On January 18, Washington D.C. hosted both the March for Life and the Indigenous Peoples March. A viral video shows dozens of teenagers from the March for Life, many wearing MAGA hats, taunting and mocking a Native American drummer.
According to Indian Country Today, the man in the video is Nathan Phillips, who is an Omaha elder, former director of the Native Youth Alliance, Vietnam veteran, and a keeper of a sacred pipe who holds an annual ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery honoring Native American veterans.
The AP is reporting that the teenagers are part of a group of anti-abortion protesters from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Kentucky. A representative from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington told the AP “it regrets the incident and is investigating but didn’t comment further.”
In an emotional response to the taunts, which included chants of “Build that wall,” Phillips responded: “This is indigenous land. We’re not supposed to have walls here. We never did.”
New Mexico Rep. Debra Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, also tweeted a comment on the video: “The students’ display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration. Heartbreaking.”
“I wish I could see the young men put that energy into making this country really, really great,” Phillips said.