News & Politics

False Narrative about Covington Catholic Teens Is Proving Hard to Kill in Some Quarters

Nathan Phillips’ tall tales about his confrontation with the Covington kids in Washington, D.C., have been debunked, but some media outlets are still giving him a venue to spread his hokum.

L. Lin Wood, a lawyer for Covington teen Nick Sandmann, is not happy with one such outlet, the Cincinnati Enquirer:

“Nathan Phillips, the Native American elder who sang before the chanting students, stands by his ‘original observation that the situation seemed potentially dangerous’ and that CovCath students were disrespectful,” Max Londberg reported at the Cincinnati Enquirer Thursday.

Phillips played a drum before students late last month on the National Mall. Some students performed the tomahawk chop, which many Native Americans find racially insensitive.

Phillips issued a statement through the Lakota People’s Law Project to Indian Country Today, reiterating that he felt compelled to sing between the students and the Black Hebrew Israelites to serve as a “peacemaker.”

“I ask everybody to remember what we all saw – students performing a culturally-appropriated ‘school chant’ and the tomahawk chop just feet away from me on that fateful day,” Phillips said.

Undoubtedly, some Native Americans find the tomahawk chop to be “racially insensitive,” as Londberg notes. But do most? There’s no recent polling to answer that particular question, but in 2016, when the Washington Redskins controversy was raging, 90 percent of Native Americans polled said that they weren’t offended by the name. One suspects that a poll on the tomahawk chop —  popularly performed by fans of the Florida State University Seminoles, the Atlanta Braves, and the Kansas City Chiefs — would yield similar results.

Meanwhile, where was the racially sensitive tribal elder when the Black Hebrew Israelites were viciously haranguing not only the Covington boys, but his own Native American group with racist insults during the Lincoln Memorial encounter last month?

The most vocal of the black separatists called the kids “incest babies,” future school shooters and “dirty-ass crackers,” among other horrendous insults.

He actually called one of Phillips’ comrades an “Uncle Tomahawk.” Tellingly, Phillips had nothing to say about that blatantly racist remark.

The kids responded to the Black Hebrew Israelites with boos and comments like, “Why are you being so mean?” Eventually, they asked their chaperones if they could do some school cheers to drown out the heckling, and proceeded to do so when given the okay. But at no point did they respond to the Black Hebrew Israelites’ barbs with anything that would be considered “racially insensitive.”

When Phillips approached them with his drum, they thought he was joining them as an ally and started jumping up and down excitedly to the beat.

Here is how Phillips described these pro-life Catholic kids in one interview following the incident: “There was a group of over 200 young, angry white men and they were facing down just four black individuals. And it was coming to a point where a snap of the finger could have caused them kids to descend on those four individuals.”

The colossal fraud continued: “When I went in front of that mob, and what appeared to be their prey, all that hate and anger transferred to me,” Phillips said. He compared the kids to racists who lynched blacks and said, “It was scary.” He also said in multiple interviews that the kids were chanting, “Build the wall!” But none of the boys can be heard saying that in any of the video footage. Instead, one of the black separatists can be heard shouting the phrase at one point to mock the boys in the MAGA hats. A short video clip of Phillips beating his drum and chanting in front of 16-year-old Nicholas Sandmann went viral, and when he accused the boys of mocking him, a nationwide media frenzy ensued. Thanks to Phillips’ smears, the students, their families, and Covington Catholic High School received hundreds of threats from across the country by phone, email, and social media. One Covington boy who wasn’t even there faced threats when he was doxxed. The Sandmanns were forced to go temporarily into hiding.

The family hired attorneys Todd McMurtry and L. Lin Wood to represent their son Nick, and they’re taking “pretty strenuous legal action” against potentially hundreds of media entities to make right some of the wrongs that have forced the family into hiding and damaged the boy’s reputation.

Video evidence suggests that Phillips and his entourage actually targeted the boys because some of them were wearing MAGA hats. Video footage shows the Black Hebrew Israelites leader pointing out their hats as the Native American group moved toward the kids.

It also shows the Native Americans celebrating when the boys ran off to catch their bus, suggesting that they viewed them as adversaries.

“We won, grandpa!” shouted one of the activists as Phillips raised his drum in triumph. “We f*cking won, grandpa!”

Won what?

Video footage debunking Phillips’ false narrative emerged fairly quickly after Phillips’ story was picked up by the media.

Additionally, it was discovered that the con artist had for years tried to pass himself off as a “recon ranger” who served in Vietnam even as his service record shows that he had zero deployments and never left the United States. After serving for four years, he left the military as a private with multiple AWOLs on his record.

So why, almost four weeks later, well after all of this has come out, is the Cincinnati Enquirer still giving Phillips a venue to pose as the victim when he’s clearly a disgraceful fraud who victimized a bunch of innocent kids?

No one benefits from such naked propaganda.

As McMurtry noted on Twitter, both Phillips and the Enquirer have lost all credibility.