Covington Catholic High School In Kentucky Faces Backlash After Student Stares Down Native American

The 2019 March For Life
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

After a video went viral of a young man in a “Make America Great Again” hat staring down a Native American Vietnam veteran who was drumming as part of an Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, a backlash has emerged against the school believed to be attended by the students in the video.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, students wearing the insignia of Covington Catholic, an all-male high school near Covington, Kentucky, outside Cincinnati, were seen chanting and encouraging the young man who was staring at the Native American marcher. The students, the newspaper said, were in Washington for the March For Life; both marches took place in Washington on Friday. Both the student staring at the veteran and several of the other students in the video were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.

A Twitter user named Talia, who uses the handle @2020fight, posted the video first. In the replies, other users figured out the name of the school attended by the students. Others posted photos from throughout American history of white people taunting protesters, such as African-Americans sitting at segregated lunch counters during the civil rights era. A YouTube user named KC Noland later posted a longer video of the same students and part of the same incident. In that video, a woman confronts the young men about their behavior.

As a result, the name of the school was trending on Twitter Saturday. This led the school to lock at least one of their social media accounts.

The Native American man in the video was identified as Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam veteran who is an Omaha elder and hosts a sacred pipe ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony to honor Native Americans who are war veterans, according to a report by Indian Country Today. Phillips was also harassed by a group of college students who were dressed in Native American garb, Fox 2 in Detroit reported in 2015.

“We are just now learning about this incident and regret it took place. We are looking into it,” Laura Keener, the communications director with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, told the newspaper.

Covington Catholic High School is located on a road called Dixie Highway. The school sent students to the March For Life on an official trip, as many Catholic institutions do. A Covington Catholic student was photographed attending the March For Life in 2015.

For a time on Saturday, Twitter user Shannon Coulter noticed, someone on Wikipedia had changed the school’s name to Covington Catholic White Male Entitlement High School.