A ‘Tick Tock’ Incident in the Land of the Piscataway

As each timeline emerged in the story, it seemed to offer a correction to an earlier version that muddied the moral of the story in its rush to judgement, says Corinna Barnard.

By Corinna Barnard
Special to Consortium News
Consumers of news via social media knew their faces before their names. One was older, wore glasses and was chanting and striking a hand-held drum. The younger man’s complexion was lighter. He wore a red MAGA, or “make America great again,” cap. The younger one stared and smiled in a way that seemed, to many, arrogant and derisive.

They were both in Washington, D.C., in a stone-paved plaza where people gather for protests, or for sightseeing. What was instantly striking was the juxtaposition of their faces. They were too close to one another, in each others’ way somehow.

The video clip spread far and wide, generating discordant shards of outrage, arguments over which of the men was actually intimidating or disrespecting which. A big lingering question is: Did you see the “whole” video? Did you see what really happened?

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, Jan. 18. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

By the time the editors and reporters showed up, they worked, quite helpfully, to generate “tick-tock” timelines. By establishing the beginning of the story, there would be a middle and then an end. Only this story, like so many, resisted tidy narrative packaging.

The timelines started getting tangled with each other, catching flak from an audience that felt closer to the primary source; from people who had seen the “whole” video, (which was over an hour long and painfully boring and repetitive in parts).

As each timeline emerged, it seemed to offer a correction to an earlier version that muddied the moral of the story in its rush to judgement (the chronic predicament of journalism overall, which is in the business of producing the first, not last, draft of history).

Here’s the introduction that BuzzFeed offered on its chronology:

Nick Sandmann, a junior at Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High, denounced what he called ‘outright lies’ about his conduct toward attendees at the Indigenous Peoples March.”

The Daily Caller headlined its timeline in angry bold, all-capital letters: YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO HOW THE MEDIA TRIED RUINING THE LIVES OF INNOCENT TEENAGERS.”

Juvenile and Terrifying

One of the most comprehensive retroactive timelines was put together by Indian Country Today. Its series of clips take you through a procession of taunting, heckling and baiting scenes. Scrolling through produces the sense of a nightmarish piece of Cinéma vérité.

Scenes of young men jumping up and down, chanting school fight songs in unison and egging each other on, teeter on a boundary between juvenile and terrifying, inducing something like the feeling of reading or watching “Lord of the Flies.” It all took place, apparently, at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The story began as a video clip. The first words heard, in reaction to what had happened, came from Nathan Phillips, who is widely described as an Omaha elder and Vietnam-era veteran. 

These are indigenous lands, we never had walls,” Phillips said.

There was lamentation in his tone.

A Reuters story echoed the remark in its headline: “ ‘These Are Indigenous Lands, We’re Not Supposed to Have Walls,’ Says Native Elder Nathan Phillips.”

But the article, while headlining the remark, did not seem to know what to do it with it after that. The comment was treated as something that spoke for itself, with nothing further to say or ask; a conversation stopper. Aside from the headline, the story went on to report that Covington High School and and the Diocese of Covington had condemned the actions of the students “towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general.”

By Monday, the incident had spread across the ocean. By then Britain’s Daily Mail had turned it into the kind of divisive, polarizing story of sufficient standing to attract a celebrity. The headline it ran was this: “Alyssa Milano is slammed for saying MAGA hats are ‘the new white hood’ after watching viral video of Trump-supporting teenagers taunting Native American veteran.”

Inevitably, President Donald Trump began to issue tweets about the situation:

Sandmann, the high school student, claims that, contrary to the impression created by the video clip, he was not invading Phillips’ space. He says Phillips locked eyes with him and moved in his direction, and that he merely stood his ground.

Phillips, on the other hand, told CNN that yes, he did move towards the students, intent on defusing tensions that had been building between them and an altogether different group that has been described as affiliated with the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. But then Sandmann blocked his way. “If I moved I would be in his presence, in his space,” Phillips said.

Whatever else had been going on, the issue of space and territory was always pertinent. It was visible from the start, in the awkward juxtaposition of the faces of the two men. If nothing else was clear, everyone could agree they were too close for comfort.

‘These Are Indigenous Lands’

A woman speaks during the Indigenous People’s March on the National Mall at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on January 18, 2019. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

When Phillips said “these are indigenous lands” he was not strident or militant. His tone was low keyed, as though expressing a common and obvious truth. It’s easy to understand why reporters chasing a dragon of a story, didn’t dwell on it.

But the comment is worth going back to for insight into what makes the incident incendiary.

An echo of Phillips’ “indigenous land” comment can be found in an online tool that some people share with each other, as a matter of curiosity, or in some cases, by teachers, who might use it as a piece of curriculum.

Open the Native Land link in your browser and you instantly contemplate a rendering of the North American continent covered in overlapping blankets of color, each one representing a different group of traditional inhabitants. You can put in your address or zip code to see what tribe lived where your house now stands.

Search “Washington, D.C.,” where the Phillips-Sandmann incident just took place and you will get a better sense of what Phillips meant when he said “this is indigenous land.”

You are in the land of the Pamunkey and Piscataway,” the search engine tells you.

The message does not say “you are in the ‘former’ land of the Pamunkey and Piscataway.” It speaks in the present tense.

Looking up your own city or town causes an eerie sense of displacement. You thought you knew where you lived. You thought your own address, at least, was a fact about which you could be confident. But someone else, you learn, considers it intrinsic to their ancestry. You suddenly sense yourself as an interloper, someone from somewhere else. An invader.

Along with the seizure of their territory, indigenous Americans cope with a dolorous loss of continuity and context, through genocides; generations of injustice. More of this is known and discussed than years ago. But there has been no truth and reconciliation, no healing or compensation.

