In a short, viral video shared widely since Friday, Catholic high school students visiting Washington from Kentucky for the March for Life appeared to confront, and mock, Native Americans who had participated in the Indigenous Peoples March taking place the same day.

By Saturday, the video had been condensed into a single image: One of the students, wearing a Make American Great Again hat, smiles before an Omaha tribal elder, a confrontation viewers took as an act of aggression by a group of white youth against an indigenous community—and by extension, people of color more broadly. Online, reaction was swift and certain, with legislators, news outlets, and ordinary people denouncing the students and their actions as brazenly racist.