The Native American elder protester at center of controversy with white teen once starred in a Skrillex music video
In recent days, many of us have learned about Nathan Phillips—the Native American elder who has found himself at the center of a viral encounter with a group of MAGA hat-touting high school students. On January 18, while visiting Washington D.C. for the Indigenous Peoples March, Phillips found himself in an escalating confrontation with a group of white, male teenagers attending the March for Life protest against abortion rights happening at the same time. Video footage of the activist drumming in the teens’ faces has captured the public’s attention and thrust Phillips into the limelight, though longtime Skrillex fans might recognize Phillips from another high-profile appearance.
OWSLA heads might know Phillips from his starring role in the music video for Skrillex’s 2012 dub classic “Make It Bun Dem,” featuring Damian Marley. The Tony Truand-directed visual features Phillips facing eminent domain eviction until his encounter with law enforcement takes a turn for the mystical. While his recent encounter with the students of Covington Catholic High School didn’t end in the same fashion as the “Make It Bun Dem” video, Phillips has turned his involvement in the situation as a means to opening meaningful public discourse. Revisit “Make It Bun Dem” below.