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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Viral Video of Native American Man and Teen

Video released earlier this week shows a different side of the encounter between a Native American and a group of teens from a Catholic school in Kentucky.

The initial video seemed to display teens appearing to mock a group of Native Americans. It  drew widespread condemnation. But were those who condemned, too early to judge?

A fuller picture emerged on Sunday of the videotaped encounter between a Native American man and a throng of high school boys wearing “Make America Great Again” gear outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

Interviews and additional video footage reveal that an explosive convergence of race, religion and ideological beliefs — against a national backdrop of political tension — set the stage for the viral moment. Early video excerpts from the encounter obscured the larger context, inflaming outrage.

Leading up to the encounter on Friday, a rally for Native Americans and other Indigenous people was wrapping up. Dozens of students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, who had been in Washington for the March for Life rally, were standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, many of them white and wearing apparel bearing the slogan of President Trump.

There were also black men who identified themselves as Hebrew Israelites, preaching their beliefs and shouting racially combative comments at the Native Americans and the students, according to witnesses and video on social media.

Soon, the Native American man, Nathan Phillips, 64, walked towards and encircled himself by an animated group of high school boys. He beat a ceremonial drum as a boy wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat stood inches away. The boy identified himself in a statement released on Sunday night as Nick Sandmann, a junior.


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