Part 2: Covington Catholic students were disrespectful

Jasmina Singmouangthong, Print Managing Editor

The Covington Catholic students were being disrespectful during Nathan Phillips’ demonstration and even before this whole occurrence. A video on Twitter emerged showing these students harassing young women as they were walking by. In the video, the students can be heard yelling, saying “MAGA”, “build the wall” and can also hear an inappropriate comment towards the end of the clip.

  When the students encountered the Hebrew Israelites, who were making racist comments, they began shouting school chants that they would say at sports events. They say they did this to “defuse” the situation. Defuse means to reduce the danger or tension in a difficult situation. If they truly wanted to “defuse” the situation, they shouldn’t have been chanting anything, which only provoked the matter. As high school students, they are old enough to know right from wrong. If they wanted to de-escalate the situation, walk away. Don’t stay. Staying in an area where the hostility is, is only asking for conflict.

  Nick Sandmann says he felt “singled out” by Phillips while beating his drum.

  According to a CNN article, Sandmann stated, “I believe he should re-think his tactics of invading the personal space of others, but that is his choice to make.”

 If you are uncomfortable about someone being in your personal space, most people’s first instinct is to move.

   But I can tell you my experience with Covington Catholic is that students are respectful of all races and cultures. We also support everyone’s right to free speech,” said Sandmann in a CNN interview.

  But in the videos you can see Sandmann just standing directly in front of Phillips and smirking. I was raised to respect elders no matter the circumstances and for Sandmann to smirk at Phillips showed just how much respect he lacks. Students were mocking Phillips and were acting obnoxious, not understanding why he was beating his drum or what he was doing. There is a difference between defusing and mocking. They were really being uncivil during the whole situation. The students should have embraced the situation because when you have a chance of learning about a new culture, you should take it.

  “When I took that drum and hit that first beat… it was a supplication to God,” said Phillips, a member of the Omaha tribe and a Marine veteran in a Washington Post interview. “Look at us, God, look at what is going on here; My America being torn apart by racism, hatred and bigotry.”

  There wasn’t anything Phillips did that seemed antagonistic for the students to react the way they did towards him, when all he was trying to do was calm things down. The way the students engaged with the situation is a representation of themselves, their school and what they stand for.

  Considering that some students were wearing MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats, they should understand wearing that hat brings a racist fashion to certain groups of people and should be ready to receive comments about how people feel.

  I believe this situation is a perfect example that shows the division in our country and how we should respect each other, regardless of religion and race. We can at least respect others because we are all human and should value others. We all desire acceptance, trust and respect.

  Stay tuned for my next week’s post about my opinion on Nathan Phillips.