Way to go, America


If you haven’t heard about Pine Bush High School – get googling – the world is on fire with this story.

Apparently, it has escaped the attention of some parts of small town America that we are in the 21st Century.

Let’s set the scene.

As part of fostering greater multicultural awareness – its National Foreign Language Week.

At Pine Bush, High School NY , the Class President, 18-year-old Andrew Zink decides that the morning Pledge of Allegiance can be read out each morning in the language of the day, to highlight the language itself does not change the Pledge – Americans of all cultures of origin can still be American and no matter what the language, we are all the same.

Pine Bush High School is, after all, a ‘World School’ according to its banner over the front doors.

Pine_Bush_Central_High_School

All good so far.

The 3rd day, his friend, an 15/16 year old Arabic speaking girl, read the pledge in Arabic.

They didn’t bargain for redneck America.

The reaction – the girl, accused of being a terrorist, a commie, disgusting and un-American.  Zink is panned nationally on Twitter in an act of disgraceful cyber bullying. Even classmates join in, aggressively and disgustingly calling out Zink to the world (I hope this comes back to bite you on the arses, you miserable sacks of shit).

The school principal and district superintendent, in an act of pure yellowbelly cowardly chicken shit, hastily issue an apology, effectively hanging Zink and the girl out to dry.  More anger ensues from Zink and those who understood what this thing was about.  The school, town and now entire nation are divided.

Twitter and social media is on fire – some veterans associations, fuelled by redneck anti-Muslim rage, spurred into action, saying the girl had pledged to Allah and sold out the nation and she should go back to Iran like the terrorist she is.  Housewives, lawyers, marines, truck drivers and students all join in the melé – calling for Zink to ‘go join ISIS’ and many worse things.

McCarthyism is alive and well here.

Andrew is son of author Michelle Zink,  who writes about her son here – and includes many of the twitter comments from the haters so you can see all this vitriol laid bare for yourself.

The next day, parents and students drive cars in, American flags flying, with ‘We only speak English here’ slogans on.  I kid you not, see below.

CAeCRlKUwAAiK2d

Charming.

Did they find the white paint in the closet next to the KKK robes and the pitchforks?

So, way to go.  Fucking idiots.

An Arabic speaking 15 (not 18 as previously stated) year old girl is not a terrorist.  You’re all foreigners if you check back far enough.  Dickheads.

So what that wars have been fought in Arabic nations (never mind that the language in many of these places isn’t Arabic at all – it’s Dari and Pashto in Afghanistan and in Iraq at least 40% of the population speak Kurdish, South Azeri or Armenian) – there are many Arabic speaking nations that are friends of the USA.

More idiots have compared it to getting the Pledge read in German during WW2, which is a ridiculous and insulting comparison – Germans were expatriated from the US and UK during this time as we were at war with Germany – we are not at war with ‘Arabia’.    Anyone with half a brain could see that (Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, I’m talking to you here – you really should know better)

If you defended Andrew Zink and understand that Arabic (or any other language) is just a language and Americans are not defined by ‘English’, then hallelujah!  Well done, you can hold your heads high that you have enough intellect to join this century!

If you fall on the side of the ‘It’s un-American’ – well, you’ve probably stopped reading by now or have taken to the comments (which I will gladly leave as shining beacons of ignorance they no doubt are) but if you haven’t ..  you should be ashamed.  What if the language had been Italian?  Or even in my British English?  Would that have offended?

News articles are everywhere – here are a few..

http://www.ibtimes.com/new-york-school-arabic-pledge-allegiance-controversy-pine-bush-apologies-amid-furious-1853040

https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/26748779/arabic-pledge-sparks-controversy-at-new-york-school/

The school has earlier form, by the way – in 2008 – the school was sued for:

“allowing endemic bullying of Jewish students, where swastikas are everywhere and Jewish students are pelted with coins, confronted with Nazi salutes, and endure regular “jokes” about the Holocaust”

http://publicjustice.net/blog/swastikas-nazi-salutes-and-hate-speech-pine-bush-schools-why-school-leaders-need-education-bull

http://publicjustice.net/content/te-v-pine-bush-central-school-district

Pine Bush blog 1

What a lovely place!

