Is Neo-Nazism Alive At Sahuaro?


Swastikas Carved onto Bench

Abigale Nash, Opinion and Entertainment Co-Editor

We are all well aware that hate is still very much alive, but we always hope that school isn’t the place you’d find it. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Recently, a student decided to carve around ten swastikas on a school lunch bench. Whether you have seen it or not, this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. At Sahuaro, we try to promote a very welcoming campus where students feel free to be themselves in how they dress, how they act, and in their religious choices. Carving swastikas in a bench, however, is not the way to express your freedoms.

Freedom of speech is indeed a right, but hate speech should be left out of a school setting. The swastika not only represents anti-Semitism, but according to Wikipedia, “In many Western countries, the swastika is viewed as a symbol of racial supremacy and intimidation because of its association with Nazism” and “it became the main feature of Nazi symbolism as an emblem of Aryan race identity, and as a result, it has become stigmatized in the West by association with ideas of racism, hate, and mass murder”.

In the last few years, students seem to be treating swastikas as a humorous joke by drawing them on people, in books, or on walls. While some may view it as a simple laugh, there is no telling if this person’s actions were meant to be more than a joke. If people think that it is acceptable to draw or carve these symbols everywhere, then this will no longer be something of the past.

With World War II ending 72 years ago, what is the modern-day significance of the swastika? True that in India and other parts of Asia, the swastika is an ancient religious icon, but the dictionary definition of a swastika is an ancient symbol in the form of an equal-armed cross with each arm continued at a right angle, used (in clockwise form) as the emblem of the German Nazi Party. In recent news, we citizens of the United States have been hit with reoccurring neo-Nazi hate crimes. President Trump was criticized by the media about how he dealt with the Neo-Nazi and white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, saying that it was not dealt with in the serious manner many believed it should have been. These events may have sparked an act of courage in people to spread their white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideologies.

While freedom of speech is a right granted to all Americans, hate speech and crimes should not be tolerated, especially in a school setting. If you or someone you know has any information on this event, or something similar, report it as soon as possible.