CINCINNATI – A Catholic high school in Kentucky apologized on Saturday after a violent backlash erupted on social media while a widely shared video showed a group of young men surrounding the indigenous protesters in Washington, D.C.

The video shows a young man with a "Make America Great Again" cap, who is nearby and looks at a man who plays the drums while other young people around them cheer and sing. Some of the viewers seem to wear clothes with the Covington Catholic High School badge in Park Hills, Kentucky.

The indigenous man holding a drum participated in an Indigenous Peoples' March and was later identified as Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam veteran and Native American elder of the Omaha tribe, by Indian Country Today.

It's even worse when you see the effect of the whole mafia. pic.twitter.com/Oe7Zn5srOB

– Lulu says (@ lulu_says2) January 19, 2019

In a joint statement on Saturday, the school and the Diocese of Covington said they were reviewing the incident and that "they would take appropriate measures, up to and including expulsion."

"We condemn the actions of the students of Covington Catholic High School specifically towards Nathan Phillips, and the Native Americans in general, on January 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, DC We extend our sincere apologies to Mr. Phillips: This behavior is unlike the teachings of the Church on the dignity and respect of the human person, "the statement said.

The people on the social media platforms condemned the incident as an attempt by the youth group to intimidate the protesters and requested a response from the school.

The Covington Catholic website said the students planned to attend the March for Life event, which was held on Friday in Washington, DC, on the same day as the Indigenous Peoples' March.

"We know that this incident has also tainted all the testimony of the March for Life and we express our sincerest apologies to all who attended the March and to all those who support the pro-life movement," said the school and the diocese in your statement Saturday.

Covington Catholic was criticized on social media after a heated moment at a march of Indigenous Peoples in Washington DC The school reported that students attended a March for Life on the same day as the incident. (Photo: Screenshot of the Covington Catholic website)

The commotion spread on social networks on Saturday morning, when millions watched videos of the scene.

The journalist who identified the old man as Phillips, Vincent Schilling, spoke with The Enquirer by telephone on Saturday.

Schilling, a member of the Mohawk tribe and a veteran, said he participated in a ceremony two years ago with Phillips to honor the Native American veterans at the Arlington National Cemetery.

"As a Native American journalist, I consider this to be one of the most naive of naive demonstrations, I can not even say naive, it's racism, it's blatant racism," Schilling said.

Schilling added that Phillips has been harbaded in the past. A The Fox affiliate in Detroit reported in 2015 that Eastern Michigan University students threw racist insults at her.

"The guy just went through a lot," Schilling said.

Schilling added that, as a member of the Mohawk tribe, deference to the elderly is a respected ideal.

"Seeing Mr. Phillips treated in this way is an incalculable lack of disrespect, and it is absolutely unacceptable in the native culture," he said.

Phillips was singing a song about the activism and autonomy of indigenous peoples, Schilling said.

"What's sad about all this is that it's not surprising," Schilling said. "Because as a native man, I've had it countless times, I've been mocked, I've been mocked, my culture has been ridiculed." This is just another brick on the wall.

"I was so eager to get close to those children and tell them:" You know this is a Vietnam veteran, right? "

About 140,000 Native Americans are veterans, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indians.

Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, one of the first two Native American congressmen, tweeted about the old woman on Saturday.

Kaya Taitano, Chamoru activist from Guam, filmed a video interview of the man included in the thread that Haaland retweeted.

Taitono shared with The Enquirer an extended version of the shortest video that has gone viral.

In the video, the man identified as Phillips says he heard the chants of "building that wall, building that wall" during the incident.

"This is indigenous land, we're not supposed to have walls here, we never did it for millennia, before someone else came here, we never had walls, we never had a prison," he said. "We always take care of our elders, we take care of our children … We teach them the good of evil".

In the extended version of the video, the man looks down and sighs.

"Maybe all of us who are in this mall here tonight, our relatives of seven generations (as of now) will come back here and say that something good happened here," he said.

Covington Catholic's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts have been made private, preventing the public from viewing the content of those accounts.

The high school, about 5 miles south of Cincinnati, is a private school for boys with approximately 550 students, according to privateschoolreview.com.

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