Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

Jan 21, 2019, 00:56
Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

Philips told The Washington Post in an interview he had felt threatened by the teens as they swarmed around him but continued singing - a song of unity - and thinking of his wife who died of cancer four years ago and challenges faced by indigenous communities around the world.

The teens, believed to be students of Kentucky's Covington Catholic High School, are seen mocking Omaha elder Nathan Phillips as he sings and drums.

But Phillips kept beating his drum.

Nathan Phillips, a member of the Omaha Tribe and a Vietnam veteran, was participating in the Indigenous Peoples March in the United States capital.

The indigenous march coincided with the March for Life, which drew thousands of anti-abortion protesters, including a group from Covington Catholic High School.

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As Covington Catholic High School is receiving national backlash for actions taken at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington D.C. Friday, video has emerged on social media of a young man in an Owensboro Catholic High School hoodie and "Trump" hat addressing Native Americans at the Lincoln Memorial. This behavior is opposed to the Church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person. This has drawn harassment down on him before, including a 2015 incident when Eastern Michigan University students dressed in Native American costumes reportedly yelled epithets at him and hit him with a beer can.

In response one of the students shouts back 'Woah, that's racist.' One of the men shouts at the student: 'When you get old enough they're gonna steal your organs'.

According to the school's website, Covington Catholic is the only all-male high school in Northern Kentucky, and has an enrollment of 586 students. "He just blocked my way and wouldn't allow me to retreat", Phillips said. "Indeed, the term has become so toxic that the group Students for Life refuses to say "pro-life" when doing its activist work", Camosy wrote.

On Saturday, school officials and the diocese of Covington released a joint statement.

Kaya Taitano, a witness to the incident, was quoted by CNN as saying Phillips had made a decision to intervene with a "healing prayer" when the school teens got into a verbal altercation with a group of African American youths who had been preaching about the Bible nearby.

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Phillips also appeared upset in a video Taitano posted after the confrontation.

He called on young people to put their energy to better use, like "helping those who are hungry".

A co-founder of the Native Youth Alliance cultural and education group, he shows up to Arlington National Cemetery every Veteran's Day with a peace pipe to pay tribute to Native Americans who served in the US military.

She recalled that as she walked away "I mentally noted the kids were still loud and disrespectful".

One teen, who stood imposingly close to Phillips while making unbroken eye contact and grinning, a MAGA hat on his head, has been singled out as being particularly disrespectful.

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"[The students] started whooping and hollering", Phillips told FOX 2 News at the time.

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