Philip DeFranco Lies About MAGA Students

Full unedited two hour long video exonerates Catholic Trump supporters and implicates Native American.

Every month there’s a new supposed hate incident story that spreads like wildfire on Twitter. Just last November, the hate crime that supposedly took place in Chipotle turned out to be a total hoax that Twitter plastered all over its front page. It’s now January and Twitter is serving up a fresh hate crime story. This one revolves around an incident that occurred between a school group of MAGA-supporting Catholics and a Native American actvist. The usual left wing activists like Sean King have already pounced on this story to confirm that America has a white supremacy problem.

I am so deeply grieved and angry by this as young kids in MAGA hats surrounded and mocked a beloved Native American elder yesterday. When your power is centered in your whiteness, mocking others who are unlike you makes you feel strong. But it’s weak. And despicable.

43,000 progressives favorited his tweet, further spreading this story into the Twitter sphere. Chris Evans sicced 10 million more followers on the story and Terry Crews another million.

This is appalling. The ignorance. The gall. The disrespect. It’s shameful. And sadly on brand. When something like this isnt even surprising, it’s evidence to our place in the cycle of recreating our darker chapters. That Native American man showed incredible strength and dignity

Comparisons to racism against blacks were promptly made to bountiful likes and retweets. This outrage didn’t stop with blue checkmarks on Twitter, however. Before all the video evidence had even been published, outlets like The Guardian and USA Today were already igniting more online anger. However, a somewhat surprising addition to this irresponsible group is Philip Defranco. In an unplanned video that received over 369k views and 16k likes, he further peddles the story that this group of Catholic students were intimidating and harassing a Native American just because he was an “other.” He splices in a few short clips of the now infamous incident.

Unfortunately for Defranco’s audience, it appears he skimmed a few headlines and then decided to blast this out to 1.2 million followers. He suggests at the end of the 2 minute rant that it’s his day off and that he’s going to “continue disregarding the internet.” Given how long Defranco’s been covering news, he should know that publishing his poorly researched, ill considered thought blurbs is an act of utter irresponsibility. If he had taken a moment to review the footage for any serious length of time, he would have found that it was not the students who accosted the Native American activists. The video footage that continues to come out clearly shows that the Native American activists inserted themselves into their group to start chanting and banging on the drum.

The Washington Post falsely claims that the students “swarmed around him as he and other activists were wrapping up the march and preparing to leave.” They also falsely claim that the students were blocking the activists from moving, when it’s patently clear that the Native American activists made an effort to walk straight through the middle of the group who were having a school rallying cry. When the activists enter the group, the students start joining in on the clapping and chanting. However, the primary Native American activist in question makes his way towards one of the students and beats his drum right in his face. It should be noted that this same Native American activist has a history of claiming racial harassment. The comments made by one of his fellow activists reveals what likely prompted the activist with the drum to want to insert himself into the crowd of Trump supporters. He calls out, “You white people go back to Europe, this is not your land.” At this point, it becomes clearer that at least part of the group of Native American activists were angry that the students was present simply because of their skin color. One can only imagine what would happen in a reversed situation where Trump supporters pushed their way into a group of Latin Americans yelling “You brown people go back to Mexico, this is not your land,” all while banging a drum in one of their faces. There’s absolutely no doubt, Defranco would be thoughtlessly singing another tune.

Despite this, the Catholic student calmly stands with a bemused expression on his face and his hands in his pockets. Some are arguing, that while the Native Americans instigated this interaction, the students should have meekly walked away. Of course, this could have been an ideal response, but as we all understand these expectations are easier heralded as detached, rational observers, than done by high school kids caught in the middle of such a situation. Further, it’s not as if standing his ground is an outsized reaction by any means. It’s also, at the minimum, questionable why we’re meant to lower standards of civility for those who’ve had more than enough years to learn what constitutes acceptable conduct. After all, even the youngest among us understand what it means to obnoxiously bang a drum in someone’s face.

Philip Defranco then thoughtlesly blurbs that this is a clear cut case of hateful Trump supporters just being hateful. But again, if he had even casually reviewed the available footage, he would have seen a group of anti-Trump demonstrators attempt to ridicule the Catholic students by claiming that the president is a homosexual. The Catholic Trump supporters, in response, scoff and question why anyone should care about an individual’s sexual orientation.

Despite accusing these students of racial malice, both Philip Defranco and The Washington Post’s reporting on this incident willfully neglects to cover the accounts of the students themselves. Cincinnati’s Local 12, however, have reported on one of their accounts. The response from one student who was present claims the following:

“As we are an all-male school that loves to get hyped up (hence our cheer section’s name “Colonel Crazies”), and as we have done for years prior we decided to do some cheers pass the time. […] We were approached by a group of adults led by Nathan Phillips, with Philips beating his drum. They forced their way into the center of our group. We initially thought this was a cultural display since he was beating along to our cheers and so we clapped to the beat […] However, after multiple minutes of Mr. Philips beating his drum directly in the face of my friend, we became confused…”

While many conclude that the students should apologize for not walking away, we’re well passed that conversation as this group of Catholic students are now facing countless attempts at doxing and expulsion. This is a controversy in the first place for one central reason: it's an instance of a white kid refusing to atone for the original sin of whiteness. Not falling into retreat when approached by a politically driven Native American actor is meant to be the very picture of historical injustice in America, and he is it's scapegoat.

Lex Villena