Centuries after Spanish and Portuguese explorers arrived in the “New World,” assured of their right to all that they could seize under the “Doctrine of Discovery,” the question of whose land this is, remains deeply unsettled.

The American novelist William Faulkner said: “The past isn’t dead. It’s not even past.” That’s particularly true, of course, when great wrongs are left unattended. They don’t tend to go away. Instead they smolder. And from time to time, they blow up out of seemingly nowhere.

Corinna Barnard is a writer and freelance editor for Consortium News who has worked as a news editor for Dow Jones Newswires, WSJ.com, The Wall Street Journal and Women’s eNews. 

68 comments for “A ‘Tick Tock’ Incident in the Land of the Piscataway

  1. mike
    January 25, 2019 at 12:58

    Nick Sandmann didn’t say anything. His public relations firm RunSwitch PR said it all for him, painting him as the heroic victim in this when anyone who has spent any time on a street corner knows what that face says. RunSwitch PR has close ties to Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney and Jeb!

  2. michael
    January 25, 2019 at 06:40

    I have seen so many click bait images of Phillips and the teenager locked with faces so close together. To exploit these images for commercial advertising, which essentially is what “news” sites do, they have to have signed release forms and compensate the parties involved. Arguably Phillips is a marginal public figure (although I’m sure he received compensation for his interviews on TV). But to exploit the kid’s image must have cost a fortune, or as the auto mechanic ad says “Pay me now, or pay me later!”

  3. irina
    January 24, 2019 at 22:23

    George Orwell correctly identified what happened to Nick : he was accused, tried and convicted
    (via Twitter) of a ‘FaceCrime’, which is a variant of a ‘ThoughtCrime’ in 1984’s Newspeak.

    The short definition of ‘FaceCrime’ is “to wear an improper expression on your face”.
    A punishable offence. And here we are, witnessing the real thing, in real time. This is Scary.

    • michael
      January 25, 2019 at 06:46

      Journalists know where the lines are that cannot be crossed. They did it anyway. So will be curious how the judicial response unfolds. “Russiagate journalism” is fine, even expected, in the public sphere; there you can spin narratives with impunity. But slandering private citizens, children? The journalists don’t even do that with the miscreant children of public figures (more because they are spineless than being principled.)

      • John
        January 30, 2019 at 06:16

        Why is it that white teenage boys are children, but teenage boys who do not lack melanin are “thugs”?

        Why is it that the very same publications claiming that these kids chanting racist slogans at a native elder are innocent are the ones who demonize black boys who get shot by cops or other vigilantes?

  4. Aloha
    January 24, 2019 at 18:54

    Sadly, this article doesn’t cover all of the facts either and most of the comments are shameful. The lesson here is to do the research and come to your own conclusion. This you tube video is from the Black Israelites and if you tune in at 1:06 the encounter with the Covington Catholic group of boys begins. It is clear that these boys are upset by what is being preached to them and they don’t quite know how to handle the situation. One of the boys is so upset that he starts a school chant and rips off some of his clothes. Where are the adult chaperones?? This was clearly not a staged event as some have suggested. This video goes on for 1:45 min. and I have to say thank god that a Good Samaritan, Nathan Phillips, saw a potentially violent situation that he hoped he could defuse by walking into the middle of this angry crowd drumming and chanting his prayers. Is this really about politics when we are talking about teenage boys? Most teenagers are still wanting approval from and are influenced by their parents, teachers and elders. These boys are trying to act cool for each other and the parents should be thankful that it became a nonviolent situation. (Where are the thankyous for that)? Each group in this video has the right to freedom of religion and free speech but along with this right comes respect for all other groups that think differently. That is what the story should be reflecting and PLEASE think about moving to Germany if you disagree because you will be much happier there.

  5. 1legdrvn
    January 24, 2019 at 17:49

    Mitaki oysin Corinna for this writing.
    This incident however it occurred, occurred.
    I remember being pulled over in northern Idaho years ago for having a bumper sticker that said simply “you are on Indian lands.” A couple of years later about 8 miles north of where I was stopped I saw another bumper sticker which simply said ” save a salmon spear an Indian.” BTW the last sticker was on the back of an off duty Idaho County Sheriff. Bet he didn’t get pulled over.
    Of the comments I read the truth is there is still a great reluctance to deal with factual history.
    Yet I still think and hope that one day the earth that we know as turtle island from whom all the cells in our badies are made will be heard clearer that kindness and council are the greatest gifts that us two leggeds have been given. As have all two leggeds because, believe it or not we are all indigenous earthlings.

    • Tim
      January 25, 2019 at 06:36

      Thank you, 1legdrvn, for your comments. “Of the comments I read the truth is there is still a great reluctance to deal with factual history.” is a tell all quote.

    • Corinna Barnard
      January 25, 2019 at 08:28

      Thanks for your comment which is a profound essay in itself. I would like to see more of your writing.

  6. Renee
    January 24, 2019 at 16:40

    While Ms. Barnard tacitly mentions the video, it is not clear that she followed through to its end – or she would have written a different article.
    I, for one, am oh-so-weary of the semi-hysterical Dem supporters including those alleged ‘journalists’ who have lost not only their minds but any ability to be objective or thoughtful or even fair.
    CN and Bob Parry still have their integrity and honor – let’s hope it stays that way.

  7. Seamus Padraig
    January 24, 2019 at 14:55

    This is a disappointing piece from Consortium News, where the articles are normally of a very high quality. There’s now a wealth of evidence that the video was misleadingly edited, that Phillips was not being truthful, and that certain key elements (such as the Black Israelites, whatever those are) were omitted from the original MSM accounts. Meanwhile, those original bogus accounts have resulted in doxing and even death threats against a group of teenage boys who actually behaved remarkably well under all that pressure.

