There have been far too many recent reminders that anti-Semitism is still a very real problem in the United States. In October 2018, 11 innocent people lost their lives when a man opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue, and vocal hate groups are on the rise. And now, pictures have surfaced of California teens participating in a Nazi-themed drinking game. The Los Angeles Times reports that on Saturday, March 2nd, a group of teens in Newport Beach, California shared images of the disturbing game to social media. In the pictures, red Solo cups form the shape of a swastika, over which party attendees have their arms extended in a Nazi salute.
According to Teen Vogue, one student, identified as Ava G., saw the offensive photos on Snapchat and tweeted them. Her thread also included screenshots from a conversation in which students who presumably attended the party wrote things like “F*ck Jews.”
CBS Los Angeles reports that the teens in the pictures are believed to be current or former students of three high schools in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. On Monday, March 4th, the schools’ principals held a community meeting at Newport Harbor High School to discuss the incident, and another meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, March 7th. At the first meeting, Jewish students reportedly recounted other instances of anti-Semitism in the schools. Local rabbis and Holocaust survivors were also in attendance.
The school district is currently deciding how to discipline the students involved. In a letter sent to parents on March 3rd, obtained by the Times, district officials disavowed anti-Semitism.
Making light of hate and hate groups is never okay, and we’re glad this unacceptable behavior is being called out.