On Saturday, January 19th, a video emerged of a group of teens in MAGA hats jeering at protesters at the Indigenous Peoples March. Before long, the clip went viral, and the teens were identified as a group of students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky who were in Washington, D.C. for the anti-abortion March for Life. The teens and their allies have since claimed that they weren’t harassing the group, which included Native American elder Nathan Phillips. However, a woman has now come forward claiming those same boys harassed her and several friends before the rally, seeming to support the fact that the teens were exhibiting disrespectful and bigoted behavior from the beginning.
On January 21st, Twitter user @roflinds shared an eight-second video of a group of MAGA hat-wearing boys shouting at her friend outside the Lincoln Memorial. She tweeted that they heard the group yell “MAGA,” “Build the wall,” and “slut” as they walked by.
The faces of the woman’s harassers aren’t clear in the video, but when one user asked if she was sure that they were Covington Catholic students, she replied that she was “positive.”
Phillips, the Native American elder from the original viral video, told The New York Times that he had originally intervened between the students and a group of Black Hebrew Israelite protesters on Saturday due to mounting tensions. He told the paper that he “stepped in between to pray.”
The teen from the photo, who identified himself as junior Nick Sandmann, claimed in a statement that he and the other students had been saying school chants to “counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group.” But other people have extremely different accounts of what took place, with many witnesses saying the boys were clearly mocking Native American dance and practices.
If the eight-second video clip from @roflinds is, in fact, of the same boys who harassed Phillips, then it’s safe to say they were exhibiting highly problematic behavior well before the now-viral incident took place. Why are we not surprised?