Video of MAGA Hat Wearing Teens Taunting Native American Vet Goes Viral, Sparking Outrage
A group of young students wearing MAGA hats faced off against a Native American elder at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington D.C., in a video that has gone viral and sparked outrage.
The Native elder was identified by Indian Country Today as Nathan Philips, a member of the Omaha nation and veteran who holds a ceremony for Native American veterans buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In the video, Philips can be seen being taunted by a group of young students wearing President Donald Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again Hats.” At one point, a student stood in front of Philips, who was chanting and beating a drum, and stared him down.
In a interview, Philips said the teenagers chanted “Build that wall!”
“This is indigenous land,” Philips said. “We’re not supposed to have walls here, we never did. Not for a millennium.”
Nathan Philips of the Omaha Nation speaking on what happened from @/ka_ya11 IG. pic.twitter.com/XBf1kTf8a5
— Unceded Clothing (@UncededClothing) January 19, 2019
Congresswoman Deb Haaland of (D-NM) condemned the students in a tweet, writing, “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.”
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
As the video went viral, outrage from Twitter poured in over the display. CNN’s Kirsten Powers called on the superintendent of the students’ school to take action:
What are you going to do about this @supmikeclines? This is absolutely contrary to Catholic teaching and you know it. Do something. Also these boys need a better education. You are failing them. https://t.co/lDWlAnMiwe
— Kirsten Powers (@KirstenPowers) January 19, 2019
Here’s another video of these kids harassing this Native American protestor. The ignorance, the bigotry, is infuriating. This is not the future of this nation.
— Simar (@sahluwal) January 19, 2019
A Vietnam Vet. https://t.co/VTndvMonVS
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) January 19, 2019
This is elder Nathan Phillips, an Omaha elder who is also a Vietnam Veteran and former director of the Native Youth Alliance.
He is a keeper of a sacred pipe and holds an annual ceremony honoring Native American veterans in the Arlington National Cemetery.
I stand with him. pic.twitter.com/CplAvTlSQT
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) January 19, 2019
These pathetic cowards. If you’re gonna hide from people because you can’t accept the completely earned anger your students inspired at least take out the publicly viewable parts about how you’re educating young men “spiritually and socially.” pic.twitter.com/5bqojfMz64
— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) January 19, 2019
seeing high schoolers with their brains already broken by trump is one of the most depressing things ever. on the day after the 2016 election, a bunch of pro-trump dipshits harassed my english teacher until she cried
— Women for Poopjeans (@poopjeans) January 19, 2019
White kids in MAGA hats jeering a Native American Vietnam veteran. This era is just a series of extremely heavy-handed metaphors
— Adam Serwer🍝 (@AdamSerwer) January 19, 2019
I am so deeply grieved and angry by this as young kids in MAGA hats surrounded and mocked a beloved Native American elder yesterday.
When your power is centered in your whiteness, mocking others who are unlike you makes you feel strong.
But it’s weak. And despicable. pic.twitter.com/38FtzGtowL
— Shaun King (@shaunking) January 19, 2019
Nathan Philips of the Omaha Nation. Strength, calm and decency when confronted with ignorance, hate and ugliness.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) January 19, 2019
The contrast between the calm dignity and quiet strength of Mr. Phillips and the behavior of #MAGA brats who have absorbed the spirit of Trumpism–this spectacle is a lesson which all Americans can learn. https://t.co/EbXMa6Bbel
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 19, 2019
Correction: A previous version of this story described Phillips as a Vietnam War veteran. Phillips, reportedly, was not deployed to Vietnam, but served in the Marines.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org