“I’m so tired already.”
On Monday evening, “linds,” as the young woman calls herself on Twitter, posted a video that appears to show some of the “Make American Great Again”-hatted teens shouting at her and her friends. The tweet has since been eagerly liked and shared by hundreds of thousands of Twitter users, many of whom have hailed it as definitive proof of the boys’ depravity.
In the eight-second clip, the group of about a dozen youths can be heard yelling “MAGA,” President Donald Trump’s slogan. In a follow-up tweet, linds claimed they also said “Build the wall” and asked the girls how old they were. Some people, she noted, claimed to hear the word “slut.”
The girl in the video rolled her eyes and said, “I’m so tired already.”
Internet sleuths convincingly confirmed that at least some of the boys in the video were part of the larger crowd that ended up in the viral face-off with a Native American activist Friday in Washington, DC.
The Covington Catholic boys harrassed my friends and I before the incident with Nathan Phillips even happened. I'm tired of reading things saying they were provoked by anyone else other than their own egos and ignorance ??♀️ pic.twitter.com/utdPFii92D
— linds (@roflinds) January 21, 2019
In the original video, Nick Sandmann was seen standing amid dozens of his classmates, who had bused in from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky to participate in the anti-abortion March for Life. He smiled, or by some accounts “smirked,” in the face of the Omaha elder Nathan Phillips, who chanted and beat a ceremonial drum.
That was enough for much of the mainstream press and social media to conclude that Sandmann was effectively part of a white mob, which ― hopped up on Trumpian bigotry ― had surrounded and harassed Phillips.
However, additional videos and accounts, including by Sandmann and Phillips, later established that Phillips had actually broken off from the Indigenous People’s March and approached the boys, who were at the time being hectored by a group of Black Israelites.
It was reported on Monday that the most widely circulated of version of the original video may have been a foreign disinformation campaign.
Amid condemnation from conservatives and reasonable people, many journalists and commentators sought to backpedal their hot takes. But others doubled down.
It was into this ferment that linds dropped her video of alleged harassment. She explicitly offered the footage as support for the unsupported liberal narrative, saying: “I’m tired of reading things saying they were provoked by anyone else other than their own egos and ignorance.”
Wow!!! Absolutely ridiculous behavior!!! I’m soooo mad about folks trying to paint them as “just kids”!!! They KNEW what they were doing!!! You should send your video to Covington Catholic School!!! Smdh!!!
— m.diane (@dimarcon42) January 22, 2019
However, in a microcosm of the larger debate over the incident, skeptics pushed back, too. Even some liberals cautioned against over-interpreting the eight-second clip without context.
Surely you don’t think we would build an opinion based on an 8 second video?
— Rickey (@PhatMagic350) January 22, 2019
- A young woman being shouted at by young boys in a video said to have been taken in Washington, DC, on Jan. 17, 2019.: Screen grab from Twitter