    Yet this article makes no mention of any of that. Instead, it takes a very mealy-mouthed, he-said-she-said approach, as if to imply that this was some kind of honest SNAFU, rather than a failed MSM psy-op against a group of kids who are (presumably) Trump supporters.

    Very disappointing, all in all.

    • Fredd
      January 24, 2019 at 21:07

      It seems you have already decided what the truth is. Well, what is it?

    • michael
      January 25, 2019 at 07:05

      Wow, someone who actually reviewed the video evidence rather than accepting the pablum spooned to the simpletons by MSM. This is actually a nothing story as far as the boys, Phillips or the Black Israelites behaved, all true to their character. What is shocking is the media, once again, building a narrative out of malicious lies. When you cannot tell the truth about a straight-forward human interest story, how can we accept the credibility of stuff that matters from these “journalists”, such as our foreign policy?
      While expecting the reactions taken by conservatives, Republicans, right-to-lifers vs #the resistance, ProChoice, liberals and Democrats, I was surprised that there were a number of progressives that researched the videos (everyone now has a phone video recorder in addition to the original professional video; you could pick up more from all the videos than from even being there) and crossed lines when they realized it was a carefully constructed slander. So there is hope. Wish CN (as well as MSM) had let some of those on both sides, going against their grains, expound on what they found. Instead we get this poorly researched piece, based on activists Phillip’s “embellishing” which is an embarrassment for a website based on investigative journalism.

    • John
      January 30, 2019 at 06:20

      Do you mean the video where these “innocent” boys are effectively threatening to rape women who passed by?

      Also, you allege dishonesty from Narhan Philips, yet provide nothing specific. Telling…

  8. Tim
    January 23, 2019 at 18:45

    Endemic problems in the USA overlap as elsewhere. Thus, the Faulkner quote is so appropriate to our ongoing predicament. Indigenous people (land) and slaves (labor) are a commodity divorced from any sense of humanity or a true development of civilization. Our leadership has carried out this framework rather than the Constitutional framework, so it reflects in the media. Bush Jr characterized the split in the psyche so endemic to this world that the Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper.

    • LJ
      January 24, 2019 at 12:24

      The Constitution is just a Goddamn piece of paper. Nobody discussed Rule of Law until Plato. Of course there are benefits to Rule of Law. It supports the Ruling Class of a particular polity and bestows protection to members of same on a sliding scale., Outsiders take their chances. What I’m stating crudely is the whole ball of wax is conditional. What happened to your 4th Amendment Rights? There have been summary executions of American Citizens post Patriot Act without due process. Habeas corpus over whose dead body, when where and in what century. We the People , in my opinion, are sliding towards a redefinition of Rule of Law right here, right now.. Who is to say what will transpire in the future will be any less barbaric and bloody because of the application of “Rule of Law” in this nation. After all, we are now the “Indespensible Nation”. The Empire du jour. The facts on the ground have changed. It’s called History in the making.

      • Tim
        January 25, 2019 at 06:29

        Yes, LJ, our recorded history basically looks like the Haves and the Have Not’s. But the creation of the NSA/CIA centralized power more than ever before, and from the time of its creation, not even, Truman or Eisenhower had the gumption to challenge it (except on paper; it should have been crushed and restructured) once the MIC was consolidated. However, some Americans feel there is the true spirit of the Constitution—not what the Ruling Class has made of it. The renewed call for an investigation into the Kennedy and King assassinations are a good sign because these individuals really did want to turn things around for the better and that is why they were taken out. Time is running out though to remedy our Republic—as the mission is walking on a knife edge and as we write, Power consolidates ever more. I do not care to argue about bad journalism or the MSM because bad journalists can improve but the MSM is bought and sold like a prostitute.

  9. Classical Anarchist
    January 23, 2019 at 18:14

    This is pathetic. The left has seriously lost its mind- and I’m done with this site for posting this article. I’ll make sure to tell others to stop reading this trash site as well. I used to promote you here. Nice how you use ‘tick tock’ to try and smear someones ability to break down propaganda in a news reel by showing extended footage- cheap and Stalinesque.

    These kids lives were threatened. The Native man is a proven liar, about his military service, everything- he told five different stories. Multiple news outlets have stated this, corrected, and retracted their stories. The black hebrew Israelites, who started the confrontation- are an anti-semitic, homophobic, black separatist hate group who called the kids everything from f*ggots to crackers to inbreds and school shooters, for doing nothing but being kids and waiting for their bus. Phillips who’d been accompanied by well known progressive bloggers/journalists w cameras the entire time, was also with another native man who told the boys they needed to ‘go back to Europe’- and when one of the boys replied ‘but aren’t we all originally from the same place- america, africa, europe were all connected’- the man replied ‘thats not true.’ And Sandmann, the target of this, can be seen telling his friend to stop engaging the native who provoked them. This was when Phillips, the stolen valor liar, and man with a history of proven provocation, walked into the crowd of kids himself, where there was plenty of other space all over those steps to walk up, and got right into Sandmann’s face and drummed within inches for a prolongued time, assertively. The boy did not block him, or step side to side, as Philips lied about in one interview, and there was plenty of space around each side for him to ascend the steps.

    Then literally thousands of people piled onto these kids, after the initial report accusing them of saying ‘build the wall,’ which was never said, for doing nothing but smiling. Blue checked twitter members and celebrities advocated assault, murder, arson, school shooting- in addition to wishing them lifelong misery and doxing them. The school has been shut down and is surrounded by left wing protestors. The firing has just begun- and you can tell yourself whatever lies you want with your little article about indigenous history- we were all indigenous people of some piece of land at one point or another- and the natives here are related to the Asians if you check your history- but brass tax, the neoliberal and ‘progressive’ illiberal left is reeling from this, and they will be eating lawsuits, all the worse for every article like this that doubles down on such disgusting, fascist mob mentality. The liberal left has died in this country, and been replaced with a bunch of spineless, cult members who worship intersectionalism. End of the story- and you will lose that battle- because it is a cult based on a mythology of self-cannabalism and victim idol-worship.

