The hats of Make America Great Again mocked an elderly Native American at the Lincoln Memorial



The confrontation videos show a smiling young man with the red hat Make America Great Again, who is standing right in front of the man, who was playing a drum and singing. You could see other children laughing, jumping and making fun of the songs.

"I did not feel safe in that circle," said Kaya Taitano, a student at the University of the District of Columbia who participated in the march and filmed the videos.

She told CNN that the teenagers were singing things like "Build the Wall" and "Trump 2020".

Taitano said the whole incident began when the teenagers and four young African-Americans, who had been preaching about the nearby Bible, began to shout and call each other.

It became quite intense, Taitano said, so Nathan Phillips, an elder from the Omaha tribe, began to play his drum and sing what he was told was a healing prayer, to help calm the situation.

Phillips walked through the crowd, and Taitano said that things were starting to calm down until he reached the smiling child seen in the video.

"This boy just refused to move and he just got in Nathan's face," he said.

Other boys were spinning around, she said. "They just surrounded him and they were making fun of him and making fun of the song, we really did not know what was going to happen there."

Phillips is a Vietnam veteran who says he served from 1972 to 1976. He was a director of the Native Youth Alliance and holds an annual ceremony honoring Native American veterans at the Arlington National Cemetery.

"I was scared, I was worried about my young friends, I do not want to hurt anyone," Philips told CNN's Sara Sidner. "I do not like the word & # 39; I hate." I do not even like to say it, but it was rampant hatred, it was like a storm.

The crowd kept growing while Phillips and the boy were face to face, but Phillips was still singing and playing his drum.

"What the young man was doing was blocking my escape." I wanted to leave. "I was thinking," How do I get out of this? I want to get away from that, "Phillips said.

Taitano said the confrontation continued until a chaperone arrived and led the teenagers to take a picture.

Some of the children could be seen wearing sweatshirts and jackets with the name of Covington Catholic High School, a school for children in northern Kentucky.

The school website said a group of students had planned to attend Friday's March for Life rally in Washington.

The school is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, and in a statement given to CNN affiliate WLWT, spokeswoman Laura Keener said the diocese would investigate the incident and take appropriate action.

"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 opposed to the teachings of the Church on the dignity and respect of the human person.

"The matter is being investigated and we will take the appropriate measures, up to and including expulsion." We know that this incident has also tainted all the testimony of the March for Life and we sincerely apologize to all who attended the March and to all. those who participated in the March, who support the pro-life movement. "

CNN has approached the school and the diocese to comment.

Taitano, who is from Guam, said she was raised to treat her elders with respect, so it hurt to see that they treated Phillips so badly.

Phillips also appeared annoyed in a video that Taitano published after the confrontation. He wiped away his tears as he talked about the chants of "Build that wall."

"I wish I could see that youth energy en mbade for, you know, put that energy into, you know, make this country really great by helping those who are hungry," Philips said.

Sara Sidner, Amanda Watts and Deanna Hackney of CNN contributed to this report.


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