The high school of MAGA teens who harrassed Native vet just addressed the appalling video


The Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School have responded to the shower of condemnation heaped upon a group of  Covington Catholic High School student-athletes wearing MAGA hats who harassed a Native American while he was chanting a prayer at the Indigenous People’s March in Washington DC with a statement decrying their actions and vowing to “take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion,” after an investigation into the incident.

“We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C. We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person,” the statement begins.

“The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.”

“We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our most sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and all those who support the pro-life movement,” the statement posted on the website of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky.

Video of the students surrounding Nathan Phillips, a tribal elder and a Vietnam War veteran, went mega-viral today, showing the smug students screaming “Build the wall” as Phillips stoically ignored them while drumming and chanting. The massive irony of the ignorant calls for building a wall aimed at a descendant of the real victims of unauthorized immigration on this continent was lost on the privileged Catholic School athletes.

In an interview with Phillips — the former director of the Native Youth Alliance, a group that works to ensure that traditional culture and spiritual ways are upheld for future generations — posted on Twitter by a Jesuit priest, he spoke out against the Trump administration’s immigration policies as nonetheless completely against Native American beliefs.

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“This is indigenous lands. We’re not supposed to have walls here, we never did, for millennium before anybody else came here. We never had walls,” he said. “We always took care of our elders, we took care of our children. We always provided for them. We taught them right from wrong.

Hopefully, the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School will complete their investigation quickly and the students involved will face the consequences of their foolish and lamentable behavior as soon as possible in a lesson learned far from their usual classrooms.

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Original reporting by Kyle Griffin at MSNBC and by Christina Zhao at Newsweek.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.