On Jan. 23, Representative Ilhan Omar tweeted about the boys yelling “it’s not rape if you enjoy it” and “taunting [five] black men before surrounding Phillips”. The “[five] black men” she is referring to is the group called Black Hebrew Israelites who, as seen in the video, were in fact the ones doing the taunting. Rep. Omar also critiqued Nick Sandmann’s choice of legal representation. She received heavy backlash on twitter for the statement from people wanting to fact-check the tweet.
At Washington D.C’s March For Life last week, a video was posted of what appeared to be Covington Catholic High School Students wearing Make America Great Again hats taunting a man who was attending the Indigenous People’s march. Almost every media outlet featured the story with the angle that the Covington boys sought out the Native American man with harmful intent.
Images from the video spread and people began tweeting threats at the students.
Later, full versions of the video were disseminated and the truth about what really happened between the Native American man and Covington Catholic boys came out. The previous reporting didn’t match reality. Nathan Phillips, the Native American man who was attending the Indigenous People’s march, was the one to approach the high school boys. Phillips claims he thought he heard the boys chanting “build the wall”, but it’s clear from the video that no such statement was being chanted.
In fact, Covington Catholic boys were harassed by a group called Black Hebrew Israelites. In the video, they call the boys “dirty ass crackers”, “racists” and “incest kids”. They also shouted at a black student saying that his white peers will “harvest his organs”. The boys remained calm and didn’t retaliate.
Sometime on Jan. 24th, Rep. Omar quietly deleted the tweet but only after Sandmann’s attorney stated she would be sued for libel if she didn’t retract her statement.
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Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.