January 24, 2019
Covington Catholic High School Teen Shrugs Off Blackface Video, Tells Fox News It's 'Showing School Spirit'

After the parents of a Covington Catholic High School teen hired a Republican public relations firm founded by a former adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as Inquisitr reported, Covington teens appeared Wednesday in nationally televised interviews, attempting to defend a viral video reportedly showing them taunting a Native American demonstrator in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

But in one interview, conducted by Fox & Friends anchor Steve Doocy, another Covington student, Sam Schroder, was asked to explain a different, earlier video that appeared to show boys from the school engaged in racist behavior. The video has since been deleted from YouTube, but according to a New York Daily News account — as well as still images from the video that remain online — its shows Covington boys taunting an African-American student basketball player from another school.

Several of the Covington teens shown taunting the black player are themselves wearing "blackface" makeup. While the practice known as "blackout" exists at other schools, it has been widely recognized as offensive and has been banned at other institutions. According to what Schroeder told Doocy in the Wednesday interview, Covington has also now requested that students refrain from the practice after the basketball video became public.

But Schroder also defended the practice of wearing blackface at school events, as quoted by the news site, Raw Story. Doocy asked Schroder how he would "explain" the blackface video.

"I'd just explain it as showing our school spirit," student Sam Schroder replied. "We had many themes, like nerd, business, white-out, blue-out, black-out, as you've seen in the video....But I know the kids meant nothing by it. It's just showing school spirit."

Nick Sandmann, the teen at the center of the viral video showing the Covington boys' allegedly confronting Native American demonstrator Nathan Phillips, also appeared on television Wednesday morning in a pre-recorded interview with NBC's Today Show, during which he also characterized the chants of his classmates at the demonstrator as "school spirit," as quoted by Vox.com.

The full, 96-minute video that shows events leading up to the supposed confrontation also shows the Covington boys in an argument with members of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a fringe religious sect whose members believe that they are direct descendants of the original Israelites portrayed in the Bible, and who are known for their confrontational tactics.

At one point, a member of the "Israelites" tells the Covington boys, "I don't see one black person in the crowd," according to a Washington Post account.

When the boys point to the lone African-American member of their group, the Black Hebrew Israelites member says, "Y'all got one n****r in the crowd."

A Covington boy then replies, "No, we've got two."