Now it’s all scintillatingly clear. From the boy’s mother, who stated in an email that this is all “fake news.”
‘Shame on you! Were you there? Did you hear the names the people where calling these boys? It was shameful. Did you witness the black Muslims yelling profanities and video taping trying to get something to futher (sic) your narrative of hatred?? Did you know that this “man” came up to this one boy and drummed in his face? Shame on you. Only reporting what you want. More fake news.”’
Some added context: Some “black Muslims” (they are not actually Muslims, but “Black Hebrew Israelites,” who regard themselves as Jewish) were indeed present, conducting their own little demonstration nearby (see video at bottom of linked page below). However, the high school boys behaved, if possible, even more horribly toward them. One kid removed his shirt and started hopping up and down in the manner of a crazed ape, and dozens of others joined in.
What the “full” video (which I did watch) shows aligns well with Phillips’s description in an interview (below). In summary, some high school kids, mostly boys, many wearing MAGA hats, from an anti-abortion march, came upon a handful of Black Hebrew Israelites, and began taunting them. The Israelites, a rather inscrutable group given to using esoteric and inflammatory language, began offering insults, some with a “racial tinge,” provoking the (much larger group of) MAGAites to intensify their taunts and begin dancing around as though imitating apes. At this point, Phillips, a leader of the Native American event occurring nearby, attempted to prevent the fight between the two groups from escalating by placing himself between them and drumming. To which the high school MAGA boys set into taunting the native Americans.
None of this background ultimately alters or excuses the central fact of the incident, which is that a group of whooping, jeering Trump supporters taunted and abused an old Native American guy playing a traditional drum.
“Phillips, a 64-year-old Marine, veteran of the Vietnam War, and longtime Native American activist from Michigan, was in Washington, D.C. on Friday afternoon for the Indigenous Peoples March. Phillips told the Detroit Free Press that the viral incident was sparked when a crowd of roughly 100 people, including the teenagers seen in the video, gradually splintered off from a March for Life event to confront a nearby group of Black Hebrew Israelites.
As the teenagers began to attack the Black Israelites — and Phillips noted that the Black Israelites also began to say “some harsh things” in retaliation and self-defense — Phillips made a spur of the moment decision to intervene and prevent the situation from escalating further. He physically placed himself between both groups, and the anger from the students, a group of mostly white, male teenagers, was then directed at him.
“There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey,” Phillips told the Free Press. “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”
The students, who attend Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, began jeering at Phillips as he took his drum and began singing. In the video, the teens can be heard chanting “Build the wall ” and yelling derogatory language and slurs. One boy walked up to Phillips and stood inches away from his face, smiling and unmoving.”