By Andrew Hay
(Reuters) – A Catholic faculty in Kentucky condemned a bunch of its college students, a lot of whom wore “Make America Nice Once more” hats, after they have been recorded harassing a Native American Vietnam veteran in a video that went viral on Saturday.
The scholars from personal, all-male Covington Catholic Excessive Faculty in northern Kentucky have been in Washington for an anti-abortion rally on Friday once they have been filmed surrounding Nathan Phillips and mocking the Native American’s singing and drumming.
One teen specifically is seen standing in entrance of Phillips, staring into his face with a smile. Fellow college students, many in clothes bearing President Donald Trump’s “MAGA” slogan, cheered him on and chanted, “construct that wall, construct that wall,” Phillips mentioned.
The footage was shared on-line by organizers of an indigenous peoples’ march that additionally befell on Friday.
In a joint assertion, the highschool and Diocese of Covington condemned the actions of the scholars “in the direction of Nathan Phillips particularly, and Native People typically.”
“The matter is being investigated and we are going to take acceptable motion, as much as and together with expulsion,” the assertion mentioned.
In a separate video uploaded to social media, the 64-year-old Phillips, an elder of Nebraska’s Omaha tribe, wiped away tears as he described the incident.
“I heard them saying ‘construct that wall, construct that wall’. These are indigenous lands, we’re not speculated to have partitions,” he mentioned. “I want I may see that power of that younger mass of younger males, put that power into making this nation, actually, actually nice, serving to these which might be hungry.”
Phillips is a well known Native American activist who was amongst these main the Standing Rock protests in 2016-2017 towards the development of an oil pipeline in North Dakota.
He holds an annual ceremony at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery to honor Native American veterans, in keeping with media studies.
Phillips couldn’t be reached for touch upon Saturday.
Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo tribe, mentioned on Twitter that Phillips had risked his life for his nation, and that the scholars confirmed “blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance”.
Covington Mayor Joe Meyer, a Democrat, mentioned the “appalling” footage had rightly impressed “a tidal wave of condemnation” and that his city was now being linked with “intolerance and ethnic intimidation” due to the boys’ actions.
“The movies being shared throughout the nation do NOT characterize the core beliefs and values of this metropolis,” he mentioned in a press release.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic secretary of state for Kentucky, mentioned the youngsters weren’t solely accountable.
“I flip to the adults and administration which might be charged with instructing them, and to others who’re silently letting others promote this conduct,” she mentioned on Fb.
(Reporting By Andrew Hay; Enhancing by Daniel Wallis)