The Civility Pledge
* will be civil in my public discourse and behavior.
* will be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them.
* will stand against incivility when I see it.
Thanks to the sloppy, one-sided reporting of the malicious, agenda-
driven media, a group of Catholic high school teenagers and their
families have become the subjects of threats and harassment from a
hateful online outrage mob. Their only sins? Being white, Catholic, and
supporters of the president.
The full story has emerged in the wake of the fake news blitzkrieg over
the weekend, and the media outlets that spread defamatory smears
against the kids are now being warned to correct and retract their
stories or face a lawsuit. Contrary to the media's malicious narrative,
the kids were not racist rednecks mobbing a Native American elder with
hateful slurs. It was quite the opposite.
Los Angeles-based trial lawyer Robert Barnes offered to represent the
Covington families for free should they decide to sue the New York
I will represent the kids for free if they want to sue
@maggieNYT for obvious libel.
There are dozens of students laughing and egging
on the behavior. Will be interesting to see if anyone
is actually expelled, as officials suggest is possible
Barnes told PJ Media that he was working with the families to sue the
media outlets that defamed them.
He said that "anyone who doesn't correct and retract" their false
smears would be subject to a lawsuit and that updated stories merely
indicating "a more complex picture has emerged" would not necessarily
When asked if such stories would count as a retraction, he replied that
According to his website, Barnes has a history of taking on the causes
of underdogs: "Fighting for individuals against unethical law firms,
corrupt banks, and rogue government agents, Barnes continues the family
tradition his great-grandfathers started centuries ago, fighting for
the freedoms that founded America."
Video evidence and statements from multiple witnesses indicate that the
boys were targeted by two groups of protesters who hurled hateful,
racial, homophobic slurs at them while they waited on the steps of the
Lincoln Memorial for their bus after participating in the March for
It was while they were waiting for their bus that a black separatist
fringe group known for making outrageous, racist, anti-gay statements
went on a lengthy tirade against them.
Reason's Robby Soave provided some background on the Black Hebrew
Israelites in his report yesterday:
Far from engaging in racially motivated harassment, the group
of mostly white, MAGA-hat-wearing male teenagers remained
relatively calm and restrained despite being subjected to
incessant racist, homophobic, and bigoted verbal abuse by
members of the bizarre religious sect Black Hebrew Israelites,
who were lurking nearby. The BHI has existed since the late
19th century, and is best describes as a black nationalist
cult movement; its members believe they are descendants of
the ancient Israelites, and often express condemnation of
white people, Christians, and gays. DC-area Black Hebrews
are known to spout particularly vile bigotry.
The BHI members shouted profanities at the boys, calling them names
such as "cracker," "faggot," and "pedophile," and singled out a black
student for abuse, saying he was a "n*gger" who was going to be
murdered and have his organs harvested by the white kids.
After a while, the boys asked their chaperones if they could sing their
school songs to drown out the abusive taunts being hurled at them. The
boys rambunctiously sang the songs, but did not direct any racist slurs
at the agitators.
In the midst of this, a group of Native American activists from the
American Indian Movement began to march toward the high schoolers.
According to one of the kids' parents on Facebook, the leader initially
focused on her daughter, but because her horrified reaction was not the
sort of optics they were hoping to catch on camera, they moved on to
the more rambunctious boys.
According to this mom, Nathan Phillips and his mob first
harassed a 15 year old gir.
The Center for Security Studies describes what happened next:
They were not trying to pass by as there were clear and open
spaces on either side of the group of boys. As they march up,
one of the videos shows an agitator saying the boys were
targeted partly due to some wearing red Make America Great
Again (MAGA) hats associated with President Trump. The
activists were chanting and drumming and their leader, a man
named Nathan Phillips, continued into the group and marched
directly up to one boy who was simply standing quietly and
began drumming and chanting loudly inches from his face.
The boy did not react except for a slight smile as the man
continued to taunt him from close range for period of minutes.
At one point the boy can even be seen looking over his shoulder
and giving a signal to remain calm to some of his friends.
There are multiple videos of the event and none of them show
the boys chanting any racist slurs or Build the Wall as
Phillips had claimed they did. They show many of the boys
bouncing and chanting along to start with but eventually upon
seeing that Phillips was being aggressive they stopped
chanting with him and began chanting at him. At one point a
few of the boys did the Tomahawk Chop a gesture used widely
at sports events, but no racial or other slurs were employed
as seen in any of the available footage.
Incredibly, virtually all the major media outlets got it wrong. Their
own confirmation bias led them to tell a completely different story
over the weekend, basing their reportage on the dubious claims of
Nathan Phillips without bothering to verify his claims and without
seeking to hear the Covington teens' side of the story.
In Phillips' telling, the boys were the aggressors in the situation,
forming a mob around him as he was marching and chanting peacefully.
It was getting ugly, and I was thinking: Ive got to find myself an
exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln
Memorial, Phillips told the Washington Post. I started going that
way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way, and we were at an
impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldnt allow me to retreat.
Without video evidence, the media reported Phillips' claim that the
students subjected him to racist taunts and chanted Build the Wall.
In all the hours of video available online, no footage has emerged of
the kids doing any such thing.
Phillips later told the Detroit Free Press that the teenagers "were in
the process of attacking these four black individuals" and he was
trying to de-escalate the situation.
But the video footage taken by the black nationalists themselves does
not show the white teenagers attacking them. It shows the BHI members
targeting the Catholic kids with verbal abuse. Nevertheless, Phillips
described the innocent kids as "beasts" and the black extremists who
insulted him as "their prey."
