This is an opinion piece. How did I come about this information? Well, I have friends who were in all three events (the March for Life, the counter-protest, and the Indigenous People's March). I had friends who witnessed the event in question go down, and FoF's who witnessed it as well. I am also familiar with BHI's antics because I live in DC. I watched many, many videos. The rest is deductive reasoning. Usually I post links at the end, to cite my sources, but I would like to let the reader know that most of the videos in circulation are from
BHI, and that I have a personal dislike of BHI, and for that reason, I won't post links that support traffic to them, their websites, or channels. I also have my other sources (friends) who may wish to remain private.
Some backstory on the players.
Something really important to understand about this story is a very teeny, but very crazy, militant cult known as the Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI). You can find them most weekends in DC at the Chinatown arch, with a little speaker and microphone setup, spouting some truly racist, sexist, bigoted horseshit about the coming Armageddon and how at the end of the world they are gonna enslave all the white people (those who survive the race wars where they rise up with the coming of black Jesus, anyway). Think nazis if nazis were black. They are absolutely bugfuck eat-yo-face cray-cray. Their entire MO is to antagonize the piss out of you and try to get you to take a swing at them or otherwise lay hands on them, in which case they can hurt you, REALLY BADLY, and claim self-defense. They especially antagonize young white guys. Also, they like to be outnumbered, because then they are justified in using whatever is at hand as a weapon against you. I think they spend a good portion of their downtime training in fighting. The fact that they have no problem with calling mobs of drag queens "f-gg-ts" through a loudspeaker in downtown DC and no one has destroyed them yet shows you how dangerous they are. Think Westboro Baptist Church on meth. You can apparently also find them in Baltimore and NYC, likewise preaching to a crowd of exactly zero people. We all just avoid them. They once called me a whore of Babylon for having a short haircut.
Enter the kids of Covington Catholic HS, a very elite place where the tuition is somewhere between $7-10K a year, all boys, mostly white. I was trying to figure out if it was one of those "not so secret" reform schools but I never could tell. The locals do NOT tell good stories about their students however. Below is an 2011 photo of the Covington kids, who apparently donned blackface to taunt a rival basketball teams' player. (The internet dated it 2015, but checking around "someone" identified a Covington youth who went to the school in 2011, however the photo didn't make the internet until 2015. At first I thought it was photoshopped but I actually watched a youtube video with clips. Other schools complained about their sideline antics. Which means this photo is likely legit.) Correct me if this is wrong, but nothing I have heard so far about Covington Kids leads me to think they are model citizens.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2aQealN4SY
The other player in this scenario is Nathan Phillips, a
Vietnam Era Veteran and Standing Rock water keeper, which is also so far left he is practically off the map. Bit of a media whore, that one. Still a brave motherfucker.
NO ONE HERE IS AN ANGEL. NO ONE HERE IS A VICTIM.
So the situation in play is this. BHI is doing their usual, that they do whenever they can find a crowd to antagonize. From BHI's perspective, the white man has kept the black man down in perpetuity, and at Armageddon the tables will turn with the coming of black Jesus when they will finally get what they deserve, which is the killing and enslavement of all the white people. Basically, BHI is shouting random fucked up things to everyone passing by, and everyone is keeping a very, very wide berth. Because most people have enough brain cells to rub together to cause a spark.
I don't know why the Covington kids decided to start a heckling match back. I mean, yes, everyone WANTS to slug those guys, but we know better. They are OBVIOUSLY violent, militant, crazy, cultists. You can smell "danger, danger, Will Robinson" coming off them. Maybe the kids are just too sheltered and rich, or thought because they were kids BHI adults wouldn't hurt them, or maybe because they outnumbered BHI like 15-1 (there were only 5 Black Hebrew Israelites, and a ton of kids) so they thought it would be okay. Or maybe it was just "dumb invincible kid-ness" or "dumb invincible tourist-ness" or the high of coming off a big march of protestors because they had been in the March for Life. Maybe their brand new MAGA hats had too much polyester fumes.
They didn't fully surround BHI, thank goodness. (Yes, BHI is cray cray enough to take something as innocuous as THAT as an "attack".) But they started heckling back. This is so...not...good.
Now, to be fair, it was only some of them. You can't paint all the kids with the same brush. Heck, the group was so large, probably some of the kids never even knew about all of it. But some of the things I saw on the videos included:
UPDATE: I witnessed, on video, some of them booing BHI, and doing their "sideline stunts", the same kinds of stunts other school formally complained about as intimidation tactics. Their PR spin will have it that they were doing "team chants" but remember that blackface above? That's the level of intimidation tactics from the bleachers of Covington HS when faced with a rival team in a sports game. What they were doing started with some kids booing, and one kid ripped off his shirt to help egg them on, followed by their "team chants". Covington HS is not exactly friendly when it comes to team spirit.At the same time as the team chants, though unknown to Covington HS (but those of use familiar with BHI can figure it out easily enough) the BHI guy says into his phone "you dirty bastards better be ready”. Note that BHI are visibly all armed with staffs.
When BHI called the kids "f-gg-ts" someone in the crowd of kids shouted "I'm a child of sodomy and proud" back at BHI. The kids nearby start laughing.
BHI called the kids "crackers" and the black kid token "n-gg-rs" and at this point some kid made a gesture. Now, I could not see if it was a rude gesture (like the bird) or an angry fight gesture, because his friends instantly grabbed his arms and turned him away. Either way, BHI, who will ALWAYS misinterpret things as "fight gesture" starts saying "oh, you gonna go postal now, huh?" Also, I can't remember word for word, but BHI starts making fun of the MAGA hats around this time, and calling the kids future "school shooters" because of their MAGA hats.
