Did you witness the black Muslims yelling profanities and video taping trying to get something to futher (sic) your narrative of hatred?? Did you know that this ‘man’ came up to this one boy and drummed in his face? Shame on you. Only reporting what you want. More fake news.”

Hey, lady: first, the videos dispute your facile allegation against Nathan Phillips. Second, the Black Hebrew Israelites are not Muslim, lady. It’s not exactly quantum calculation to look it up on Wikipedia. Third, you seem a bit touchy about being made famous:

When a Heavy reporter thanked her for the correspondence and explained that it would be reported on as part of the story, she demanded the emails be deleted.

“Delete my email. I want nothing to do with helping perpetuating (sic) your hate. I do not want to be a part of your story. You are ruining a boys life for fake news. Hate spreads like wildfire. I pray for you.”

Maybe next time you write an email to an online media outlet, you’ll take a peek at the terms of service. You’re welcome!