[Note: This post has been updated to reflect new information.]
A disturbing video went viral Saturday, featuring a flock of teenagers, mostly white and male and wearing MAGA hats, mocking and attempting to intimidate a group of Native Americans who, as per Time, were taking part in the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington D.C. on Friday.
The video in question shows the students interacting with one protestor in particular, later identified as Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam vet from Omaha, Nebraska. Phillips is playing drums, taking part in a chant, all while the students tried to yell over. One student got close to him, a smile frozen on his face.
The students were later identified as members of Covington Catholic High School, an all-male establishment from Park Hills, Kentucky. As per Louisville, Kentucky news station WHAS 11, they had been bussed to D.C. for the anti-abortion March for Life rally.
The indigenous protestors were, as per the march’s website, trying to “bring awareness to the injustices affecting Indigenous men, women, children and two spirits.” In response, Phillips claimed, the students chanted “build that wall!”
ABC 7 reported that the students crowded around the protesters for 10 to 15 minutes, all while people who seemed to be their parents and/or chaperones stood by doing nothing.
Upon further investigation by CNN, it appears the students were verbally attacked by a separate group of Hebrew Israelite protesters. The students started chanting back. Eventually, Phillips said, he and his group tried to intervene, chanting to calm them down. That’s when the altercation between he and the students transpired. [Ed. It was originally reported that the students surrounded Phillips.]
NBC News has published a statement from the student most prominently featured in the video, who claims the reports on the students’ behavior are erroneous.
On Saturday, as the story first broke, the students’ behavior soon set Twitter on fire.
Some pointed out that this kind of behavior is far from new.
Others blamed the president’s yen for calling Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahantas.”
At one point Wall Street Journal reporter Byron Tau tried to fan the flames.
That didn’t go well.
Nathan Phillips himself wound up being interviewed about the experience.