Almost immediately after the fake news broke about Native American elder Nathan Phillips being harassed by Covington Catholic School boys at a March for Life rally Friday in the nation’s capital, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus tweeted his condemnation of the teens.
Terrance Cheung, the life-partner of Magnus, who serves as Pima County’s Director of Justice Reform Initiatives, retweeted the condemnation.
The kid was guilty. No trial for him. The jury had decided his fate and calls went out on Twitter for his death.
He and his family should have their private information published and driven from their burning home into the streets filled with an angry mob ready to tear them limb from limb.
The kid, Nick Sandmann, is a junior at Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Ky. A high school junior.
The self-proclaimed victim, Nathan Phillips, is 64 years of age. He has the distinction of being an elder of a Native American tribe. An elder.
Phillips was in Washington to participate in the first Indigenous Peoples’ March, scheduled on the same day as the 37th annual March for Life.
The March for Life is held every year in connection with the date of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout the nation, Jan. 22, 1973. It is not clear why the Indigenous Peoples’ March was held in Washington on the same day.
As is shown in videos on this incident, the confrontation between Phillips and the high school student was preceded by an angry confrontation between a small group of black men calling themselves Hebrew Israelites and the Native Americans.
The Hebrew Israelites yelled at the Native Americans, accusing them of losing their land because of their religious beliefs. Native Americans tried to make peace with them.
The Hebrew Israelites — who identified themselves as residents of Washington, D.C., and were not associated with the two organized marches that day — also hurled insults at the teens, who were in the nation’s capital for the March for Life.
In an interview later, Phillips compared this group to the Westboro Baptist Church, well known for disrupting military funerals to advance its anti-gay agenda.
Phillips said he was just trying to walk to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, when he was beating his drum and headed straight toward the high school student. Phillips proceeded to beat the drum in the face of the teen.
Sandmann later said that Phillips did not try to walk around him. He is seen standing still and smiling as the elder beats his drum in his face.
Shame on you Chief Magnus
Chief Magnus, for your information, Nick is most likely a minor. He isn’t old enough to vote.
I believe Nick is the same age as Trayvon was at the time he became the focus of national attention.
As for Mr. Phillips, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines elder as “one having authority by virtue of age and experience.” In other words, Mr. Phillips should know better.
You condemned Nick based on nothing more than a sensational headline and a MAGA hat. Just like Trayvon’s hoodie, the MAGA hat fit a profile and he was guilty of being a thug.
High school students mock Native American elder/Vietnam veteran at Lincoln Memorial. Politics aside, how do kids get like this? What kind of parenting or school experience leads to this? Mob mentality, adolescent behavior–sure. But this has to be called out as cruel & wrong. pic.twitter.com/NJsCnJtCjA
— Chris Magnus (@ChiefCMagnus) January 20, 2019
No @ChiefCMagnus it is not complex. Yes – totally avoidable. As an adult, the “elder” could have acted like 1: approach the young man, offer his hand & try 2 engage in conversation. Adults r supposed to lead the way. This kid was the only 1 acting like an adult. @JamesTHarris https://t.co/nq0LBCzqHd
— Loretta Hunnicutt (@lorihunnicutt) January 22, 2019
Chief, you claimed that you stood by your condemnation even after reviewing “all this incident.” What about Nick’s behavior was “cruel and wrong?” Tell me, what should a 17-year-old kid do when an “elder” beats a drum in his face?
Most parents, regardless of ethnicity, race, social class, faith, or lack thereof, raise our kids to respect their elders. We tell our kids that if they encounter an older person, who behaves in an aggressive, abusive, or otherwise menacing way to remain calm and get away as fast as possible and we will take care of it.
It looks to me like Nick did exactly that. In fact, the video shows Nick even trying to calm down other kids who recognized Mr. Phillips’ aggression for what it was.
A kid like Nick should be applauded, not condemned. He didn’t lash out, he didn’t hurl epithets, he stood stoically and took the “elder’s” abuse.
If Nick were my kid, I would be proud of him.
I’ve got questions
You want to know how “kids get like this.” I want to know how a grown man, who claims to be a social justice warrior, can judge a kid based on little more than his apparel? I want to know how anyone can review all of the available footage and still find this kid guilty of cruelty? I want to know how you can tweet about mob mentality when you obviously got caught up in it?
You joined the Twitter mob and condemned this kid to a life of fear. How do you feel about that? Police are now investigating threats against Covington Catholic High School. Do those kids deserve to be the subjects of threats?
I’ve got questions.
The truth be told
When you arrived in Tucson, you were greeted with open arms. As a Black Lives Matter advocate, the residents believed that they were getting a leader who recognized the lack of justice in our justice system. We thought that you would be the kind of man, who would strive to create an atmosphere where people would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
You, sir are proof that assumptions are dangerous. You are dangerous as well.
The thought that our chief of police can condemn a kid based solely on his apparel is frightening. It should terrify every parent to think that you lead a force of armed men and women. The only consolation is the knowledge that because you are not a popular leader, your officers probably won’t follow your lead.
The truth of the matter is that you are a politician and not a peace officer. Your badge might not mean much to you, but it means a lot to most of us. It means that we have placed our trust in you. We trust you to keep the peace, not foment hate and fear based on biases.
The always vapid Alyssa Milano claims that the ‘red MAGA hat is the new white hood.’ I disagree, it is the new hoodie.