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One Viral Video Stirs a National Controversy

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One Viral Video Stirs a National Controversy

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The infamous video of Nick Sandmann, a white teenager, allegedly harassing a Native American elder, Nathan Phillips, has become one of the most politically enraging images a month into 2019.

In the clip, an elderly Native American man is seen beating a drum and singing with a small group of activists and allies. A foot-and-a-half away from him stands a Covington Catholic High School student, seemingly taunting him. He makes eye contact and smirks at the man. A large group of mostly male, mostly white, MAGA-hat-wearing teenagers holler with vulgar language. The boys seem to know they are being recorded, with a slew of them even capturing it themselves. Sandmann’s face is smug and chilly. It is easy to tell that he thinks he’s untouchable. His face remains nearly completely still as his peers howl in support.

Phillips is a former Marine Corps Reserve member. He was attending the Indigenous Peoples Rally along with many others. Sandmann was simultaneously attending the March for Life, a protest against the legalization of abortions, with his all-boys college preparatory school in northern Kentucky.

When an Adams student, who wished to stay unnamed, was asked whether Nick Sandmann was in the wrong, they replied, “Of course not. He was the one being targeted in this situation. The old man came up to him and started banging that big ol’ thing. [Sandmann] had every right to do what he did. [Sandmann] was the one who was targeted. The Indian guy purposely came up to [Sandmann] to get a reaction out of him.”

Another student, sophomore Audrey Engel believes that “He should not have done that. It was disrespectful, uncalled for. The way [the students] handled it was wrong. ”

Covington Catholic High School has come into fire as more controversy is surfacing. Covington Catholic has also been accused of using blackface during sporting events. Photos show students yelling and taunting an African-American player on the opposing team as he participates in a basketball game while wearing black paint all over their bodies.

Whether Sandmann or Phillips was in the wrong, it is clear that this video has divided the country.

 

About the Writer
Vanshika Dixit, Reporter

Vanshika Dixit is a new sophomore student here at John Adams High School. Moving from a small suburb of Chicago, she is thrilled to jump into the dynamic...

2 Comments

2 Responses to “One Viral Video Stirs a National Controversy”

  1. Miss Troxel on February 5th, 2019 8:10 pm

    The controversy was that the truth was not reported. Journalism should be about investigating not instigating.

  2. Claire Stowe on February 5th, 2019 9:06 pm

    The controversy of this video arose because of varying viewpoints as to the blame of the tense situation. In this article, the reporter describes the viral video that was circulated across social media and also provides two (opposing, might I add) student opinions. It is unfortunate that at the time of this event the only video was this small and possibly out of context clip, however it is unfair to call the reporting on this “instigating” as at the time it was the only source available. Similarly, many news sources reached out to both sides for comment, which is closer to what I would consider “investigating.”

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One Viral Video Stirs a National Controversy