In a video, a white teenager from a Kentucky Catholic school stands face-to-face with a Native American elder during the Indigenous People’s Day March in Washington D.C. Friday.
In an email to this reporter, the mother of a Covington Catholic student who was at the march said the story was “fake news” and added that the Covington students were harassed “by black Muslims.”
“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.”
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.
You can read the full statement from Nicholas Sandmann below:
And witness accounts provided to Heavy provide context, albeit differing views.
In reference to the Covington Catholic student’s mother’s claim about “black Muslims,” a near 2-hour long video shows members of the Black Hebrew Israelites demonstrating and the exchange between them and Covington students that led to the exchange with Phillips.
The above video is cued to 1:09 where the BHI and students intersect.
Meanwhile, an independent witness to the events said she and her mother “saw the Catholic kids mocking native Americans.”
Jesscia Travis and her mother were visiting the Lincoln Memorial as dancers at the Indigenous Peoples’ Day March were wrapping up. Travis said while she “did not see any direct bullying but I noted the kids appeared to be mocking and disrespectful.”
She recalled that as she walked away “I mentally noted the kids were still loud and disrespectful. We then walked out into the common area at the bottom of the stairs. There were about 5 black men there who had been ‘preaching’ but otherwise not bothering people. The kids – many wearing red MAGA hats – had surrounded the black men on the stairs. They were mocking them. I heard one tell them to just ‘drink the Trump water.’ I recorded a video and posted on Facebook about how disrespectful the kids were.”
“As my mother and I walked away, the kids started chanting very loudly. We were too far away to hear what they were saying but it was loud and aggressive and directed at the black men. I saw one kid jump down to where the black men were standing and rip off his shirt. Bare-chested, it appeared he beat his chest. The others laughed and jeered.”