A group of high school students wearing “Make America Great Again” caps went from vilified to vindicated in the course of a weekend after a video of them apparently facing off with Native American activists in the nation’s capital went viral.
When video first emerged on Friday showing the confrontation between the Covington students — who are from northern Kentucky — and Native American activists on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, many were quick to assume the students were to blame.
The footage showed a group of mostly white teenage boys in red MAGA caps staring down and yelling at demonstrators during the Indigenous Peoples March — one of them being 64-year-old Vietnam War vet Nathan Phillips.
The former Marine later said he felt threatened by the teens, telling the Washington Post: “It was getting ugly, and I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song.’”
But Sandmann said the whole story had been misconstrued. Hours later, more video emerged showing a different group of protesters — who called themselves members of the Black Hebrew Israelites group — taunting and shouting hateful things at the teens.
“Y’all dirty-ass little crackers, your day is coming,” one of the group can be heard saying on video.