    • Will
      January 23, 2019 at 20:01

      you don’t exactly come off as a classic anarchist, but I” bite: “the stolen valor liar”?? possible a liar but jut exactly what valor would you be speaking of? is military service in fact valorous? is killing people in combat more valorous than fixing air conditioners? I can think of a thousand things that are more valorous than military service whether done as a volunteer or a conscript. I mean it’s really just being part of a glorified street gang, isn’t it?

      • E Wright
        January 24, 2019 at 00:07

        I get what he is saying. I assume the “stolen valor” comment is just a case of hoisting them by their own petard.

        • michael
          January 24, 2019 at 08:58

          The Stolen Valor Act was a law that made it a misdemeanor for non-veterans to dress up in medals or claim to have served while running for public office or checking the veteran box when applying for jobs. More than a few politician chickenhawks have been exposed for claiming to have served or embellished their rank (Possibly one was even dug up and moved from Arlington Cemetery?) One took his case to SCOTUS who decided it was freedom of speech to lie about service or dress with pretend medals, so the act has been gutted. In Nathan Phillip’s case many news outlets mistakenly called him a Vietnam Vet; he is not as he never served in Vietnam. He was a Vietnam-era veteran who served as a refrigerator repairman for four years in Nebraska and California.

    • January 24, 2019 at 11:26

      I concur. The deeper analysis only confuses the issue and that is; Phillips walked directly towards a bunch of highschoolers who were waiting for a bus and aggressively engaged this kid because he was wearing a Trump hat. If someone banged a drum loudly an inch from my face for 5 minutes I would consider that aggression. Phillips has changed his story 3 times. So sad to see this shite on my most respected news source.

    • Frederike
      January 24, 2019 at 21:11

      “I’m done with this site for posting this article.”

      You will be sorely missed for your enlightened responses.

  10. January 23, 2019 at 16:43

    What is striking about this incident in DC is that it is utterly unimportant. No-one died, no-one was injured, no-one had their home blown up.

    Totally unlike Syria, or Yemen, or Gaza.

    And yet people were (and are) transfixed by it.

    It is a good illustration of how appalling much of the media is, and of how so many people believe what the media tells them and react in predictable ways.

    And in the end, while I have my own suspicions about the rights and wrongs of it all, there is no reason why I should try to allocate blame and decide who the real villains were.

    But, as Corinna Barnard reminds us – America may not exactly have had a Yemen or Syria or Gaza on its soil, but it did have the trail of tears, and much, much more. And it is worth remembering about such things – if only because in many parts of the world, events like the trail of tears happen today.

    • Classical Anarchist
      January 23, 2019 at 18:17

      It’s significant because you have people calling for the death and burning of 15-16 year olds over nothing. And not apologizing. You all have truly lost your moral compass. Everything just has to be anti-america until you burn yourself to the ground, anymore. What do you stand for besides complaining and worshiping any culture but your own?

      • January 24, 2019 at 04:30

        Exactly. The incident itself was insignificant. It is the response to it that is significant.

      • Frederike
        January 24, 2019 at 21:29

        “What do you stand for besides complaining and worshiping any culture but your own?”
        Meaning what? Do you think that John Mann(the poster above) is wrong to try to allocate blame and decide who the real villains were?
        Is what you are doing any different? Everyone here seems to want to do it.
        I think the poster has a more solid argument than you, who seems to think just because the “kids” are young, they are innocent. Kids are easily manipulated to do the bidding of their parents and others.
        BTW: no one is calling for the death and burning of 15-16 year olds over ‘nothing’.

        You are correct about the ‘nothing’, but the media likes to blow up “nothings” to cash in.

        I think it was a diversion to prevent people from finding out what the US is doing in Venezuela!

    • michael
      January 25, 2019 at 07:25

      Agree it is solely a media credibility issue. If the media will go to this length to maliciously slander kids, or even refuse to get all sides of a story before exploding it on the public, who in their right minds would believe anything they report about our “secret” foreign policies? There are good lapdogs and, as this story shows, there are those that bite (and should be euthanized).
      The Declaration of Independence noted in complaint that King George ” has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.”
      John Marshall, our first Chief Justice, invalidated land purchases from Native Americans based on the 250 year old Doctrine of Discovery (and he and his friends made fortunes in real estate.)
      Hitler based his concentration camps on Abraham Lincoln’s treatment of the Navajo at Bosque Redondo; his eugenics ideas also came from America.
      The Indians were the NAZIs or RUSSIANS!!! of their times; some individuals accepted or even admired, but hated as a dangerous OTHER people. The Native Americans and the NAZIs have been largely exterminated, now we have to war with the Russians, and continue our support for slaughtering Yemenis and other Arabs in the MidEast and Africa, those LESSER BEINGS who are a threat to Israel or Saudi Arabia .

      • Tim
        January 25, 2019 at 23:21

        Another good point about seeing the big picture and facts: “John Marshall, our first Chief Justice, invalidated land purchases from Native Americans based on the 250 year old Doctrine of Discovery (and he and his friends made fortunes in real estate.)”

        The trend from our Republic’s earliest history has been (he was not a Chief Justice because that implies he was impartial) to usurp the resources from whatever source we could. The CIA world mission is control ALL physical and intellectual resources so we can rule the world. But history shows this policy will fail.

