aside How A Rush To Judgment May Have Happened At Lincoln Memorial Park On 1/18/19

Like any faith-based entity, there are those who operate on the extreme fringes like with the Black Hebrew Israelites. Some could be heard acting out in racist and anti-Semitic ways, who were present at the vicinity of a March for Life rally held in Washington DC, on the 18th of January 2019. There were involved in an incident that has become embroiled in controversy.

As per the August 2008, Southern Poverty Law Center publication,” Around the country, thousands of men and women have joined black supremacist groups on the extremist fringe of the Hebrew Israelite movement, a black nationalist theology that dates back to the 19th century. Its doctrine asserts that African Americans are God’s true chosen people because they, not the people known to the world today as Jews, are the real descendants of the Hebrews of the Bible. Although most Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly racist nor anti-Semitic and do not advocate violence, there is a rising extremist sector within the Hebrew Israelite movement whose adherents believe that Jews are devilish impostors and who openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery.


There’s a video that’s gone viral which appears to show High School male teenagers wearing red MAGA (Make America Great Again) caps being disrespectful  to an Omaha elder Nathan Phillips as he sang and drummed in close proximity.

These young men were getting ready to head home to the Cincinnati, Ohio via a school bus after they had participated all day in a “March for Life” (anti-abortion group) rally in Washington DC, around the Lincoln Memorial area, on the 18th of January 2019.

Close by, there were some who claimed to be of the Black Hebrew Israelites who were purportedly shouting racist slurs. They say that they were reciting the bible. Witnesses claim that they were shouting insults at both the Covington Catholic High School  teenage boys and those present from the Indigenous community. In reaction to the Hebrew Israelites racist slurs, the teenage boys explained that they started singing / chanting to drown out their voices.

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A Capitol Police officer speaks to members of the Black Hebrew israelites … Getty Images

The third group standing in the area were Native American activists who had been taking part in the Indigenous Peoples March.  One of their members, a 64 year old  frequent protester on behalf of Indigenous causes, Nathan Phillips had been observing these events.

Mr. Phillips became concerned that tensions could escalate. In more than one interview, he describes how he was the one who headed in the direction of the boys to insert himself between them and the epithet slurring Black Hebrew Israelites, as a form of distraction as he chanted a prayer while beating a drum that he had borrowed from someone else who was present.

Some of the high-schoolers surrounding Mr. Phillips started singing, dancing and chanting as well.

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The controversy begins at the point where one of the students, Nick Sandmann was videoed, photographed, to where it appeared that he was invading Mr. Nathan Phillip’s space, smiling and staring him down. The video depicting this scenario went viral, incurring lots of negative feedback and animosity towards Nick Sandmann as well as those, defending him from the right. 

His own Kentucky Covington Catholic High School had announced that an investigation would be done and that if appropriate, the boys could face expulsion. That was just for starters.

But most folks had not been aware as to how the entire scene had played out, from start to finish.

Nathan Phillips prays with other protesters near the main opposition camp against the Dakota Access oil pipeline near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., February 22, 2017
Nathan Phillips, centre, at a 2017 protest against an oil pipeline

While I do not credit those of the Hebrew Israelites with clean hands, I say the same about the teenage students.

Whoever were the adults who thought it was okay for these youngsters to wear MAGA red caps, did not do right by these young men.  These boys were making a political statement with their apparel which they may not have intended, while representing a religious school which is supposed to be a tax exempt organization, not promoting a particular political party. If I had been a parent, they would have been wearing t-shirts while carrying signs advertising their pro-life religious stance. That was why they were supposed to be there.

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In addition, I would have instructed Nick Sandmann to take a few steps backward to allow his elder some reasonable amount of space. Frankly, I don’t care who was right or wrong. Mr. Sandmann could have moved a few steps away.

There is confusion about whether the boys chanted rhetoric similar to what President Trump has yelled, “Build that wall build that wall!” But if they did, that reflects an intent that is far from innocent. But without proof, the boys should be spared the piling on against them. There will be an investigation as to what occurred.

A fellow blogger, found the following video link where these same Covington High School students could be heard chanting, “Build the Wall:”

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See: Statement of Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic High School junior / CNN…

See: A Kentucky (GOP) PR firm was reportedly behind high schooler Nick …

As per a 1/19/19 BBC report,  “In a statement released by a PR company, Mr Sandmann said “outright lies” were being spread about him and his family and that he had received death threats as a result of the incident.”

