Nick Sandmann has now become a star with the conservative right and evangelicals all because he is a 16-year-old, wearing a Make America Great Again hat, who was disrespectful to a Native American elder. Now, the bishop of the Covington Diocese in Kentucky is apologizing to the teen.
NBC News reports Rev. Roger Foys said in a statement, “We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it. I especially apologize to Nicholas Sandmann and his family, as well as to all CovCath families who have felt abandoned during this ordeal.” He also added, “Nicholas unfortunately has become the face of these allegations based on video clips. This is not fair. It is not just… We apologize to anyone who has been offended in any way.”
Their original statement read, “We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C. We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.”
It’s a disgusting but not shocking move from a school that probably wants to protect their money from tuition. But as far as what happened at the Lincoln Memorial, nothing has changed — except for Sandmann being able to blame his behavior and his classmates behavior on five Black Israelites.
Earlier this week, the 16-year-old Covington Catholic High School student appeared on the “Today Show” and said he did nothing wrong when he and his classmates were caught on video appearing to taunt Nathan Phillips during a visit to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The combination of Sandmann’s defiant smirk underneath Donald Trump‘s signature MAGA hat during a confrontation with a Native American — a group frequently disparaged by the president — prompted varying accounts from witnesses. But Sandmann’s version of events came across as insincere at best and a lie at worst.
“As far as standing there, I had every right to do so,” he told Savannah Guthrie. “My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr. Phillips. I respect him. I’d like to talk to him. In hindsight, I wish we could have walked away and avoided the whole thing, but I can’t say that I’m sorry for listening to him and standing there.”
He also said Black Israelites were “shouting a bunch of homophobic, racist, derogatory comments at us.” He claims he felt “threatened” and he wasn’t sure “what was going to happen next.”
When asked if any of his classmates shouted slurs back, he answered with this gem: “We’re a Catholic school, and it’s not tolerated. They don’t tolerate racism, and none of my classmates are racist people.”
As a result, many mainstream media outlets have been systematically trying to discredit Phillips in every way imaginable, from his military service to his criminal record — neither of which are relevant to the situation that unfolded Jan. 18. Phillips appeared on NBC’s “Today” Thursday and said, “Even though I’m angry, I still have that forgiveness in my heart for those students. I forgive him.”
The incident reportedly happened toward the end of the Indigenous Peoples March near the Lincoln Memorial. The video shows the boys surrounding Phillips, who was playing a drum while singing the American Indian Movement song that’s used in a ceremony to send the spirits home.
But what captured widespread attention was the image of Sandmann staring at Phillips with a smirk on his face as his classmates cheered him on.
Sadly, this type of behavior will continue to happy because Covington Catholic High School uphold it.