Four students who were part of the group from Covington Catholic High School that was attacked by the mainstream media and on social media after an encounter with a Native American man after last Friday’s March For Life told their side of the story on The Ben Shapiro Show on Monday, and the details of what they and their families have endured since the incident was falsely portrayed were nothing short of horrifying.
The students said that the threats they, their families and their school have received included school shooting threats, school bomb threats, vandalism of their buildings, and people threatening to slash their tires and break their school’s windows. Even more malevolent threats have been made, according to the students, such as suggestions like it would be best if the students at the school were locked in the school and set on fire, raped by clergy members, or thrown into woodchippers. Several of the students have been doxxed; sponsors of the schools have been called; their parents’ jobs have been reportedly threatened.
Here is the text of the interview, in which Shapiro and the students discussed what had transpired last Friday near the Lincoln Memorial and the terrible aftermath when the boys, their families and their small school were targeted with vicious, unadulterated hate by those on the Left and the complicity of the mainstream media.
Shapiro: Joining on the line right now, we’ve got four, count ‘em four, seniors from Covington High School, Sam, Grant, Adam and Evan. Guys, thanks for joining The Ben Shapiro Show to tell your story, I really appreciate it.
A student: Thank you, Mr. Shapiro. Thanks for having us.
Shapiro: Okay, so let’s begin with this: can one of you give me sort of the history of how long your high school has actually been going to the March For Life and why you were on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the first place.
Student: I don’t know the exact year, the amount of years, but we’ve been going as long as I can remember and we always take between 150 to 230 students up there to support the March For Life.
Shapiro: Why were you at the Lincoln Memorial? Do you guys end up there every year at the end of the March For Life?
Student: Yes, so every year we have to have a place to meet, like a rallying point, so we can all get on our buses, so at 5:30 like every year, we meet at the March For Life, sorry, at the Lincoln Memorial steps.
Shapiro: Ok, so let’s talk a little bit about what happened because according to the media, they start putting around this clip, and it makes it appear as though you guys swarmed an elderly Native American man and were mocking him or jeering at him. So can one of you tell me sort of — I mean it was a long time that you were there on the steps. You were there, there’s a two-hour tape basically, so you were there for a long time. Can one of you take me through what exactly happened because it was an entire series of events beginning long before Nathan Phillips, this Native American guy, actually approached your group.
Student: So, parts of our group started rolling in around 4:15, 4:30 to begin to congregate to get there early, and as we got there were noticed that there were groups of African-Americans known as the Hebrew Israelites. They were jeering at everybody, they were jeering at us, other people around, people of all different races. They were saying extremely horrible things towards us and directed towards other people. So after we endured that for quite a while, as more of our students became present, we started to kind of move away from them as they started to attack us and to kind of drown out the hate, we began doing our school cheers like we would do at sporting events and we do these every year that we meet at the Lincoln Memorial steps, it’s kind of a tradition there. And we have a rich history of school spirit so we wanted to try to block out the hate, but not like instigate a big incident.
We wanted to try to not put ourselves in a situation. Our chaperones were all right with it and they told us to not get ourselves in a situation like that. So we began doing all sorts of chants. I mean as a video, we have our sumo chant, we have different CCH, which is our school acronym, we did those chants, and then as we were doing those chants, Mr. Phillips began playing his drum. And we at first didn’t think it was anything hostile. We thought it was like a cultural display or he was just kind of drumming along to our chants, because our chants have a rhythm to it. So we thought that he was kind of joining in with us and we didn’t think anything of it. And then as he kind of started to approach us a little bit closer, we had never moved, as the video shows. And as he began to approach us a little bit closer, we noticed that people in his group had phones drawn and cameras drawn, so then we realized, we started like, ok, this isn’t great. And as he began to go through in singling out members of our students, individually, we didn’t want the situation to escalate.
Then he started going to different students, one by one, and then the student in the video, he approached him. And, you know, there are like different members of Mr. Phillips’ group started talking to our students and at one point, the boy, our classmate, who was confronted by Mr. Phillips, he motioned to one of our fellow students to calm down, do not say anything, you don’t want this situation getting any more. And the video shows that. And I think that shows a lot by our classmate that he did that. And that he wanted that situation to not get out of hand, kinda like it did. So that’s kind of all that really happened. We didn’t think that it was much and then all of a sudden he approached us, as the video shows, and we just didn’t want things getting our of hand.
Shapiro: Let me ask you about a couple of things that folks have been honing in on. So the original claim was that you guys were surrounding him. Phillips himself suggested that. It turns out the tape proves that that is an out-and-out lie. I know people are saying, “Well, he made a mistake.” That’s not a mistake; that’s a fib. So all this goes down and then they start making ancillary claims about minor things that are happening in the crowd. So people are supposedly mocking or jeering or doing the tomahawk chop; there’s an image of one of the students appearing to wave his hand in a sideways motion. Can you explain what that is, because what I’m hearing from students is that has nothing to do with mocking Native Americans, that’s part of your normal cheer, actually.