What is Nick Sandmann’s account?

“He said the group of African American protesters had called the students “racists” and “incest kids”.

“Because we were being loudly attacked and taunted in public, a student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group.”

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“Then, he said, the Native American protesters approached the students, including Mr Phillips, who was playing his drum.”

“I did not see anyone try to block his path,” he said. “He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.”

“To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me,” he said.

“I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protester. He did not make any attempt to go around me… I was not intentionally making faces at the protester. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation.”

“I respect this person’s right to protest and engage in free speech activities… I believe he should re-think his tactics of invading the personal space of others, but that is his choice to make.”

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What do other accounts say?

“Mr Sandmann said the students had only used school chants, and he had not heard anyone make hateful or racist remarks.”

(“He said that he had remained “motionless and calm” in an effort to defuse the situation. bit that he realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict.)”

“However, Mr Phillips, who appeared upset in a video after that encounter, said he had heard the students saying “build that wall”. Other witnesses backed him up about what the boys were chanting.”

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Here’s the rest of the story…

As per 1/20/19 New York Times report, “Fuller Picture Emerges of Viral Video of Native American Man and Catholic Students”  by Sarah Mervosh and Emily S. Rueb, “A fuller and more complicated picture emerged on Sunday of the videotaped encounter between a Native American man and a throng of high school boys wearing “Make America Great Again” gear outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.”

“Interviews and additional video footage suggest that an explosive convergence of race, religion and ideological beliefs — against a national backdrop of political tension — set the stage for the viral moment. Early video excerpts from the encounter obscured the larger context, inflaming outrage.”

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“Leading up to the encounter Friday (1/18/19), a rally for Native Americans and other indigenous people was wrapping up. Dozens of students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, who had been in Washington for the March for Life rally, were standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, many of them white and wearing apparel bearing the President Donald Trump’s slogan (Red MAGA caps). There were also black men who identified themselves as Hebrew Israelites, preaching their beliefs and shouting racially combative comments at the Native Americans and the students, according to witnesses and video on social media.”

Soon, the Native American man, Nathan Phillips, 64, was encircled by an animated group of high school boys. He beat a ceremonial drum as a boy wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat stood inches away. It was a provocative image that rocketed across social media, leading many — including the students’ own school — to condemn the boys’ behavior as disrespectful.”

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But on Sunday, Phillips clarified that it was he who had approached the crowd and that he had intervened because racial tensions — primarily between the white students and the black men — were “coming to a boiling point.”

“I stepped in between to pray,” he said.”

“The encounter became the latest touch point for racial and political tensions in America, with diverging views about what really had happened.”

“Conservatives and other supporters maintained that the students had been unfairly vilified out of context, while those affiliated with the Indigenous Peoples March said they perceived the combination of the group’s size, behavior and political apparel as threatening.”


“For some, invoking the name of Trump — who has made inflammatory comments about Mexicans and Muslims — has become a racially charged taunt, inspiration for hateful graffiti and high school sports cheers alike. Trump also recently mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whom he called “Pocahontas,” with a reference to Wounded Knee and Little Bighorn, sacred ground for Native Americans.”

“It did not go unnoticed that Friday’s episode took place at the same location where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his most famous address, calling for an end to racism in the US.

But there was little resolution Sunday.”


“A parent of a Covington Catholic sophomore, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of safety concerns for his family, said his son, who attended the event, said the students were shouting school chants to drown out harassment from the black men.”

“The parent and the student’s statement denied that the students chanted about building a wall at the border with Mexico, as Phillips has said. But in an interview Sunday, Chase Iron Eyes, a spokesman for the Indigenous Peoples Movement, which organized the march, said he had also heard chants of “build that wall.”

“Marcus Frejo, an indigenous hip-hop artist said, Phillips approached, asking to borrow a drum. Together, they headed into the center of the students, creating a sort of prayer circle. They sang what he said was a well-known spiritual song associated with the American Indian Movement of the 1960s and used for prayer and resistance.”


In separate interviews, Frejo and Phillips said they heard the students making noises that seemed to mock Native American chanting. But Frejo also said he heard some of the students sing along. “Regardless of their ignorance and bigotry,” he said, the “spirits moved through them.”