"There was that moment when I realized I've put myself between beast
and prey," Phillips said. "These young men were beastly and these old
black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so
they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for
Again, the video evidence shows the opposite to be true. The "beasts"
were the BHI members and the Catholic teenagers were their "prey."
How hard would it have been for the media to find the full video, which
was already online, to verify Phillips' assertions before running with
them? Nothing Phillips was alleging could be corroborated in the viral
video clip of Phillips and the smiling teenager, but they reported his
claims as gospel anyway.
The media also reported that the longtime lefty agitator is a Vietnam
veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a "recon ranger" based
on his say-so, without bothering to verify whether the claim was true.
The Center for Security Studies had some questions about that:
This is not a valid name for any Marine specialty or unit
and Phillips age of 64 calls into question how he could have
completed training and served in Vietnam prior to the US
withdrawal. Several veterans groups are filing requests for
his service records to validate his tale.
Unfortunately, like practically everyone else, the boys' own school
threw them under the bus before all the facts were in, The Federalist
No sooner had the boys gotten on their bus than they were
thrown under it by their school and the Covington diocese,
who issued a joint statement condemning the students actions
and saying the matter was under investigation that appropriate
action would be taken. Um, if the matter is under
investigation, doesnt that suggest it might be good to wait
before condemning the behavior? Could it be that theres more
to the story than a short, viral video?
The school and the diocese owed these boys a full hearing
before coming to any conclusion. They now owe them an apology.
Since the story hit the news two days ago, an insatiable outrage mob
has flooded Twitter with disgusting invective, abuse, violent threats,
and calls to harass the Catholic kids, many of whom have been doxxed.
Allum Bokhari has a good rundown of the abuse at Breitbart.
This is just a small sample:
But you gotta punch that shit off one of those bitches faces
Punch the little mfs in the face
Pain is an excellent teacher https://t.co/36nvBUx2FN
Aaron Smarter (@AaronSmarter) January 19, 2019
This goon has 287,000 followers.
Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face
than this kids?
Is there any depth to which this harridan won't sink?
Ps. The reply from the school was pathetic and impotent.
Name these kids. I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think
these fuckers wouldnt dox you in a heartbeat, think again.
And of course, the execrable Brandon Friedman joined the mob:
1. "Because he's a kid" is no reason to withhold his identity.
If you want to say, "because his behavior doesn't warrant
ruining his life," then we can have that debate. But his age
alone should not protect him from consequences. I'll show you
why in the next tweet.
One Covington family that wasn't even at the March for Life is facing
death threats after being doxxed.
1) Yesterday was supposed to be a day of celebration for my
middle brother Alex, who got married last night. Instead my
family had to deal with the fallout of my youngest brother
#MichaelHodge being falsely accused for standing & smiling in
front of an indigenous man with a drum
2) People then proceeded to spam my family with harassments
and threats of physical violence. We then find out our parents
address was posted online. If that wasn't enough, our family
operated business has been slandered and attacked.
3) No one reviews evidence or does any due diligence, they
immediately escalate things to a state of frenzy over much of
nothing. The zealots scream for the head of #MichaelHodge
knowing that their will be zero consequences to them if
anything happens to him
4) My parents, uncles, & aunts, receive messages stating they
are pieces of shit parents and won't be able to protect
#MichaelHodge forever... seriously what kind of behavior is
5) #MichaelHodge is the best kid I know. He volunteers for
Special Olympics (took them skiing this Thursday) is involved
in the church youth group, doesn't drink/smoke (volunteer
member of the Drugs Free Club of America) and is an aspiring
6) People then started circulating articles of him regarding
his dreams and goals of being a chef, finds the college he
plans on attending and proceed to blow them up encouraging
them to rescind offer and calling him a racist POS...
7) You reach out saying how "terrible" of a family we are,
defame us, threaten us, and you know nothing about us. Yet
you circulate the information and spam us like it is the only
"truth" that has ever existed in your lives
8) You condemned my parents for being horrible role models,
yet you jumped to conclusions and were ready to string up an
innocent dude? Is that what you are teaching your
children/family? I sure hope not....
9)It saddens me people have nothing better to do on Saturday
then scour the internet for drama & then dig up info on a
family & rile up an army to attack them.Hold yourselves to a
higher standard, set a better example for your sphere of
influence, we will all be better off for it
Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School junior who was
targeted by Phillips and his drum because he was wearing a MAGA hat,
put out a statement refuting the media's lies. Sandmann wrote that his
family is receiving death threats because of the media's false
Rob Sanders, an attorney for the Kenton County Commonwealth, said on
Monday that police were investigating threats made against Covington
Catholic High School and some of its students, according to
Sanders wouldn't elaborate on the nature of the threats,
other than they were threats of violence against the school
He said Covington Catholic is working with law enforcement to
come up with a safety plan when school resumes Tuesday. He
wouldn't go into details of the plan.
Meanwhile, two groups were planning to face off with counter-
demonstrations on Tuesday, according to WCPO Cincinnati.
A "Stand with Covington Catholic High School rally" was scheduled to
start at 8 a.m. at the school, according to a Facebook post that has
since disappeared. "These young men need to be shown support and
encouragement. Stop the harassment," the post said.
And the Indian Movement Chapter of Indiana and Kentucky has planned a
"Peace Vigil To Call For An End To Racism" from 10 a.m. to noon at the
Diocese of Covington offices.
Their rally was initially scheduled to take place at the school.
"We have advocated non-violence and accountability for administration,
teachers and chaperones this entire time. Not once have we, as an
organization, threatened anyone," the post said.
Dems & the media want Trump to be more like Obama, but then he'd
have to audit liberals & wire tap reporters' phones.