A mountain of hate has been built around a simple misunderstanding exacerbated by blatant lies, according to two Covington Catholic High School students who are speaking out in response to allegations that one Covington student treated a Native American with disrespect after Saturday’s March for Life in Washington D.C.
A viral social media clip showed Covington student Nick Sandmann in what appeared to be a tense confrontation with a Native American man. Sandmann has said he was trying to diffuse tensions. Nathan Phillips, the Native American, has said that Covington students acted in a hostile manner toward him.
However, 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 has reported.
“We’re here to talk to you about how the recent negative media controversy has affected us as individuals and our school as a whole,” Schroeder said.
Hillmann noted that much of the controversy was manufactured.
“Several media platforms blatantly lied about the events regarding the controversy in D.C. and it has affected as individuals and as a community greatly,” he said.
This Veteran put his life on the line for our country. The students’ display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration. Heartbreaking. https://t.co/NuPnYu9FP4
— Congresswoman Deb Haaland (@RepDebHaaland) January 19, 2019
Schroeder said the debate over who did what mushroomed into threats.
“There have been many threats against our lives; against our parents. Some of these threats include that we should all be locked in the school and it should be burned to the ground; the school being bombed; school shooting threats. It’s really scary,” he said.
Schroeder, speaking on Monday, said the entire school is feeling the impact.
“I know that a lot of people are scared to go to school tomorrow and won’t be attending because of what could happen. There have been cops there ever since the incident and I think there will be a lot more there tomorrow,” he said. (Covington did not open Tuesday due to security concerns, USA Today reported.)
Hillmann said that doxing — exposing private information to the world — has made things worse.
“A lot of the negativity and the hate surrounding this event comes from people on social media doxxing people that were at the event. I myself wasn’t even present but I’m very vocal about defending my school and my peers and I have been doxed on three separate occasions,” he said.
“This has led to tsunami of hateful messages.”
Schroeder said the hate has spilled over to stain families.
“A lot of people’s parents were also doxed, their work was called. I mean, this could greatly affect their job. They could be fired,” Schroder said.
Schroeder then noted that the entire incident has been fueled by a rush to condemn first and gather the facts later.
“There are real consequences for these actions and it all spews from a 30-second clip taken out of a two-hour video out of context and people jumping to conclusions before the full story is released. Nobody did their research and it’s now showing,” he said.
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