A Kentucky high school is facing backlash after footage of students mocking a native American elder appeared online. Video from Friday’s indigenous people’s march in Washington was posted on Instagram by an attendee.
It shows what looks to be a teen, wearing a “make America great again” hat, staring at an older man who is drumming. Other young people surround the two, jeering and chanting. Activists say the drummer is an elder from the Omaha tribe. An organizer for the march called what happened extremely disrespectful to Native Americans everywhere.
Nathan Phillips: “When I was there singing, I heard them saying ‘build that wall, build that wall.’ This is indigenous lands. You’re not supposed to have walls here, you never did. For millenniums. Before anyone else came here you never had walls, you never had a prison. We always took care of our elders, out children. We always provided for them, taught them right from wrong. I wish I could see that energy of that mass of young men down there put that energy into making this country really, really great – helping those that are hungry.”
The young people in the video have been identified as students from Covington Catholic high school in Kentucky. The school says they were attending the annual “march for life”, which was also taking place that day. In a statement, both the high school and the diocese of Covington say the matter is under investigation and promised appropriate actions against those in the video, up to and including expulsion.