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.
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.
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..
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”
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.