Native American activist Nathan Phillips confronted MAGA hat-wearing teens from Covington Catholic high school at the March for Life, where video of his interaction with the students went viral in the mainstream media. This is not the first time Phillips has garnered media attention accusing students of racism. Phillips previously accused students from Eastern Michigan University of being racist toward him in 2015. (READ: Phillips Starred In Skrillex Video About Attacking Police).
In that 2015 instance, Phillips also approached the students, not the other way around, though he claimed the students called him over.
Here is Phillips describing the encounter, which sparked local media attention and student activist outrage:
Peter D’Abrosca highlighted this April 2015 report from Fox 2 in Detroit:
An Ypsilanti man says he was trying to teach a few students dressed in American Indian theme party about respecting Native Americans.
Not long afterward, Nathan Phillips said that an interaction with party-goers and students turned ugly.
Nathan Phillips says he was out for a noon walk on a Saturday in mid-April.
He walked by a home where he saw Eastern Michigan University students dressed as Native Americans.
“They had little feathers on, I was just going to walk by,” Phillips said. “A group of them said ‘Come on over, come here.'”
He says he walked over to the fence and saw roughly 30 to 40 students involved in a theme party.
“They had their face painted,” Phillips said. “I said what the heck is going on here. ‘Oh we are honoring you.’ I said no you are not honoring me.”
It was a statement he says they took offense to.
“Then started whooping and hollering,” he said. “I said that wasn’t honoring, that was racist. Then at that time, it really got ugly.”
Phillips says he was bombarded with racial slurs.
“(They said) ‘Go back to the reservation, you blank indian,'” he said.
One student, he says, threw a beer can at him.
“If I would have stayed where I was at, it would have hit me in the head,” he said. “I backed up and it hit me in the chest.”
He had seen enough at that point and says he called the police.
“By the time police got there, it was like there was no party there at all,” he said.
Phillips filed a report with campus police who tell FOX 2 they are investigating the matter.
FOX 2 stopped by the home in question. Someone came to the door, but didn’t open up.
Why did Phillips go over to the fence? Why not just walk away?
“For me just to walk by and have a blind eye to it,” he said. “Something just didn’t allow me to do it.”
He claims this group referred to themselves as the Hurons, the former mascot at EMU at one time.
“The mascot issue at the university was changed 20 years ago,” Phillips said. “That I’m dealing with it 20 years later … There’s a lot of hate behind that.”
As for what should happen to the students he claimed harassed him, he hopes others can learn from this.
“Whoever would sit judgement on them, the university the law, society, that is their job,” Phillips said. “I will pray for them that they will see a better way.”
Eastern Michigan issued a statement that says the investigation is ongoing and they will comply with policies and procedures.
Some students say that doesn’t go far enough. They plan a news conference Wednesday to make sure this issue is not forgotten.
City of Denver Unanimously Votes to Rename Columbus Park “La Raza Park”
There might come a time when nothing in the US is named after Christopher Columbus.
The Denver City Council unanimously voted to rename Columbus Park last week Monday, and now it will be named “La Raza Park.”
“La raza” is Spanish for “the race,” which has connotations with Latino identity politics. A Denver Post article tells us that the phrase “viva la raza” (long live the race) was the “rallying cry of the Chicano movement in the 1960s and ’70s.” The Chicano Movement encouraged Mexican ethnic and cultural solidarity with a particular emphasis on their indigenous heritage. The movement, however, rejected assimilation and thus the term “Mexican-American,” essentially branding themselves as the Hispanic version of the Black Power movement.
Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval claims that the unanimous vote was an act of officially naming a park that has “always” been unofficially called by its new name. “La raza is a word of unity and about celebrating community,” she said without a hint of irony.
The reason for officially renaming the park is about what you’d expect, namely because Christopher Columbus is irredeemably associated with colonialism and genocide and is thus not fit to be honored in any way, shape, or form.
Arturo Gonzalez, a retired professor, said that “Mexican Chicanos and Indigenous peoples have suffered genocide over the last 500 years. We live with that trauma. We continue to live with that trauma.”
Renaming parks, buildings, and schools that were previously named after so-called “problematic” or “white supremacist” historical figures is nothing new, of course, but the practice has accelerated over the past several months due to the hysteria following the George Floyd riots.
Big League Politics has covered many instances of this phenomenon. One of the most recent instances included a San Francisco school district renaming Abraham Lincoln High School because black lives apparently “didn’t matter” to him:
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