Native American activist Nathan Phillips who has been in the news due to his run-in with a Catholic school group has again changed his mind and said that he is willing to meet with the students from Covington Catholic High School, USA Today reported.
Tempers flared after a video clip of Phillips beating his drum in close proximity to the face of one of the high school students who was visiting the Lincoln Memorial went viral. Phillips has said that the students acted in a hostile manner toward him.
While fingers were pointed at the student, Nick Sandmann, a full review of the footage has shown that another group of people had been harassing the students for wearing “Make America Great Again” hats before Phillips interacted with them, Fox News reported.
“You white people go back to Europe, this is not your land”
— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) January 20, 2019
Sandmann stood his ground, with other students around him, as Phillips banged his drum, uncomfortably close to the teen.
“Race relations in this country and around the world have reached a boiling point,” Phillips said Tuesday, according to USA Today.
“It is sad that on the weekend of a holiday when we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., racial hostility occurred on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where King gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”
The Cincinnati Enquirer previously reported that Phillips turned down the offer of Cincinnati restaurateur Jeff Ruby to “break bread and make amends” with Covington Catholic High School students.
Phillips told the Enquirer that it was “not the right time” to meet with them.
“I might consider it at some point. There’d have to be certain assurances in place, give and take, and understanding.” Phillips said, according to USA Today.
“I have read the statement from Nick Sandmann, the student who stared at me for a long time. He did not apologize, and I believe there are intentional falsehoods in his testimony,” Phillips continued.
“But I have faith that human beings can use a moment like this to find a way to gain understanding from one another.”
“He (Sandmann) needs to put out a different statement,” said Phillips. “I’m disappointed with his statement. He didn’t accept any responsibility. That lack of responsibility, I don’t accept it.”
Phillips said Sandmann’s response changed his mind and now he hopes the outcome will include repercussions for the students and teachers involved.
“At first I wanted the teachers and chaperones to be reprimanded, some fired, for letting this happen,” Phillips said.
“For the students, I was against any expulsions, but now I have to revisit that.”
Just in: Statement of Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic High School junior, about the event at the Lincoln Memorial: pic.twitter.com/PkuMh2cVZM
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 20, 2019
In his statement, Sandmann said that he had no intention of displaying disrespect for the Native American group, but he also had no intention of being “provoked into a larger confrontation.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.