Orange County Students Face Repercussions For Hateful Image
Just recently a photo was published on social media depicting a series of Orange County high school students posed in front of swastika made from beer cups while holding out their arms in a Nazi salute. This image, taken at a party, pictures students from several schools within both Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. The students now identified via classmates etc. are facing serious repercussions and backlash from communities across the US and especially within Orange County.
Communities of Jewish individuals have come together to speak out about this topic and the sadness and anger it provokes. Students from schools within the OC/LA area mentioned they were not surprised and that, “swastikas are carved into bathroom walls and desks on campus.” Anti-Semitism still exists and it is becoming more and more prevalent as time progresses. Other students have turned to social media to express their disappointment in their community for allowing Anti-Semitic behaviors to persist while asking individuals to open their eyes and work to create change.
Angered parents of students across Orange County have spoken out about this issue, many of them members of the Jewish community as well. Amongst the parents was Mr. and Mrs. Bernstein who spoke out about this issue that touched home.
In January of 2018, college student Blaze Bernstein was murdered within Orange County, CA. Bernstein, a 19-year-old student at the University of Pennsylvania and member of both the LGBTQ+ and Jewish community, was found deceased and brutally stabbed in what seemed to be an inhumane act rooted in both homophobia and hate.
Both Blaze’s parents spoke out about the current situation recently stating it was hate like this that murdered their son. Anti-Semitic and homophobic behavior that led to the loss of a beautiful life. Truth lies in their statements as, unchecked hateful behavior within high schools not only in Orange County provides an outlet for hate crimes across the country, Blaze’s tragic death being only one of many.
What Can We Do As A Community?
Promoting the rights of all individuals within our society is imperative when looking for solutions to the wave of hate we have been facing. The behavior of these students is disgraceful and hurtful to our community, reflecting ignorance and a lack of knowledge. Many of the students have taken the defensive side justifying their actions mentioning it was merely, “fun and games” or that it was, “humorous.” It is important to speak out and report this type of behavior as it it truly has the power to divide our communities.
If you witness something it is important you report the crime to a hotline or your local police station immediately.
|Hate Crime National Hotline (USA)||206-350-HATE (4283)|
It is also important to support your local organizations promoting the rights and equality of all individuals despite race, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. There are myriad organizations members of all communities can join that focus on providing protection and a sense of security to the many marginalized communities within our society.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King.