A video posted online over the weekend showing a teenaged Trump supporter’s awkward reaction to having his personal space aggressively invaded by a loud left-wing agitator sparked a leftist-led social media meltdown that will not soon be forgotten.
Nick Sandmann, a student from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, was at the Lincoln Memorial Friday after attending this year’s March for Life.
Sandmann, a white, male, heterosexual, pro-life, Catholic Trump supporter wearing a red pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” baseball cap was a perfect target for the nation’s howling outrage brigades.
Video showed an elderly Indian man named Nathan Phillips, who turns out to be a radical left-wing activist, getting too close for comfort to Sandmann who at times stared back at him or grinned. The videos of varying durations that surfaced of the encounter all show the same thing. Sandmann simply stood there and took the abuse, which consisted in part of having a drum pounded loudly in his face, from Phillips without responding. Phillips later lied to reporters about the incident and called the high school kids “beasts.” He also said, “It was racism. It was hatred. It was scary.”
Of course, it was none of those things, but getting a leftist to abandon his narrative is generally an impossible task.
Black radicals also participated in the incident at one of America’s most sacred spaces, yelling abuse at Sandmann and his classmates who responded with pep cheers. Leftists claimed the schoolchildren chanted “build the wall” as some kind of a racist insult but it never happened according to video footage.
Sandmann’s pleasant demeanor was taken by some to be an affront to Phillips, who claims to have served in the U.S. military at some indefinite point in the past.
But because Sandmann is a living embodiment of everything today’s Left’s despises –whites, males, straights, Catholics, and especially Trump supporters— somehow the young man’s remarkably restrained, mature posture turned into a threat to the republic in the minds of leftists.
Many left-wingers urged violence, up to and including the murder of the Kentucky high schoolers.
CNN contributor Bakari Sellers tweeted the young man was “a deplorable” and therefore “can also be punched in the face.”
“Saturday Night Live” writer Sarah Beattie offered oral sex to would-be attackers. “I will blow whoever manages to punch that maga kid in the face.”
Failed comedian Kathy Griffin demanded the Covington kids be lynched and doxxed.
“Name these kids[,]” she tweeted. “I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these fuckers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again.”
House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat, demanded a ban on teenagers wearing MAGA hats after he viewed some of the video footage.
“I am calling for a total and complete shutdown of teenagers wearing MAGA hats until we can figure out what is going on,” Yarmuth tweeted on Sunday. “They seem to be poisoning young minds.”
Conservative lawyers have offered their services for free to the Covington victims. Many lawsuits against left-wingers and media outlets are planned.
While conservatives didn’t scream for the young students’ blood, many online personalities blamed the kids even though video evidence showed pretty conclusively that they did nothing wrong.
From the sidelines virtue-signaling conservative media figures desperate to be loved –or at least respected— by the Left, promptly attacked the children, in many instances without bothering to watch the videos of the incident.
National Review deputy managing editor Nicholas Frankovich wrote an op-ed titled, “The Covington Students Might as Well Have Just Spit on the Cross,” in which he absurdly likened Phillips to Jesus Christ and the high schoolers to his Roman tormentors.
Left-leaning former RNC Chairman Michael Steele instinctively sided with the wrongdoers. “His name is #NathanPhilips, an elder of the Omaha Nation and a Vietnam veteran. I stand with him. Where do you stand on bigotry?” he tweeted.
Weekly Standard founder Bill Kristol went after the innocent kids with gusto on Twitter.
“If some kid wearing a McCain 2008 cap had been filmed behaving this way, John McCain would have already called Mr. Phillips to express regret. And he would have used the occasion to remind his supporters they should treat others with respect. Will Trump do anything like this?”
Laid off Weekly Standard dead-ender Jim Swift metaphorically shot the schoolchildren in the back. “If I were the Bishop of the Diocese of Covington, I would humbly ask Mr. Phillips be the commencement speaker at a certain high School.”
The frequently underwhelming S.E. Cupp upbraided the kids. She falsely claimed teens in MAGA gear mocked a Native American Vietnam veteran. “Unfortunately, that’s wrong. Adults model this very behavior all the time—on social media and on the street. And it’s awful.”
And then there was this know-nothing take from Shoshana Weissman of the R Street Institute:
1) Mocking the veteran was wrong. Pro-life youth ought to have respected the dignity of every life.
2) Don’t care who started it. The video is clear.
3) Doxxing is wrong, and kids develop later, which is why many promote juvenile justice reform. But they should face repercussions[.]
First, the children didn’t mock Phillips and it’s not clear he actually is a U.S. military veteran, as many have pointed out (and even if he turns out to be a veteran that doesn’t excuse his bad behavior.) Second, the video is not “clear,” at least not in the way Weissman claims. Third, the students should not “face repercussions.” They did nothing wrong.
For his part, Sandmann tried to clear the air.
He released a statement that he described as a “factual account of what happened on Friday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial to correct misinformation and outright lies being spread about my family and me.”
Before the confrontation with Phillips, Sandmann “noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group.”
The protesters called Sandmann and his classmates, some of whom wore MAGA hats, “‘racists,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘white crackers,’ ‘fa**ots,’ and ‘incest kids.'”
“They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would ‘harvest his organs,'” Sandmann added. “I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear.”
Sandmann and his classmates didn’t like the verbal abuse being thrown at them so they asked their chaperone if it would be okay to shout school spirit chants.
He writes: “At no time did I hear any student chant anything other than the school spirit chants. I did not witness or hear any students chant ‘build that wall’ or anything hateful or racist at any time. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. Our chants were loud because we wanted to drown out the hateful comments that were being shouted at us by the protestors.”
The repercussions from this leftist hoax will be felt for a long time.
And buoyed by this “success,” the Left will generate plenty more of them.
This article by Matthew Vadum originally appeared Jan. 22, 2019, at FrontPageMag.