Anyway- this makes me mad.

Andrew Zink – age 18 – you’re a fucking champion.  Don’t let this be the end of it – use this to shine the light on this unbelievable ignorance.  You have a lot of support out here.

It’s a travesty that the education department abandoned you when it could have stood up and taken ownership of the issue to promote tolerance and unity of belief. They should be utterly ashamed.

America – the world is watching.

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20 Comments on “Way to go, America

  1. Not just America, but the world is watching–BBC just posted the story today on their online front page: http://m.bbc.com/news/31989874.

    The locals also have an short memory span. Upstate New York has long been a center for German-American conservatism, including, during the 1930s and 40s, the pro-Nazi Bund.

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    • Oh cool – glad this is getting some attention! I think the locals have been whipped up by successive governments and can’t distinguish between ISIS Islam = danger to global democracy and Arabic speaking American schoolgirl = part of the rich tapestry of American society. Obama doesn’t help any with his race baiting and public snubbery of Israel either.

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  2. Why am i not surprised by this, the US is a brainless zombiefied nation of fear, hope we never have that here…whoops..maybe too late :/

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    • The US is really teetering on another McCarthy era – we’ll wait and see I guess. As for Australia – do you have a Commie under your bed?

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  3. Andrew Zinc is my cousin and my hero. Actually, his grandfather is my first cousin, but Andrew is still my hero. This young man and his family have shown such grace under attack, I’m proud of them all. When did the U.S. become one nation under one God and one language? Being a United States citizen is not a nationality, at one time we were all foreigners in this land, with many languages and religious beliefs. I believe that our founding fathers believed in religious freedom and freedom of speech. I don’t think there were any exceptions. Christianity and speaking English were not required at Ellis Island. English is not even the native language of this land nor is Christianity the only religious belief. I hope there are more Andrews out there. His school should be ashamed, they had an opportunity to make a statement, make a difference, and they caved.

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    • Right on Lauri. 🙂

      America will be predominantly Spanish speaking in maybe 5 or so more generations – what then? Is that un-American? Or will the minority English speakers be in vitriolic denial still, longing for the glory days of George Washington?

      Interesting times – America has still got plenty of growing up to do by the looks of it.

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  4. But you failed to mention that Andrew Zink posted on twitter that, “isis is taking over america” ten minutes after the pledge. If you are going to tell the story, state and know all the facts.

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    • Well thats news to me – I’ve not seen that and there is certainly nothing on his twitter. There would be screenshots if he’d deleted it, do you have some proof of that?

      And, what does it matter even if he did?

      1. Everyone had reacted or was already going to react the same way anyway- it’s not as if you’d have had a different opinion! You already don’t like what he did anyway!
      2. If you stopped to use your grey matter you’d realise ISIS isn’t Arabic.
      3. He’s an 18 year old kid under pressure because his school hung him out to dry on something they had already approved – maybe you should care about that!

      If you don’t agree with this you’re going to have to do better than that.

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  5. I had to google the incident. That is horrible. It reminds me of the “fuck coke” hashtag that was making the rounds after Coke’s Superbowl ad last year (see here: http://time.com/3773/coca-colas-its-beautiful-super-bowl-ad-brings-out-some-ugly-americans/). Ugh. Humanity at its worst. Good on Andrew Zink for taking a step outside the comfort zone, and potentially endangering his safety. I wonder what is happening to the schoolmate that read the pledge in Arabic. I hope she is safe!

    That being said, I also don’t think it’s fair to paint all Americans with the same brush – as suggested by the article, a nation is more diverse that the few bad apples which give the barrel its bad name.

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    • I totally agree, it’s definitely not all Americans (there were a lot of very positive comments too), but there was a surprisingly wide scale negative reaction, including both barrels from Fox news (well, I guess thats not unexpected…) The extent and diversity of the negative comments shows this is no parochial or generational opinion.

