- The Washington Times - Monday, January 28, 2019

The March for Life apologized Monday for rushing to judgment on the Covington Catholic students, saying they experienced “real and inexcusable intimidation, insults and harassment” after attending the Jan. 18 pro-life rally.

The large group of teenage boys was waiting for buses back to Northern Kentucky when a handful of Black Hebrew Israelite protesters called them racist and homophobic slurs, after which the teens were approached by participants from the Indigenous Peoples March.

The boys were accused of harassing Omaha Nation elder Nathan Phillips as he sang and beat a drum face-to-face with student Nick Sandmann, although video shows that Mr. Phillips and several other adults initiated the contact at the Lincoln Memorial.

A man with Mr. Phillips can be seen telling the boys, “white people go back to Europe, where you came from.”

“For our rush to judgment and initial statement based on incomplete and misleading information, we apologize,” said the March for Life in a statement. “The facts that have since come to light reveal that the boys from Covington Catholic experienced some real and inexcusable intimidation, insults, and harassment.”  

The March for Life said its initial statement was made based on “incomplete information.” The pro-life group retracted its first statement Jan. 20 and said a “further statement would follow once more facts came to light.”

The Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School apologized in a Friday release, saying they were “bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely.” A number of media figures and celebrities has also expressed regrets for jumping to conclusions.

“We have tremendous respect for the schools, families and young people who travel long distances and make sacrifices to attend the March each year,” said the March for Life. “In the future, when it comes to the accuracy of breaking news reports or social media coverage of the March, we will not trust, we will verify.”

Mr. Phillips has said that he approached the teens to calm a tense situation and accused them of chanting “build the wall.” So far no video from the incident has shown that.

The 46th annual March for Life and the Indigenous Peoples March were held the same day in Washington, D.C.


• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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