Nathan Phillips, the Native American seen drumming in the video, was at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC as part of the Indigenous Peoples' March. Many of Lincoln's actions had been negative towards Native Americans, and many massacres of Native Americans took place during his time in office.
On today's AM Joy, host Joy Reid spoke with Nathan Phillips. In it, he spoke of the scene he faced just prior to the confrontation shown in the video.
He noted that there were two groups who were confronting each other towards the end of their march, the students and a group he referred to as, "black Israelites."
"During the end of our rally, they set up on the edge of our permitted area, our permitted space, and started saying things and instigating," said Phillips. "So, I told our folks who were still there, who were asking me if we should say something to them, ask them to move off or something, so I told them they were on the other side of our permitted area, so we can't say nothing, do nothing, and so just ignore them. And we did. And we were accomplishing that just fine until these other kids who were part of the March for Life that had just gotten done."
He said this was an eventual buildup over 1-2 hours, that started with about six of the students having an argument with the four black people mentioned, eventually swelling in size and surrounding the black protestors.
"They came back, 100-200 of them, and then they were just a big mob. Just an ugly, ugly mob," said Phillips.
Phillips says that his drumming was a prayer, calling on God to look at what was happening, even as the students mocked him and others.
Listen to the Interview below:
Image via screen capture from video source.
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