Moments later, the group of students disbanded. But to many, the interaction — and the disparate way it was perceived — reflected the national mood.

Frejo, who works with youths to prevent suicide and alcohol abuse, saw this as “a teachable moment” to help show what can happen when you push past anger and hatred.

Link to article:  Fuller Picture Emerges of Viral Video of Native American Man and and Catholic Students


    • Dear Holly,

      I agree.

      These young men are going to have to face some hard truths. The parents hiring a PR firm will not erase the ugly behaviors that we witnessed.

      These young men do not have clean hands. Those Hebrew Israelites were part of the problem. Mr. Phillips did help to diffuse a situation which could have turned ugly.

      But I want any adults who allowed/ encouraged these young kids’ bad behaviors and who probably gave them those MAGA hats which were like wearing a red flag to some peoples, to be exposed and censured.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • Having spent time in Kentucky I am not at all surprised at this behavior or the feeble attempts by the parents to place the blame elsewhere. These kids are a product of their environment, the school, the church, first and foremost the parents. I have no pity for them, I would like to see the school closed.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Holly,

          You have a point. If the school has created a toxic culture for these young men, the school ought to be closed down or the faculty should be replaced. These kids are supposed to be learning some values but their education is obviously lacking.

          Frankly, if my kids attended this school, I would remove them from it. I wouldn’t want them to be a part of whatever others have been learning there.

          Hugs, Gronda


  1. I believe in the separation of church and state. MAGA wear represents a political slogan and ideology. Students attending a pro life rally and representing their religious high school should not In the a video I saw, it looked as if youngsters with MAGA hats were making fun of Native Americans. I wasnt there but we have heard people of MAGA mentality present “alternative truths” even though there are videos presenting something totally different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lindi Roze,

      This story bothers me on so many levels. First the kids are supposed to be attending a religious school which we would hope would be teaching them values like respecting one’s elders, how to apologize, accept responsibility, how to be a real man which means NOT emulating the likes of President Trump.

      Instead the parents of Nick Sandmann went and hired a RR firm to fix their son’s image.

      Then President Trump is adding fuel to these tense times by inviting these boys to the White House.

      What on earth were these kids doing wearing MAGA hats which could be politically provoking in so many circumstances. If they were participating in a school function, what were they doing wearing apparel that’s political. They were there at the Lincoln Memorial to attend a ‘March for Life’ rally and that should have been their focus.

      They were heard by others and there’s a video where they are heard, chanting, “Build the Wall.” I reviewed lots of photos. Nick Sandmann had to position himself in front of another boy to have his staring contest with Mr. Phillips. He should have taken some backward steps to not invade Mr. Phillips’ space. And most of all, he owes Mr. Phillips, an apology.

      Some were making fun but some weren’t.

      Frankly whoever the adults were who encouraged these boys misdeeds, they should pay a price.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Doubledragon61,

      Thanks for finding this video. I’ll update my post accordingly. These high school kids need to learn a lesson from this. I’m especially upset with any of the adults who may have promoted the kind of thinking these kids were displaying.

      If my son had participated in this type of behavior, he would have gotten an earful and it wouldn’t have been pretty. He would have been made to apologize to Mr. Phillips and he wouldn’t be getting away with trying to justify his actions. And I certainly wouldn’t have hired a PR firm to fix this.

      It looks like President Trump has extended an invitation to the Covington High School boys. This is definitely not the kind of man that I’d want my son to emulate.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have so many thoughts about what occurred. While I do believe from the longer videos that the teens were verbally harassed by some of the Black Hebrew Israelites, that does not excuse their own behavior. First, as doubledragon61 pointed out these boys were taunting girls. One of them even said “Rape isn’t rape if you like it.” Lovely. Second, as far as the confrontation with Mr. Phillips goes, the majority of the boys were openly mocking him right down to their “tomahawk” gestures. And Mr. Sandmann was not politely listening to Mr. Phillip’s drumming. He was smirking at him the entire time.

