Talk for Article "Fact Check: Covington Catholic High School in Washington, D.C."

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    An examination of as many videos you can find showing students from this school in various situations. To help determine if the DC video showed an innocent anomaly or, together with other videos, is indicative of a larger, more ingrained problem.

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    One of the facts in dispute is whether the students chanted “build the wall.” There is a youtube video made by Shar Yaqataz Banyamyan of the Black Hebrew Israelites that covers the entire time period. Nowhere in the video can I hear anyone chant “build the wall.”

    After watching the video, you realize that the confrontation was much less straightforward than originally presented. The Black Israelites had been taunting the students calling them “future school shooters,” “incest babies” and a number of other slurs. The students reacted to it as entertainment and did not appear to take it personally. There were occasional efforts made by adults to keep a distance between the two groups. The only chants that I heard from the students were their school chants. Then Nathan Phillips strode between the groups banging his drum in an effort to break up the fracas. In his own words from an interview with CNN:

    “It looked like these young men were going to attack these guys. They were going to hurt them. They were going to hurt them because they didn’t like the color of their skin. They didn’t like their religious views.”

    The students had shown no sign of aggression beyond tossing a few water bottles on the ground towards the Black Israelites, which one of them ran and retrieved.

    Here is more from the interview with Phillips:

    ” . . . these other folks were saying their piece, and these others they got offended with it because they were both just expressing their own views. And if it’s racism, that’s what it was because the folks that were having their moment there, they were saying things that I don’t know if I agreed with them or not, but some of it was educational, and it was truth, and it was history about religious views and ideologies, but these other folks, the young students, they couldn’t see it. They had one point of view, it seemed, and that was that their point of view was the only point of view that was worthwhile. And that’s now what I was feeling.”

    Phillips appears to have misread the situation. It was with that perspective that he entered the fray.
    At 1:12:10 in the video the kids had turned their backs on the Black Israelites and appeared to be in a huddle. There is at least 20 feet between the two groups. It was at 1:12:22 that Phillips is shown beating his drum and coming into view. I am not sure if Phillips was being purposely misleading or he just had a view of the situation that was colored by his past experiences.

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    – Why were the students gathered here?
    – Why/how did their chanting start?
    – Were the Indigenous Peoples present prior to the gathering/chanting?

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      The students were told to be there to wait for their school bus.

      The Indigenous People were in the area doing traditional dances. They were on the far side of the Black Israelites from the students.

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    I don’t know what you fact check about this. I think the divide comes when different people add differing levels of importance to the video evidences that come is out there.

    For example, no matter what some people are going to see a white kid with a MAGA hat and smug grin and see an ignorant white kid that may have some racist beliefs, while others will just see a regular kid.

    Perhaps exploring this differing perspectives and the arguments for their validity may be worth exploring.

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