Thursday, January 28, 2010

'We Thought We Were Being Original'

Sorry, kids, wearing hammer-and-sickle t-shirts isn't exactly original. It's mind-numbingly stupid. Though I can't necessarily blame the kids. When real history is ignored and Communist mass murder is glossed over or ignored entirely, when Che Guevara shirts are seen all over college campuses, why would they believe there's anything wrong wearing a shirt paying tribute to an ideology responsible for the murder of hundreds of millions of people?
You're assigned the color red. Now think of a relevant theme. Communism?

That's exactly what juniors at Irvington High School chose.

And that's when peace crumbled faster than the Berlin Wall.

The class vote was part of the school's Color Wars, to take place next month. A T-shirt was to feature a hammer and sickle on the front and "Isn't it Time You Joined the Party" on the back.

If that phrase made you smile, it was meant to. The students were intending to be funny, even envisioning a party hat perched on the sickle.

If it didn't, not everyone saw the humor.

"I just thought it was very inappropriate and offensive," said 17-year-old Michael Schur, a senior whose relatives died in Ukraine under Stalin's rule and whose mother complained to the principal.

Now the design has gone the way of the Soviet Union, and the juniors have substituted a video game figure, Mario, the intrepid Italian plumber outfitted in red and blue.

"We wanted to do something that was a little bit witty, smart humor," said the class president, Isabel Garcia. "We thought we were being original."
If they wanted to be original in an academic environment maybe they'd wear shirts proclaiming themselves proud conservatives or pro-life. Problem is they'd probably horrify the faculty and wind up suspended from school.
Once Schur complained, the principal, Scott Mosenthal, told Garcia that the juniors would have to reconsider.

"If it's disrespectful to people in the community, that's a much bigger issue than some kids' not liking the idea," Garcia said. "Generally you listen to the majority, but when the minority has something really important to say, you have to go with them."
Really? Like I said, if Schur showed up with a shirt saying Choose Life, would everyone have to go with him?

You know the answer to that.
As for Schur, did he persuade his schoolmates to view the hammer and sickle differently?

"In the end I really don't think I made my point," he said. "I just aggravated a bunch of people."
Now he'll probably wind up an outcast. I can see the ACLU rushing to Irvington High School today complaining the rights of these moronic kids are being violated.

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