    There’s a couple of things though that disturb me the most. Who allowed the students to wear the MAGA hats to begin with. I’m sorry, but if you’re on a trip representing your school you shouldn’t be wearing ANY article of clothing with political messages. I’d feel that way if I saw students wearing hats or shirts saying “I’m With Her.” There’s a time and a place for expressing your freedom this way and that wasn’t it. In addition, MAGA has unfortunately come to represent racism and bigotry to many people and the adult chaperones should have known that letting the kids wear the red hats would cause unnecessary trouble.

    And speaking of the adult chaperones, where the heck were they? There seemed to be little to no adult supervision of these kids and I wish the media would be a little more vocal about that aspect of the story. This entire thing never should gotten to the point that it did. It’s left me disgusted and sickened.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Kim,

      I’m with you on this. Doubledragon61 who commented above found a video where the boys were chanting, “Build the Wall.”

      Nick Sandmann was smirking and he was invading the space of Mr. Phillips. Looking at different pictures, he had to maneuver himself to face directly Mr. Phillips. He owed this elder some respect and he should have given Mr. Phillips some added space. HE WAS NOT RIGHT. THIS WASN’T A ‘STAND YOUR GROUND’ case. Can you believe that his parents went and hired a PR firm to fix this for him?

      But I’m mostly furious at the adults who had these kids wearing the MAGA hats and who had taught these kids to chant “Build the Wall.” This was totally unacceptable provoking type behaviors that could have gotten out of hand.

      These kids need to learn some life lessons which can’t be from the same adults who encouraged them to misbehave.

      Then can you believe that President Trump has added his 2 cents by inviting these boys to the White House?

      What’s wrong with this picture?

      Thanks a million for all your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep. I heard “Build the wall,” the rape comment, and I believe the word “sluts.” Looking at the slo-mo video, Mr. Sandmann definitely moved from his original position to stand directly in front of Mr. Phillips. And in one of the videos, near the end, it shows Mr. Sandmann finally moving and Mr. Phillips then walking forward.

        That PR firm was co-founded by a former aide to Mitch McConnell.

        Covington’s student body is 90% white and it’s faculty is 100% white. Perhaps lack of diversity is part of the problem.

        Did you see the picture of Covington students in blackface at a basketball game where the opposing team had black players. They’ve tried to excuse it as being “black theme night”, but it’s one thing to wear all black clothing, and quite another to paint your skin black. But the coach who’s in the picture was apparently okay with that.

        This entire thing is just disgusting and once again I’m sad to say I think the media has bungled it and made things even worse. I do think it’s horrifying that the students and their school are receiving death threats, but I also don’t think the way they behaved should be whitewashed.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Dear Kim,

          The PR firm can only do so much to fix the image of Nick Sandmann or the others boys who were a party to disrespecting Mr. Nathan Phillips. They are no innocents in all of this except for Mr. Phillips. They do owe him, an apology.

          I’m disgusted with the parents/ chaperones who should have know better unless they are supporters of President Trump, where maybe they lost their brains and forgot that they are supposed to act like parents.

          If some of the teachers / coaches have encouraged disrespectful actions like students painting their faces black while their team is playing against an all black team, these mentors are the ones who need to be shown the exit door.

          Nathan Phillips has offered to visit the school to talk directly with these young men. Frankly, the school officials should take him up on his offer.

          Hugs, Gronda

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I have chosen not to watch the video(s). All I’ve done is read various comments on this post and others. The entire incident is repugnant … and only adds to the divisiveness that currently exists in this nation. It’s also far too representative of the ugliness that tRumpsky has instilled in (too many) individuals.

    While I HATE the MAGA hats, the fact that tRumpsky is (at the urging on his supporting evangelists, no doubt) anti-abortion may have something to do with why the students were wearing them to the March for Life event.

    What I find profoundly sad is that (1) this incident happened at all, and (2) that it has (once again) amplified the ugliness of our current political environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nan,

      This whole story is a metaphor for today’s times where peoples who are followers of President Trump see reality from a very different viewpoint from that of the “Never Trumpers.”

      I’m troubled because a Catholic School should be teaching young peoples how to debate respectfully with facts, and how to get that peoples can have different viewpoints but still be patriots who love their country, their families and their God.

      But instead these young men behaved poorly by chanting rhetoric like “build the wall” and lines like “it isn’t rape if she likes it, while they are wearing MAGA hats. What’s wrong with this picture.

      You don’t have to hear more, as it only gets worse from here.

      Hugs, Gronda


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