This morning Ed wrote about the preparation for possible legal action being taken by a lawyer working for the family of Nick Sandmann, the student who became a left-wing punching bag after a misleading video of his encounter with Nathan Phillips circulated online two weeks ago. In addition to the letters sent out to 54 organizations and individuals, another attorney working with the family released a video over the weekend offering a coherent look at what actually happened that day. The video’s caption reads:
2 weeks ago, the mainstream media, politicians, church officials, commentators, & celebrities rushed to judgment to wrongfully condemn, threaten, disparage & vilify Nick Sandmann based solely on a few seconds of an out-of-context video clip. It only takes 15 minutes to learn the truth. Here it is.
Most of the information in the video has already been brought out by other observers who took a fair look at what happened that day, but this clip really puts it together in a way that becomes undeniable. It was the Black Hebrew Israelites who were initiating the racist shouting at the Covington Kids and the kids put up with it without responding in kind.
Perhaps what is most striking about this is hearing Nathan Phillips own words about what he saw and heard that day even as the video shows his description is not remotely accurate. He describes the kids as animals who were snarling and ready to attack the Black Hebrew Israelites. But the video shows most of them are smiling.
As Ed pointed out earlier, it’s pretty unlikely any of the news organizations who piled on Sandmann and his classmates will wind up on trial. At worst, some of them might agree to settlements over their sloppy work. But if there’s one person who deserves to be held responsible for misleading people about what happened it’s Nathan Phillips. Especially telling is a moment when the kids, including Sandmann, walked away to their bus, Phillips and his group held a little celebration on the spot, cheering that they had won the encounter with the high school kids.
Here’s the clip. As the lawyer who created this says, it only takes 15 minutes to learn the truth. Unfortunately, that’s about 14 minutes longer than the media spent examining this before jumping to conclusions and coming down on these kids as racists.
This story was instantly adopted by the media as a visual metaphor for something larger happening in society. They were right. It just happens that the lesson is the opposite of what the media thought it was. The story here wasn’t racist white kids looking for trouble, it was racist black and Native American adults looking to create a confrontation with white kids they could turn to their advantage. They almost succeeded.