  11. Frederike
    January 23, 2019 at 16:25

    The wearing of these MAGA hats alone is enough of a statement to qualify for being rather ignorant and arrogant. Someone from the MSM should have asked those young students what MAGA means to them. and what they plan to do about fulfilling the slogans on their hats.
    (I bet most of the MSM, too, would have no answer if asked.) When was this country great?

    • January 23, 2019 at 16:46

      16 year olds are children. One should expect them to be somewhat ignorant, and even arrogant. I was 16 once. I remember it. I thought I knew a lot. Looking back, I can now see that I knew a lot less than I thought I did.

      • Chuck
        January 23, 2019 at 19:24

        Exactly, Nathan Phillips is proud of his service in the USMC and his role in Vietnam. I guess he once was young and naive.

        • michael
          January 25, 2019 at 07:37

          Nathan Phillips had no role in Vietnam. Yes, he served and is justifiably proud of his service as a Marine, but he was a refrigerator repairman for the Marines for four years in Nebraska and California.
          “Recon Ranger” may mean “Reconditioning Ranger”. Phillips generally makes a point of saying he was a Vietnam-times veteran (the Marines were pulled out of Vietnam about the time he volunteered). He obviously supports fellow Native Americans who did serve in Vietnam, and is generally a benign, well-meaning character.

          Of course the media claims he is a Vietnam Veteran and that “he put his life on the line for his country”; both lies. It’s probably not relevant to mention his criminal record (mostly stereotypically alcohol fueled when young), nor his propensity to grab as much attention as possible at protests and to bend the truth in his versions (which he likely believes). But it is not his job to get everything correct. That is what journalists reporting a story are supposed to do.

    • Seamus Padraig
      January 24, 2019 at 14:41

      Stop and think about the implications of what you’re saying: Is the stated desire to make my country great again really now the moral equivalent of ‘fighting words’ worthy of death threats? Really?

      How far gone must liberals be in order to embrace such an absurd position!

      • Frederike
        January 25, 2019 at 20:57

        Those ‘kids’ are not stating a desire to make their country great again; they are simply wearing hats with a logo they probably have no idea of its meaning. Repeating meaningless slogans without comprehending begins early in life. Did they make a statement about their intent? If so: I must have missed it.
        BTW: If making America great again was their goal: why would they be at that rally?

        BTW: I think it is just a diversion from events in Venezuela.

  12. Brian James
    January 23, 2019 at 16:15

    Jan 22, 2019 More Truth Exposed From Native American “MAGA” Kids Controversy

    There is a lot of fake reports and fake news around this issue as it pins the MSM against Trump supporters, the facts the msm is sharing have been found to be absolutely untrue.


  13. Realist
    January 23, 2019 at 15:43

    Whatever. Anything to make a stink and dump on all not in lockstep with the mass media and its Democratic agenda.

    Meanwhile, Washington has fomented another coup and assumes the privilege of choosing another sovereign country’s government. This time in Venezuela. As if that is “our” call. Or that of our lapdog Canada. Call it Ukraine ver. 2.0, especially once the shooting starts.

    Just wait for the SHTF response tomorrow from China when Canada extradites the Huawei executive into Washington’s clutches. This grasp for world domination is getting dangerously ridiculous.


    • Old geezer
      January 23, 2019 at 16:53

      Precisely who is racist ?

      Is it racist to say, “ it is ok to be white “ ?

      Divide and conquer is the oldest best stategy ever obviously devised.

      • Realist
        January 23, 2019 at 19:24

        The race card is used so often to gain advantage in the American political arena that it doesn’t have the effect its users seek. Everyone’s got some axe to grind in American identity politics. These are no longer trump cards as much as a reason for the opposition to tune out the noise. That’s why I say, there are much more important things happening in today’s news.

  14. Petroska
    January 23, 2019 at 15:25

    Astonished at how the Vatican’s Jesuit spin doctors stepped in to defend their nouveau riche morons. (Jesuit Hegelian dialectics running amok). The MAGA wearing, new monied, “dick waving” racist are depicted by George Carlin here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuqBn3kQBZ8&fbclid=IwAR0tmka_Kn7_cOlpTR_TidXYCJu-GCwiPuaKMQj_wbGlxr-DwQ1tbbWA-Ig

  15. January 23, 2019 at 12:39

    Maybe there is no meaning to infer from the confrontation between groups other than crowd behavior can quickly turn ugly–and that media narratives can turn even uglier as conflicting parties try to “spin” an incident into have a fixed meaning that suits their narrative.

  16. LJ
    January 23, 2019 at 11:31

    What a tangled web this writer is weaving. It is a multi layered and multi generational , Old School can of worms . These Catholic white boys aren’t the descendants of the main perpetrators, the Spanish, English and French Empires , who colonized the New World. I am deeply chagrined to see the British Press referred to at all. If anybody ever exceeded the murderous genocide of the British Enpire, well, no one ever could and let’s put it this way, the USA is the British Empire’s baby and we acted just like them making war and annexing territory whenever it suited/suits us. Indigenous people be damned, anywhere anytime . . The Brits hunted Tasmanian Aborigines for sport. The USA killed over 1,000,000 Filipinos in our occupation there with standing orders to kill any male over the age of 13 who showed any resistance whatsoever. Today we have Indian Gaming Casinos for some of the tribes that survived the melee… and we have Catholic white boys , who’s ancestors weren’t even a part of it , especially if they were of Irish or Eastern European descent, taking the blame for US History AND they aren’t even old enough to have voted Trump into Office either. The dummying down of our Society and social media are now exacting a cost. The old wounds are festering a little and new infections are appearing as well with no balm in sight. Senator Kamila Harris is gonna make it better? That’s a good one. If things get out of control in the future why play the blame game? Good thing it wasn’t in an inner city maybe someone would have pulled out a piece and shot some white trash or cops might have used excessive force on “Black Hebrews”. What a story huh?

