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The Kentucky high school student seen in a viral video standing-face-to-face with a Native American protester at a Washington rally spoke out for the first time Sunday evening, claiming in a statement that he and his classmates were taunted by a group of African-American protesters and saying that he and his family had received death threats.
Nick Sandmann, a junior at Covington Catholic High School, said he was “mortified that so many people have come to believe something that did not happen — that students from my school were chanting or acting in a racist fashion toward African Americans or Native Americans. I did not do that, do not have hateful feelings in my heart and did not witness any of my classmates doing that.”
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The students initially were accused of mocking a Native American participant in the Indigenous Peoples March, which coincided with the March for Life. A snippet of video from the apparent confrontation quickly gained traction on social media, with many condemning the students — some of whom were wearing “Make America Great Again” apparel — and some calling for them to be identified and harassed. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington and the high school issued a joint statement apologizing to the activist, identified as Nathan Phillips Saturday.
However, the emergence of longer video that appears to show some students being harassed prompted some conservatives to take back their earlier criticisms of the students.
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Sandmann said he and his classmates had taken part in the March for Life and had arrived at the Lincoln Memorial to meet the buses that would take them back to Kentucky.
However, Sandmann said, the students were confronted by four members of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, who “called us ‘racists,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘white crackers,’ ‘f—-ts,’ and ‘incest kids.’ They also taunted an African-American student from...
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