Student: Yes. The tomahawk part of that cheer is non-existent. There is no tomahawk motion involved. It’s just a hand motion we do to the tempo of our cheer, and we’ve been doing it for years. We do it at every sporting event. Different college schools do it. High schools too. It’s just a very common thing to do with cheering.
Shapiro: Did you see any mockery of the Native American man at all? Is there any bad behavior to condemn here?
Student: Not at all. Originally we thought it was a cultural display, as said in the statement, so we were just going along with the beat of the drum, but once he started continuing it, and we saw the cameras, more confusion is what is really was, and it was like awkward situation to react to. Not many students are put in this situation and we just didn’t want it to escalate as obviously it did.
Shapiro: So all of this starts to happen. Can one of you describe to me how it felt as this was moving forward? What was the first you saw of the video beginning to go viral? How have your lives been changed by the media coming after you, people on the internet trying to doxx you, trying to reveal your home addresses, etc.?
Student: Yes, so the effect on our community has been great. I mean, we’re from a small town, I mean it’s been horrible. That’s what I meant. We come from like a smaller town in Kentucky so we’re not really used to like this media attention. So we’ve been getting school shooting threats, school bomb threats, vandalism of our buildings, people have gone out and said they’re going to slash our tires and break our school windows. We’ve have threats saying that it’s best if the students at CovCat are locked in the school and set on fire. We’ve had tweets saying that we should be raped by clergy members. We’ve had every sort of threat that we should be thrown in woodchippers. I mean, we’ve been several doxxing of minors.
They’ve been calling sponsors. So they put the numbers out of all of our sponsors and they’ve been calling our sponsors up. Our parents’ careers: They’ve been calling our parents’ jobs. School and personal reputation: So our school has a great reputation and in our community and abroad, and especially with colleges too. So, they’ve attacked our reputation. Colleges and careers aspirations: this is going to be kind of like a little blemish, like if we say where we’re from, they’re going to be like, “oh, you’re associated with this.” And then on us, just personally, just scared to go to school. Not many high school students have to live through the threat of saying, “It’s best if you guys are all locked in a school and set on fire.” I mean, just imagine that. This is awful. We’ve had police guards at our school and just going to school on Tuesday, a lot of us are kind of a little fearful. And just out in the community, wearing our school colors, wearing our school attire, what people are going to say to us, and how people are going to act to us.
Shapiro: Let me ask you guys, the administration originally came out and gave sort of a quasi-apology. Do you know why they did that? Did they do that more as they didn’t know what was going on and they figured get ahead of the story? Or are they going to retract that apology? Do you have any idea what’s going on with the administration at this point?
Student: I have no clue what is going to happen in the future with what the school is going to put a statement out. It was almost forced in the beginning with getting attacks from all over the country, our diocese and school were put in a hard situation and just with the evidence at that time they had to make to a statement and a statement was made unfortunately.
Shapiro: There’s a new attempt by members of the media to move beyond this controversy and try and castigate your school as racist, bigoted, anti-gay. I’m wondering if one of you guys can speak to that. What’s your school actually like?
Student: Our school has always maintained great respect for people of all different socio-economic classes, racial classes, and anyone of any sort of background. We are extremely involved in our community and I’ve gone to school there, this is my fourth year there, I have not seen any sort of racist undertones. We have African-American students and African-American students can attest to how well we treat everybody. We have so much community service in different parts of our city, not just nice neighborhoods, but also in the inner-city neighborhoods as well.
Shapiro: Let me ask you one more question, then let you guys go, because I know you have a busy day and I really appreciate your time coming on to shed some light, especially given the fact that you are high school students who have now been targeted by the mainstream media and many members of the Left with legitimate violence in some cases. So, I’m old enough to remember when the Parkland shooting happened, you guys are old enough to remember too, because it happened like five minutes ago, it happened last year. And the media determined that it was absolutely off limits to go after high school students who had been associated with the tragedy because they were high school students; it’s not appropriate to target high school students. Obviously, you guys have been treated in a very different way. To what do you attribute the differential treatment of the media between certain high school students and you guys who have obviously been targeted for a media tsunami?
Student: I think the media just needed somewhere to put the blame. I think the media sometimes forgets that even though we are young adults, we’re still minors and we can’t really, it was more like an attack, we were put in a hard situation. And as minors, when people really find a way to put a minor in a hard situation, it’s really hard for them to respond.
I felt like they were looking for trouble. They were trying to incite us into doing something, into trying to push their agenda. And I feel like we were just kind of the scapegoats and placed in that situation to further their agenda. So they kind of used us as a way for them to further their agenda.