Nick Sandmann speaks at RNC on cancel culture, the ‘outraged mob’ and his smile in that photo

Nick Sandmann speaks at RNC on cancel culture, the ‘outraged mob’ and his smile in that photo
Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann - by and through his parents and natural guardians - has filed lawsuits against several media outlets in connection an incident in Jan. 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Source: Instagram/Kaya Taitano/CNN)

COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - Covington Catholic graduate Nick Sandmann spoke Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention some 20 months after videos surfaced of an incident at the March for Life in Washington DC.

The initial video showed the self-identified Sandmann and Nathan Phillips, an indigenous man who was participating in the Indigenous Peoples March. Other videos later surfaced showing different angles of the incident.

Sandmann recounted the incident from his perspective, saying his “awkward smile” hid two thoughts: “One, don’t do anything that might further agitate the man who is banging a drum in your face, and two, I was trying to follow family friends’ advice not to do anything to embarrass your family, your school or your community.”

Sandmann accused media outlets who publicized the incident of spinning “anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-Donald Trump” narratives.

Following on the heels of President Trump’s adoption of the phrase, Sandmann sought to connect his experience to so-called ‘cancel culture,’ in which he says the media generally is a “willing participant.”

‘Cancel culture,’ in Sandmann’s words, refers to an attempt to “revoke” or “annul” something—its existence, legitimacy or usefulness—with the most obvious recent example being the president’s own call for a boycott against Ohio-based Goodyear Tire.

Sandmann recently announced he settled with the Washington Post in one of eight lawsuits he’s filed against media outlets in connection with an incident at the March for Life in Washington D.C. in 2019.

The Washington Post suit sought $250 million.

The settlement amount was not immediately available.

CNN reportedly agreed to a settlement in a suit in January, though the settlement’s dollar figure also was not disclosed.

Sandmann also initially sued NBC Universal in U.S. District Court in Covington. Then, five additional media outlets were sued back in March: Gannett (which owns USA Today and the Cincinnati Enquirer), ABC, CBS, The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

“All of the future defendants listed above have published or republished statements made by Nathan Phillips and others that Nicholas blocked or otherwise restricted Phillips’ free movement and would not allow Phillips to retreat at the National Mall on January 18, 2019. Nicholas reserves his right to file complaints in this is Court or any other court against any other potential defendant not listed above, subject to the applicable statute of limitations,” reads a report Sandmann’s lawyers filed with U.S. District Court in Covington back in February when they said they intended to file complaints against the five additional media outlets.

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