    • michael
      January 25, 2019 at 07:56

      The British were responsible for famines in India where over 35 million people starved to death (including 1.5 million during WWII). Sins of empires and colonization of LESSER PEOPLES evidently don’t count.
      “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it” was Winston Churchill’s way of saying he was going to be the winner, as well as the keeper of his own legacy. Good to be on the winning side!
      Leopold II of Belgian was responsible for 8 to 10 million deaths in the Congo (whose problems continue today).
      Ota Benga (Bingo), who was purchased from slave traders, was exhibited in the Monkey House of the Bronx Zoo in the early 1900s.
      Things change but mostly remain the same.

  17. F. G. Sanford
    January 23, 2019 at 11:18

    “It was visible from the start, in the awkward juxtaposition of the faces of the two men.”
    Does anyone besides me detect a fundamental mischaracterization in this statement?

    • Steve
      January 23, 2019 at 14:56

      That there was only one grown man, with the other being a boy. Adults are supposed to be held to a higher standard.

  18. Dao Gen
    January 23, 2019 at 11:02

    This article is a nice try, but there is too little actual detail about what actually went on in it. The author should have printed uncensored some of the very aggressive- and angry-sounding taunts being yelled at the high-school boys by the Black Hebrew Israelite group. They sounded provocative to me. Were they actually provocative, or did the context make them justifiable? And were the boys singing school songs to drown out those taunts? Or what? And what were the precise lyrics the boys were singing? Were they clearly arrogant? This is extremely important and should have been discussed by the writer. Unless I know the precise lyrics, I can’t judge anything about this whole still under-reported incident. Surely the school song lyrics are publicly available somewhere. I certainly sympathize with the cause represented by Mr. Phillips and Native Americans in general. And Mr. Phillips’ music was moving and respectful. At the same time, what was the precise reason Mr. Phillips walked up to the boys and stood looking at them at very close range instead of walking up to the Black Hebrew Israelites? Or did he walk up to both? Did Mr. Phillips unconsciously(?) think it was the boys who needed to be calmed down and not the Black Hebrew Israelites as well? Was he acting with unwitting prejudice because he was pre-judging the boys due to their MAGA hats? Many other questions remain. I hope the author will write a follow-up article that will do justice to the many concrete details of what happened during this tripartite confrontation. I still feel I don’t understand it at all. As always, the devil is in the details.

  19. Spike
    January 23, 2019 at 11:00

    If all three of the parties in this incident were to receive their due fair share of blame from a majority of INDIVIDUAL observers, then the story’s impact would fade to next-to-nothing.

    This is not *normal* adolescent boy behavior. When I was in high school (fifty years ago) there were right-wing jocks. They were ten times more stupid, destructive and violent than ANYONE else. They were known to go around in groups and beat up longhairs and war protesters. These kids are their heirs — the Trump hats are just an opportunity for them to advertise. A group of high school students, for instance, protesting for gun control would not have reacted to taunts that way.

    I’ve come across nothing about the Black Hebrews that would make them seem any less reprehensible than white supremacist groups.

    The grievance culture that Nathan Phillips seems to subscribe to, as well as do some other Indigenous Americans and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, when it results in action taken against ‘cultural appropriation’, is only counterproductive to their cause. I sometimes wonder whether such ideas were planted by infiltrators as a psy-op.

    Really, it’s not too hard to look at the incident and see that all three parties were somewhat to blame, and that if any one of the three had refrained from misbehavior the incident wouldn’t have happened. Instead, there was, of course, immediate side-taking, and even those who retracted their positions after seeing later videos, mostly just retracted their criticism instead of spreading it around.

    I realize that this strays from the theme of the above story a bit, but the incident is still doing damage because it hangs in a state of strategic misunderstanding.

    • Steve
      January 23, 2019 at 15:01

      Except one of those three parties was composed of children. Children who had been put under duress by the Black Hebrew Israelites and then their confusion/discomfort was exploited by an agitator looking to make a ‘gotcha’ video. I hold the adults to a higher standard.

    • Classical Anarchist
      January 23, 2019 at 18:26

      Name one thing those kids did to deserve this reaction- that justifies being called f*ggots, incest school shooters, inbreds and all they were doing was standing on the steps waiting for the bus AT A MARCH THEY HAVE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO ATTEND. Since when did the left think it can assault people and threaten them because they have a hat on? You know Bill Clinton said the phrase ‘Make America Great Again’ when he was president too, didnt you? Nope, sure didnt. Because you swallow the propaganda. It’s spineless how the left has no ability to call out their own when it comes to making direct death threats, calling to have kids shot, their families shot, houses burned to the ground, school burned, doxed- all out there on social media. Yet someone says something ‘mildly racially sensitive’ and they’ve all got their panties in a bunch, calling for a boycott or a firing. You’ve really lost your minds- need to look in the mirror and check yourself.

  20. Chet Roman
    January 23, 2019 at 10:13

    The pandemic disease of victimhood and racial hysteria has somehow taken over the U.S. The nonsense from people like Nathan Phillips, Black Hebrew Israelites, the oligarchic media and the “woke” celebrities will only drive more working people to the right, and God willing, will do so very soon and in large numbers.

    • January 23, 2019 at 12:19

      When I was young I was taught not to block the way if an elder were walking down the street. If a parade was coming down the street I did not block it. The argument goes to the teens, their parents, teachers, nuns and priests. You could embrace the smug bigots by declaring that it was a political protest, but it wasn’t. It was a crowd of teens waiting for a bus who acted like creeps.

      • January 23, 2019 at 15:20

        They weren’t on a street; they were on the plaza in front of the memorial waiting for their buses. Mr. Phillips wasn’t part of a parade; he claims he chose to obtain a drum and move between the kids and the Black Israelites to “defuse” the situation. Which makes his moving so far into Nick Sandmann’s personal space problematic—that was one of the first things that struck me about the original clip, except at that point the story was the kid had moved in on Mr. Phillips.

        What’s interesting is how the story told by both Mr. Phillips and one of the other Native Americans on the scene began to alter as the media started inquiring into the matter. It literally changed from “There was no aggression or insult from the boys” to “They were shouting insults and making racist motions”.

        As for the infamous MAGA hats, which comprised maybe 10% of the headgear in the group, and a few MAGA sweatshirts, even given the quality of the video they look suspiciously new. Did the boys bring them with, or were they handed out on-site? If the latter, by whom.

      • Will
        January 23, 2019 at 16:21

        act4d like creeps while their adult chaperones did absolutely nothing to control the situation

      • January 25, 2019 at 23:15

        He wasn’t parading at the time. He was standing around until he saw an opportunity in a MAGA hat. He wasn’t even prepared to move forward … he had to turn around and grab someone else’s drumand planted himseld in this kids face. There was no protection going on. If that was the intention he should have explained to the CHILD that he was there to diffuse the situation then turn around to face the Black Hebrew Israelites. Instead he remained in this kid’s personal space and banged a drum inches from his for an uncomfortably long time… to anyone with eyes it Phillips was being confrontational.

  21. Tim
    January 23, 2019 at 10:07

    Yes, it’s true. A Part of a prayer I know, ‘…let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees, even as it has aspired to material degrees…’, implies a fundemental change is required in the spirit of This Republic no less. And I think what will happen here is, ‘purified and chastined in the crucible of a common world war’ is not far off on the horizon.

  22. FobosDeimos
    January 23, 2019 at 09:37

    “Centuries after Portuguese explorers arrived in the “New World,” assured of their right to all that they could seize under the “Doctrine of Discovery,” the question of whose land this is, remains deeply unsettled”.

    The first European “discoverers” were not Portuguese, who only arrived to present day Brazil in 1500. The first European explorers/conquerors who made it to the Americas were Spaniards, beginning with the 1492 expedition led by Christopher Columbus (a Genoese financed and sponsored by Spain). In his first voyage he landed on present day Bahamas. Columbus then made three more voyages, “discovering” places in the Antilles like the present Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti/Dominican Republic and Jamaica. On his third voyage, in 1498 his expedition finally landed on the continent, in present day Venezuela. Only his fourth and last voyage (1502) was preceded by Pedro Alvares Cabral’s “discovery” of current Brazil (1500).

    • Corinna Barnard
      January 23, 2019 at 10:11

      Thanks for your comment. Here is the source I was working from


      To understand the connection between Christendom’s principle of discovery and the laws of the United States, we need to begin by examining a papal document issued forty years before Columbus’ historic voyage In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued to King Alfonso V of Portugal the bull Romanus Pontifex, declaring war against all non-Christians throughout the world, and specifically sanctioning and promoting the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories.

  23. Michael
    January 23, 2019 at 08:53

    This article is almost as bad as the originals, with their #resistance axes to grind. The only correction is noting Phillips is a Vietnam-era veteran, he never served as a Marine in Vietnam as inferred from many “Vietnam Vet” characterizations of him. And his quote was about so much more than “walls” :
    “This is indigenous lands, you know. We’re not supposed to have walls here. We never did. Before anybody else came here we never had walls. We never had a prison. We always took care of our elders, took care of our children. We always provided for them, you know? We taught them right from wrong. I wish I could see that energy of the young men to, you know, put that energy to make this country really great. Helping those that are hungry.” A more profound and elegant statement with context.
    Phillips did claim to have heard some chanting “Build those walls” but no one who has searched through the clips have found those chants. Maybe that was triggered in his mind by those MAGA hats? (I remember rapists claiming young girls in slutty clothes were “asking for it”; we have devolved as a nation where fashion is actionable, or as Mark Twain said sarcastically “Clothes make the man.”) Phillips is a benign character, but following those kids, getting in the middle of them and then drumming right in the kid’s face was provocative. If Phillips had explained he wanted to perform a Native American prayer song for them, he would likely have received more respectful attention; if not THEN the kids would deserve some of the opprobrium they have received. As the “wise adult” and “provocateur activist” Phillips was clearly at fault, no matter his intentions. But he is what he is and his behavior is consistent with his past actions. The “journalists” receive no such slack. At the minimum they could have asked the students and the Black Israelites for comments, but they obviously had an agenda and built their narrative. It’s not “complicated” nor “complex; it was vicious.
    The whole story is an example of manufactured malicious lies aimed to disrupt OTHER children’s lives. This is obviously different than attacking politicians who are in the public sphere. What’s wrong with these journalists? Ethics aside (since I see no hope there), this is not social media where you can slander people with impunity. These people are working for MSM outlets with deep pockets. Usually I root against the lawyers lining up for an easy buck, but this is classic textbook slander.

    • Classical Anarchist
      January 23, 2019 at 18:32

      Thank god some people on here have a moral conscience. If you check Tim Pools coverage of this on youtube- they’ve even traced the original footage, which had millions of views, to accounts outside of the country. The footage was taken by ‘progressive’ activists and journalists who had been following Phillips during his entire walk- so they were looking for smear footage, and someone passed this footage to someone who is def running a malicious psy-ops campaign. Who, it isn’t certain. When the film Black Panther was released over a year ago- a similar incident happened- where some fake twitter accounts, posing as white American people, circulated photos of bloodied up black and white people who’d supposedly been assaulted at the film that opening weekend. Eventually it was found to be fake- but only after it had circulated substantially- and the accounts were from Turkey. So this is def no something so easily defaulted to Russia like everyone loves to do these days.