      The most incredible thing is the negative comments from Jewish parents/students, given they themselves been the victims of bullying and racial harassment in Pine Bush High School only 6 years ago. Houston, they have a problem..

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  6. Eh, that sentence in the middle should have read: “Good on Andrew Zink for taking a step outside the comfort zone, DESPITE potentially endangering his safety.”

    He’s very brave.

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  7. THE Girl is not 18 she is only 15-16 and a sophomore. She was the first to volunteer to do the pledge and was also the only one not to back down like the other kids did. She is a brave and strong person who doesn’t deserve any of this . But i don’t feel as though Andrew should have called the news because now the rest of the people in the school all look anti-Semitic which isn’t true

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    • Thank you for your comment – girl’s age has been changed.

      The thing is – the girl shouldn’t need to feel brave – what is the atmosphere in the school if someone fears (other than the normal nerves when public speaking) reading in their native tongue? America – freedom of speech, greatest democracy in the world (well, maybe) – this should be easy!

      She doesn’t deserve is – neither does Andrew. The principal and superintendent had approved this reading beforehand and then sold them out like a gutless Judas when things got hot. That’s so lame – they could have done so much good with it, but they are totally unsuited for any role in education if that’s what they do. You’re being ripped off, Rachel!

      What would you do if the school had made you look like the bad guy and backed up any xenophobia that might have been starting? I hope you stood up for them? As the saying goes:

      All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (and women ;)) to do nothing

      He has every right to make this a big issue, especially given the gross anti Semitism that happened in the school not even 7 years ago. I still can’t believe the irony that it was Jewish parents (amongst others) that complained to the principal!!

      I’m sure that many at the school are perfectly lovely and that likely includes you too, but this fits into a common theme in America (and across the world right now) and needs to be debated in the open or we’re all going back into the dark ages.

      Peace.

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  8. Wonderful, you have a brain. I have a brain. I wish I didn’t live 10 minutes from that hell hole. By the way, I can confirm the antisemitism that went on in that school. Sadly for my whole education 75% of my classmates were brainless racist that support the KKK and Hitler.

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    • Hi Shawn

      It’s a shame – hopefully as these people grow up they will realise the world isn’t as black and white as they thought.
      One of my friends has an example of how amazing Americans can be in his blog here

      It’s worth a read if only to give you a sense of some of the amazing people your country has in it..

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  9. I married a Brazilian. We usually speak Portuguese. He’s still learning English. I wear hijab. We aren’t un-American. In fact I translated the Pledge for him. I thought that was the epitome of America – the Pledge in his native tongue (the tongue that I’ve adopted as my own by marrying him). We’re adopting one another’s cultures. That’s American. America is a land of little Italys and little Chinas, a tower of diversity built with multicolored bricks. The un-Americans are the ones who committed the Chapel Hill shootings against my fellow hijabis, and the ones who want to shut my husband out of this country.

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    • Hi and thanks for your comment 🙂

      I think that a lot of people cannot separate the notion of nation, culture and religion. It’s endemic on the left of politics as much as it is on the right (left too tolerant and risking democracy, right too intolerant and not embracing democracy)

      The real answer lies where you are – bringing the best of who you are to be an American. It’s the constitutional freedom for all cultures to mix and contribute (within the pretty broad boundaries of general laws and culture of America) without compromising the ability to also be American that makes it possible.

      Anything else is a pathway to ruin.

      I just hope the folks on the left and right throwing rocks at each other one day realise that they are both wrong.

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      • I agree. My husband is in the process of legally immigrating. He wants to be an American. America is being good to him. He wants to bring the best of himself here to improve America in return. I’m as American as apple pie in my opinion. And when people say I’m not it deeply hurts me. I love my nation. My husband loves it which is why we decided to the difficult thing and live here instead of living in his homeland. We’re America. Whether our fellow Americans like it or not, we are the new face of their homeland.

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  10. Pingback: Way to go, America | jmunizweb

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