A Polish lawmaker has issued an invitation to students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky to address the Polish Parliament after they were falsely accused of mocking Native Americans following the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
“Dear Covington Catholic students, I’d like to invite you to the Polish Parliament. After watching this video, I am now standing up for these wrongfully accused young men and all of you!,” wrote Dominik Tarczyński, Conservative member of the Polish Parliament, and newly elected Vice President of the European Conservatives in Council of Europe, in a Jan. 20 Twitter post.
“You are very welcome to come and speak out what You believe in,” he added.
Dear Covington Catholic students,
I’d like to invite You to the Polish Parliament
After watching this video, I Am now standing up for these wrongfully accused young men and all of You!
You are very welcome to come and speak out what You believe in!
— Dominik Tarczyński (@D_Tarczynski) January 21, 2019
A short video released on social media this weekend made it appear that a group of students from Covington Catholic High School might have accosted Native American activist Nathan Phillips, whereas more extensive footage from different angles made it clear that it was Mr. Phillips who approached the boys and began playing his drum provocatively in the face of one of them.
Videos show that the students were not propagating racist abuse, they were being victimized by it. One of the activists who confronted the group told them: “You white people go back to Europe where you came from! This is not your land!”
In an interview Tuesday with LifeSiteNews, Mr. Tarczyński urged the boys to be “brave” in the face of the slander and threats being leveled against them.
“Dear American Friends — dear students — be brave as your President has been brave. Bravery is very important at this moment in time, for America and for the world. We need you. Be brave!” he said.
Pulling no punches, the Polish parliamentarian said the U.S. mainstream media had been guilty of “manipulation of the facts.”
“This is about honest reporting of basic facts. In my opinion—considering the whole situation—there are some members of the American Media that are engaged with full manipulation of the facts,” he said. “These students were harassed — they did nothing wrong — and yet, even now, so many are targeting them and blaming them.”
“It’s absolutely uncalled for, and unfair. This is why I thought it would be a good thing to have representation from the school, at the Polish Parliament, to have them as witnesses to this debate, fairly,” he said.
Mr. Tarczyński said he wanted to provide the boys with the chance to “witness to our experiences as Catholics thrown into the public sphere — about the role of Catholic Youth in public and political discourse throughout the world.”
“Frankly, I did this as an act of solidarity, of support — these young people need support, and their voices, unhindered,” he said.
When I saw these videos, “I found myself witnessing just terrible, terrible harassment and I felt they needed support,” Tarczyński said. “They need support now. You see this example isn’t only isolated to America. It isn’t just ‘American Catholics.’ It’s not even about Poland. This is about honest reporting of basic facts.”
“What the Left is trying to do — especially in Europe — is to force us to separate Faith from the State, to separate your actions at work from your beliefs,” he said.
“Those pushing this narrative cannot use a logical argument, so they try to push us aside and delegitimize our voices,” he said. “They try to restrict even our rights.”
In the case of Europe, the battle also touches on the question of Christian identity, Tarczyński said.
“This idea of ‘openness,’ ‘diversity’ and all this humanistic, secularist rhetoric — when you simply look at the history of our continent, the history of Europe it was logically based — built on Christian Faith and a culture derived from that Faith,” he said.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome