In January, teen Nick Sandmann became a figure of national derision after his smiling encounter with Native American activist Nathan Phillips after the Indigenous Peoples March.
Sandman was part of a school group in Washington DC for a conservative Christian event.
Sandman and his schoolmates were photographed and videotaped harassing people around the city before the standoff at the Lincoln Memorial.
And while a poorly chaperoned mob of adolescent boys can escalate as they goad each other, boys will be boys is not an excuse for catcalling and harassing people.
The Covington Catholic boys harrassed my friends and I before the incident with Nathan Phillips even happened. I'm… https://t.co/1QcGWROcBE— linds (@linds)1548111881.0
This video is short because we walked by and were surprised to be yelled at. I took my phone out to send it to my f… https://t.co/aQF3OLxOPf— linds (@linds)1548123179.0
Also for those asking the full details, the interaction wasnt very complicated. We walked by, they started yelling,… https://t.co/hgVj39vFVz— linds (@linds)1548123203.0
Last thing, for people wondering what they yelled, all we specifically heard was "MAGA", "Build the Wall", and some… https://t.co/MVu9njYBKc— linds (@linds)1548124460.0
In another video at the Lincoln Memorial, one of the Covington boys can be heard saying:
"It's not rape if you enjoy it."
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie Why does #CovCath, an all boy's school send their sons to DC to march about women's rep… https://t.co/g6rpz6tfCR— #WWJCD✌💚🌎☀ (@#WWJCD✌💚🌎☀)1548247727.0
@TheView Despite what that Nick Sandman & @CovCathColonels want you to believe, THIS👇🏽had NOTHING to do with the bl… https://t.co/1N0DytcBuT— Chet Powell (@Chet Powell)1548174035.0
Sandman's family would later file a libel lawsuit against The Washington Post for "targeting and bullying" him.
Indigenous Peoples March Washington, D.C. youtu.be
When a federal judge allowed part of Sandmann's lawsuit to move forward, President Trump responded on Twitter by supporting the teen while attacking The Post.
A Federal Judge is allowing the Nick Sandman libel suit to move forward against the thoroughly disgusting Washingto… https://t.co/htaktLBrKB— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1572438381.0
The family's lawsuit claims that The Post singled out Sandmann because he was a "white, Catholic student wearing a red 'Make America Great Again' souvenir cap" in the video.
Thank you Mr. President!! https://t.co/94OBaVp9YJ— Nick Sandmann (@Nick Sandmann)1572441770.0
The family has asked for $250 million in damages.
The Washington Post staff better be preparing plenty of 'Nick Sandmann Is An Austere Scholar' headlines— Benny (@Benny)1572296967.0
All 33 statements that the lawsuit claimed were libelous were initially dismissed by Judge William Bertelsman, who said they were all protected by the First Amendment.
@HuffPostPol Despicable— Sylvia Graham (@Sylvia Graham)1572454676.0
After reviewing a revised version of the lawsuit, however, the Judge decided that three of the 33 statements would need further review, hence the "success" Trump is congratulating.
@HuffPostPol As if anything else could be expected: in his support of this kid suing one of the world's greatest ne… https://t.co/uroozDZXD5— Just Me (@Just Me)1572454854.0
Each of the three statements now entering into the "discovery" phase of the case involve quotes from Phillips in their article.
He claimed Sandmann and the other students "blocked" him and "would not allow him to retreat" towards the Lincoln Memorial.
@realDonaldTrump The Washington Post reported this two days ago 😂😂😂😂. Maybe you should get your subscription back.— Tony Posnanski (@Tony Posnanski)1572438531.0
@realDonaldTrump When it comes to defamation and libel, Trump and his family are total hypocrites. Trump falsely ac… https://t.co/ByHrVezR0b— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1572439213.0
It is unclear why President Trump would so publicly side with the young man except for the fact that he is a Trump supporter. Similar lawsuits have been filed against CNN and NBC by Sandmann's family making similar claims.
The book White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America is available here.