A Northern Arapaho Tribal Member Reflects on Nathan Phillips & the Covington High School Students' Confrontation by Ron Howard

Opinion
21 days ago
A Northern Arapaho Tribal Member Reflects on Nathan Phillips & the Covington High School Students' Confrontation

I am a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe and a veteran of the United States Army. I’d like to address the incident with the elder from the Omaha Nation, Mr. Nathan Phillips, and the high school boys in Washington, D.C. I’ve seen the videos from start to finish and I think there are a lot of guilty parties involved. But my initial opinion that the boys showed complete disrespect to Nathan Phillips remains the same. 

Coming from a Catholic school, of course the boys should have known better, but their arrogant privilege was painfully apparent by the MAGA hats they wore and the tomahawk chop they displayed. The tomahawk chop is as racist as calling a black person the N-word or giving a Nazi salute to a Jewish person. Why a Catholic school, which is tax exempt, would be getting involved in a political protest is beyond me. If they want to protest, fine, but they should not be representing the school they attend while doing it. 

In my opinion, Mr. Phillips is a true warrior whose purpose is to defend, police and fight. Mr. Phillips policed the situation by standing between the two groups and put himself in harm’s way for the safety of all. Warriors defend their people and fight only when necessary. Those functions are honorable and I’m proud to be part of that society.

Photo from New York Times coverage.

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Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
Thank you for sharing your perspective on this, Ron Howard . It's so valuable to hear your voice on our site.
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Thanks so much for this, Ron Howard . Your voice is important and appreciated. I am especially glad that you shared this: "The tomahawk chop is as racist as calling a black person the N-word or giving a Nazi salute to a Jewish person." I don't think this got nearly enough coverage.
Kelley Marlin
Two words: "arrogant privilege."
Mike Prochaska
I couldn’t agree more
Teacher Karen
I don't understand where the adults were, but then I've been wondering where thoughtful, reasoned adults have been for awhile. I embrace our free speech right, but I sure have a hard time understanding the hate in the hearts of so many of the people that were in DC protesting.
Mike Prochaska
Adults should have been there and should have made them stop!
Joe Campbell
I believe what you wrote about Mr. Phillips. A real warrior does put himself in harms way to protect others.
Matthew Lister
Ron, very well said-- it is refreshing to see someone who is part of the culture helping others to understand the culture. You gave me a perspective that I had not considered before (a warrior's purpose to defend, police and fight.) Well said and much appreciated!

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