Twitter Video Riles Diversity Club Members

Arjun Chhabra, Staff Writer

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Once again, a video demonstrating racist rhetoric has gone viral; but this time, it was the sight of high school junior Nick Sandmann and his “Make America Great Again” hat that made people take note of his tirade against a Native American man on January 18.

It began when Sandmann and his peers gathered around the Omaha Nation tribe, led by 64-year-old veteran Nathan Phillips, outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC shortly after an anti-abortion rally called “March for Life”.

The sight was threatening for Phillips, who said in an interview with CNN, “I realized there were other people with me and I didn’t want them to get hurt because there were 100-plus of these young men, who were well-fed and healthy and strong and ready to do harm to somebody.”

Sandmann hurled insults at Phillips to be later captured and posted online. However, most people focused on Sandmann’s Trump apparel.

According to USA Today, activist John Pavlovitz from Northern California said that the MAGA hats “are no longer a neutral symbol. Whenever those hats are worn, they’re going to make a statement that brings with it many assumptions — a resistance to diversity, a resistance to equality. There’s homophobia in the image of those hats that comes automatically when we see them.”

President Trump was quick to bounce back with a tweet on January 25 that read, “Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgments proving out to be false – smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback!”

However, according to senior Maxine Gill, who had discussed the incident with her fellow Youth and Government members, “It was very rude and obviously condescending of him – the way he was looking at the Native Americans and his apology were really obviously untrue. He didn’t actually mean what he was saying. It was very evident from the pictures.”

In his defense in an interview on The Today Show, Sandmann claimed that he was not “disrespectful” to Phillips. “I mean, in hindsight, I wish we could’ve walked away and avoided the whole thing. But I can’t say that I’m sorry for listening to him and standing there,” he said.

Senior Sofia West disagreed. She believes Sandmann “is a symbol for white privilege and their blatant disregard for Native people and their culture and customs.”

The incident disturbed the members of Campolindo’s newly established Diversity Club, whose purpose is to create equality for all students no matter their race or gender.

Junior Diversity Club member Maddie House said, “I never think like something like that would happen at Campo, but if it did the whole group of clubs would be responding, not just 1.”

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