It’s Homecoming season and schools all over the nation are playing their biggest rivals. There are dances and parades to attend. Alumni come back to visit their alma maters, and maybe relive some of their younger days. However, the students at Sturgis Brown High School in Sturgis, South Dakota will be unable to participate in these yearly traditions because a group of their students vandalized a car. They spray-painted racist epithets all over the vehicle targeting their opposing team in nearby Pine Ridge, which serves a reservation. In addition to the graffiti, some students were also shown taking a sledgehammer to the car.
The message “Go back to the Rez” was the most predominant. Look below:
According to Raw Story:
One particularly worrisome image spray-painted above the “go back to the Rez” message are the letters SS, which can refer to Schutzstaffel, Adolph Hitler’s paramilitary force. Skinheads and neo-Nazi’s often use such symbolism to express their views of white supremacy.
It remains to be seen if the “SS” was denoting an actual affiliation with any neo-Nazi group or if the little punks just thought that would be funny. In either case, it’s disgusting. Nazi sympathizing in actuality or jest is beyond reprehensible. Using their symbols in any fashion is normalizing and downplaying the actions of Nazis.
The Meade School Board stated:
We are a diverse district with many races and backgrounds, which is why this situation is so painful. Because of the angst we feel, we are reaching out to the Pine Ridge School, community, and families, as well as all schools in the state of South Dakota to apologize and to encourage more cultural awareness. It is our deepest desire that incidents, such as this one, will become history rather than current news.
This should already be history. However, it seems as though since our president has made racism normal again, these sorts of things are happening more often. It’s a damn shame that every student lost their Homecoming privileges, but attacking racism half-assed doesn’t work. The response must match the crime.