You’ve probably seen the footage of two groups of protesters clashing, which has been politicised by observers across the spectrum of persuasions in America.
A video showing a group of white MAGA hat-wearing students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, surrounding an elderly Native American Vietnam veteran who was performing a healing prayer, went viral for all the wrong reasons.
The video was interpreted by many as evidence of the youngsters’ white privilege, entitlement and playground intimidation – but quickly shifted to conversations about whether the teens were provoked and deserving of sympathy.
You can watch the original footage, captured by university student Kaya Taitano:
Taitano bore witness to the incident between Nick Sandmann and the other teens, who’d been attending an anti-abortion rally earlier in the day, which happened to coincide with the Indigenous Peoples March attended by the elderly man, who was later identified as Nathan Phillips.
Phillips, who was clearly mocked by the teens, was said to be chanting to diffuse a heated argument which had started between the teenagers and four African-Americans, who’d been preaching about the Bible nearby.
As the video picked up speed online, evidence of other verbal abuse directed towards the teens surfaced in online clips, and was used to start a discussion about how the teens were deserving of sympathy.
Obviously no level of verbal abuse is acceptable from adults or otherwise. In light of which, the latest claims against the Kentucky students should put this shit show to rest once and for all.
According to new accounts posted online alongside footage, the Covington Catholic High School students were also allegedly making misogynistic comments to women and downplaying rape, as per Daily Dot.
Amee Vanderpool shared a six-second video from the Lincoln Memorial in which one teen can be heard saying:
It’s not rape if you enjoy it.
Latest Covington Catholic video from the Lincoln Memorial incident on Friday has surfaced where one of the students yells, "It's not rape if you enjoy it!"
Good luck spinning this one… pic.twitter.com/4yJXHrLP0Z
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 22, 2019
Another woman posted a video on Twitter of a group of alleged Covington teens reportedly at the same event harassing her and her friends as they walked by.
The Twitter user who goes by @linds wrote:
The Covington Catholic boys harassed my friends and I before the incident with Nathan Phillips even happened.
I’m tired of reading things saying they were provoked by anyone else other than their own egos and ignorance.
The Covington Catholic boys harrassed my friends and I before the incident with Nathan Phillips even happened. I'm tired of reading things saying they were provoked by anyone else other than their own egos and ignorance 🤦🏼♀️ pic.twitter.com/utdPFii92D
— linds (@roflinds) January 21, 2019
Meanwhile, a radical Hebrew Israelite has admitted to sparking the row.
The man, who goes by Chief Ephraim Israel of the House of Israel told the New York Post it was the ‘word of God’, adding:
They started doing their chants, so I was cutting into them. I called them dogs. They sounded like dogs.
Sandmann, whose family have hired a PR agency to deal with accusations of racism, told his side of the story in a statement obtained by CNN, where he explained he and fellow students started chanting school spirit songs in order to drown out insults made by these other protestors.
In his statement, he claimed:
We noticed four African-American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group.
The protestors said hateful things. They called us ‘racists’, ‘bigots’, ‘white crackers’, ‘f*ggots’, and ‘incest kids’. They also taunted an African-American student from my school by telling him that we would ‘harvest his organs’.
I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.