      • michael
        January 24, 2019 at 09:10

        Whoever started it, the main stream media promulgated it and deserves whatever disastrous fallout occurs. For the “journalist” above to emphasize the importance of getting the story out quick over getting the story out right, just shows how screwed up journalism has become. Basically it was a nothing story which could have been a human interest story at best, if all sides had been covered with any curiosity and a fair perspective.

  24. Steve
    January 23, 2019 at 06:57

    Nathan Phillips is a serial liar. Full stop.

    Before he changed his story, he lied about the kids approaching him, he lied about the CovCath kids being like beasts and the poor innocent Black Israelites being prey, and he has repeatedly, for decades, lied about his service record. Sure, he usually couches his service claims as Vietnam ‘times’ veteran and lets the pathetic stenographers in the press embellish that to Vietnam veteran, but he has also slipped up in multiple interviews and made the claim himself. He also claims to have been a ‘recon ranger’ (which doesn’t exist) rather than what he really was … a refrigerator repairman stationed in Nebraska. He also appears to have a problem with Catholics (possibly stemming from his own Catholic schooling), as shown later that same day when he brought a group to try and disrupt a mass at the National Shrine.

    The guy is an agitator and a dishonest one at that. This whole thing was a setup from the start. He used the CovCath kids as props.

    • michael
      January 23, 2019 at 10:24

      He was a refrigerator repairman in Nebraska and El Toro, California in his four years in the Marines and was discharged (not honorably discharged, went AWOL a few times) as a private. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIXIzvyAlLA

      • Bob In Portland
        January 23, 2019 at 12:30

        The story wasn’t about refrigerator repairmen marching in the Washington Mall. If Covington Catholic had had a sexual abuse scandal (not impossible since there have been charges in that diocese) would it be okay for people to go into any Catholic churches around Covington and disrupt the services?

        I note here that when facts of a story run counter to reactionaries’ hopes their arguments immediately devolve into personal attacks.

        The question here is when they saw the march of natives, did they get out of the way. The smirking Sandmann is a reflection of the bullying, racist, culture of much of America, now feeling free to push around their lessers with Trump in the White House.

        • michael
          January 24, 2019 at 09:59

          You’re comical Bob! You might want to check out “the facts of the story” yourself. The “facts” were definitely not as presented in the mainstream media and that’s why most are walking their stories back. And it is not “complicated” or “complex” as some are now saying, it was a vicious fabricated lie.

          My major concern is that this lack of journalistic ethics, for a judge to decide if it amounts to defamation and slander, has spilled out of the public sphere aimed at politicians and Supreme Court nominees to private citizens, in this case children. Making up Russiagate “bombshells” every week is one thing, but attacking kids with those same crazed tactics is another.

          I actually like Nathan Phillips, although I don’t respect him.

          The coverage was slanderous. U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, sharply criticized what she called a display of “blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance. This Veteran put his life on the line for our country,” she tweeted Saturday. “Heartbreaking.”

          Phillips was an “economic conscript” in the 70s, as are most servicemen nowadays, but he did NOT “put his life on the line for our country” and is not a Vietnam Vet as he himself readily admits, but that breaks with the media’s narrative.

          Only someone mentally unbalanced could watch the real unedited videos of that day, or who only hears Phillip’s “embellished” side of the story, could say there was any “blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance” by the high school kids. Phillips, without any explanation to the kids, followed them and walked into the middle of that group and beat his tomtom in the face of a kid who tried to remain calm and had no idea what was going on. As inherently obnoxious as most high school kids are, these seemed relatively well behaved. The “journalists” involved should be ashamed and embarrassed by how they presented this story.

    • Will
      January 23, 2019 at 16:42

      Actually, Phillips compared the Black Israelites to the Westboro Baptist church and said that they were harassing both the Native Americans and the Catholic school boys. he never said the black Israelites were innocent. I wonder where you came up with your somewhat unique of reality?

      this is a pretty good run down here:ttps://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/making-sense-of-the-phillips-sandman-viral-video

      personally, I think that anyone who’s been around a certain type of wealthy entitled
      white teen or their older frat boy siblings know what’s happening here. One has to wonder where their adult minders got off to while all of this was happening….then there’s this: “Covington Catholic High and the Diocese of Covington condemned the behavior of the students, with the diocese vowing to open an investigation.”

      One thing that no one mentions is that the smiling boy’s parents had hired a well known republican operative to write his denials for him within hours of the video going viral: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2019/01/21/covington-catholic-runswitch-pr-helped-student-in-controversial-video/2638400002/

  25. GMC
    January 23, 2019 at 03:30

    Thanks for the article – Ah yes, the ” Doctrine of Discovery” 1500s ! If we deem that the inhabitants of these new Lands are not Christians, then we may claim the lands as ours . And for the inhabitants of these New World Lands ? If they are non christians and will not convert { lol} , then you do to them as you please – enslave them? sell them? move them out of the way or just Genocide the Savages. And as the US moved West they took up the same sort of Law – Ya know – what’s good for the Church is good enough for us. I spent my adult life in the middle of Alaska and were friends with Natives, Old Russian families, and us minority folks { white } and we lived rural and a bush style way of life. I noticed that the Russians , when they owned the Alaska Land – they didn’t genocide the natives – as in the lower 48. And the Natives still keep have their Russian names and some still are Russian Orthodox. Spacibo

    • michael
      January 23, 2019 at 13:04

      John Marshall, our first Chief Justice, used the Discovery Doctrine in 1823 to invalidate sales of lands from Native Americans (who in some cases sold the same land to multiple people). Marshall was a land speculator and did not recuse himself from the trial, a true American!

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