Last Friday Trump-supporting teens wearing “Make America Great Again Hats” from an all-male catholic school in Kentucky made headlines after they stood facing Indigenous-American protesters. One student in particular was filmed standing in front of Nathan Phillips, an Indigenous activist and Vietnam war veteran, as he sang near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
A viral video of the incident showed students chanting and gathering around the Indigenous protesters, seemingly to mock them. A diocese in Kentucky and Covington Catholic High School released a joint statement on Saturday, apologizing for the teens’ actions.
“This behaviour is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person,” read the statement.
Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘MAGA’ teens so far:
- On Friday, the Indigenous People’s March in Washington occurred at the same time as the March for Life, an anti-abortion protest. The anti-abortion rally drew thousands including all-male students from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills.
- Video showed students crowding Indigenous protesters, including 64-year-old Nathan Phillips, activist and veteran. Donning “Make America Great Again” hats in support of Donald Trump, the students appeared to laugh and snicker at the protesters.
- Phillips said in an Instagram post that he heard the students say “Build that wall, build that wall.”
- Student Nick Sandmann was seen standing face-to-face with Phillips. He said on Monday that he denied any ill-will towards Phillips, and did not approach him or confront him. Issuing a statement through a PR company, Sandmann said he respects Phillips right to protests but the elderly man should “re-think his tactics of invading the personal space of others.”
- Phillips said he entered the fray to “pray” after there was an incident between a group of black men and the teens.
- In another viral video, the black men call the white teens “pompous bastards coming down here in the middle of a native rally with their dirty ass hat on.”
- The diocese in Kentucky along with Covington Catholic High School apologized for the students’ behaviour and said that “appropriate action up to and including expulsion”, could be taken.
This is appalling. The ignorance. The gall. The disrespect. It’s shameful. And sadly on brand. When something like this isnt even surprising, it’s evidence to our place in the cycle of recreating our darker chapters. That Native American man showed incredible strength and dignity https://t.co/Im4KLw3sV7
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) January 19, 2019
Let’s not forget—this entire event happened because a group of boys went on a school-sanctioned trip to protest against a woman’s right to her own body and reproductive healthcare. It is not debatable that bigotry was at play from the start.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 21, 2019
This is Trump’s America. And it brought me to tears. What are we teaching our young people? Why is this ok? How is this ok? Please help me understand. Because right now I feel like my heart is living outside of my body. https://t.co/QMxMDxNjvr
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 19, 2019
- Celebrities on social media quickly condemned the teen boys, with Chris Evans tweeting that their actions were “appalling” and “shameful”. Alyssa Milano said on Twitter that the video brought her to tears, asking “What are we teaching our young people? Why is this ok?”.
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