When the BHI dudes started calling them racist names, a bunch of kids yelled stuff back,
I couldn't tell if they yelled slurs back or not, because several kids yelled several things, making it very indistinct.
UPDATE: I saw a new recording, and clearly heard one kid yell "dirty Arab" back. Though someone else said, "how can you say that to a 16-year-old?" Several other kids also stopped their friends from yelling stuff and were moving them away from the BHI area. BHI doesn't move around.
UPDATE: In the better sound video, when being called "children of incest" by BHI, someone responds "you taste like incest" back to BHI.
UPDATE: At one point, I hear them say of BHI, they're "just freaks". I am only mentioning this because I think, but not positive, that it was a CHAPERONE who was trying to move the kids back from BHI. I think he said (not sure) "come on they're just freaks" while motioning them away. Now, if that came from one of the kids as he was doing it, fine, but if that was the chaperone? Great adulting there, fella.
There was a kid in the background, way in the background, who had taken the sign off his stick. He was whacking random things and the ground. Impossible for me to tell if he was being aggressive or just bored. But again, BHI always interprets things as aggressive. He is on a video saying if the kid swings his stick at/near him he is going to "lay that kid out". Same BHI dude seems to have personal space issues in other videos.
So now you've got this heckling back and forth, and BHI trying to antagonize these kids into more and more heckling. Remember, BHI WANTS to pick a fight. Some of the kids are heckling, some are trying to stop heckling, some are at the back of the group and probably bored and have no idea what is going on.
The Indigenous People's March is breaking up, enter Nathan Phillips with his drum. It's a very tense situation. (One witness actually stated that she had never felt sorry for BHI before. Personally, I eyerolled at that, BHI lives to martyr themselves. Take that how you want it. She was there. I wasn't.)
Yes, he DID jump in front of the kid, with his drum. Was he supposed to jump in front of BHI? What, and get stabbed? He knew BHI, even if they didn't have prior experience, they'd been heckling the Native Americans all day. He started walking in front of the kids, especially the hecklers, and drumming, drawing attention to himself. For those who don't know, the song and drumming he was doing was a medicine song, designed to counter violence. So there is a bit of cultural disparity there, when you don't understand that he was drumming a medicine song. BHI never makes the first swing, but if the kids had made a move, even a "pretend" swing that didn't actually connect (like kids will do when they want to show their ass but don't actually want a real fight), some of those youths would have been really, really hurt.
Also, remember his personality type, he's an antagonistic, attention whore
. Meaning: sees problem, jumps in middle.
Now, some of the kids thought Phillips was part of BHI. Some of the kids were heckling Phillips etc, BECAUSE they thought BHI and the Native Americans were somehow together, a bit in part because Phillips was so forward with his drum. (UPDATE: In the better sound video, I can clearly hear them barking like dogs at Phillips. At no point did I ever hear "Build the Wall" from the kids. Though reports say it happened, I cannot confirm this. Likewise, I never heard "go back to Europe".) Some of the kids were chanting in solidarity with Phillips. Some of the kids were just tagging along with the group and again, probably had no idea what was going on, just sticking together because that is what you do on a school trip.
Yes, some kids were heckling, but not every kid. Also, that tomahawk gesture is racist AF. Please folks, stop doing that shit. Even though maybe you aren't trying to be racist, it's racist. Just saying. When you know better, do better. [Update: I am informed about another indigenous cultural tidbit, that it is extra rude/insulting to look an elder in the eyes. So from Phillip's perspective, Nick Sandmann (the youth) was being super disrespectful AF. Like, you don't get much more rude. We've got an issue of cross-cultural divide here, and the situation at hand was not conducive to explaining cultural differences.]
The wide angle shows that the kids did end up boxing him in. Did they do this to be threatening or because they wanted to see him drumming? Who knows? The kids had room to maneuver but didn't give them space to move forward toward the monument, which is where he had wanted to finish the song. Probably at this point he panicked. Did he have a justified reason to panic? Maybe, maybe not. Beside the point. People sometimes panic whether or not they have justifiable reasons.
Remember he made a quick decision to try and diffuse a super-tense situation. Was it the best decision? Well, what I can say is, IT FUCKING WORKED. NO ONE GOT HURT. NO FIGHT BROKE OUT BETWEEN BHI AND COVINGTON. We can look back and analyze things afterwards and say, well maybe he should have approached it differently, or better, or this or that, but at the end of the day, what he did WORKED. It may not have been the best approach. But every single one of those Covington kids went home without being beaten or clubbed or stabbed by a militant cultist. Sometimes, when things are tense and you come up on a situation and you have to think fast, the "best" decision is the one that FUCKING WORKS and everybody simply goes home ALIVE AND IN ONE PIECE.
No one in this situation is all good or all bad (though BHI is pretty low on the shit list, in my book--one could argue about the whole slavery oppressed black people thing turning out violent militant cultists, I SUPPOSE).
Still, at the of the day, THEY ALL SURVIVED ANOTHER DAY. And if Phillips hadn't done what he did, even if it wasn't the best thing he could have done, they MIGHT NOT HAVE. That said, Phillips is also a professional media whore who is gonna milk every bit of limelight he can out of this, because he LURVES the spotlight.