The white supremacist ideals embodied by Nazism is exemplified in the white supremacy institutionalized in America through the U.S. Supreme Court which demonstrates systemic prejudice and discrimination against minorities. Specifically, the Ozawa court case represented a Japanese businessman Takao Ozawa who petitioned the Supreme Court for naturalization on the basis that his skin was as white as a Caucasion or even whiter. He mainly argued that his race should not determine his opportunity to naturalize, but his personal beliefs at heart considered himself a true American.(2.0 Race: The Power of Illusion) The Supreme Court ruled that Ozawa could not be a citizen on the basis that he was not white because he was of Mongolian race, not Caucasian.
Yet the Supreme Court had a contradictory ruling in the Singh Thinh case, in which a South Asian immigrant petitioned for citizenship on the basis that Indians were of the Aryan or Caucasian race, therefore white. The Supreme Court ruled against Thinh’s citizenship on the basis that the scientific evidence relating Indians to Caucasians did not define whiteness but, instead, it defined the subjectivity of who was white(2.0 Race: The Power of Illusion). The Supreme Court used scientific evidence in the Ozawa case yet ruled against scientific evidence in the Singh Thinh case and supported subjectivity as the main determinant for whiteness. This subjectivity on whiteness was purposely made against minorities who did not have a say in the systemic racism and discrimination imposed through the contradictory rulings.
The performative gestures demonstrated by Pacifica high school water polo students represent an ethnic group that sought to erase cultural coexistence of other ethno-cultural groups. This act in turn signifies the systemic prejudice present in the cultural environment that the students were fostered in. The encouragement from pluralism was advocated in the Pacifica community, but when acts against ethno-cultural differences were not addressed, it lead to an environment in which a dominant culture is in the uprising; in this case white supremacy. Personal experience further supports the lack of support in addressing subtle hate speech during my time in my alma mater. For example, the outright hate speech from a classmate during class with a teacher present demonstrates the unsupportive environment that promotes a dominant culture rather than a coexistence of diverse cultures and backgrounds. The words “illegals should go back” echoed loudly throughout the classroom yet not addressed by the teacher who chose not to address the issue and continue teaching. This demonstrates the systemic problem in the inability to not address hate speech within the community.
Previously in a neighboring school district, students from Huntington Beach partied with swastika symbols. This image on the right demonstrates the CNN news coverage regarding how prior to the viral video of Pacifica High students, Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss met with students in a neighboring school district who had used swastika symbols in a party(Simon). This incident is yet another form of evidence demonstrating the toxic environment in which hate speech is allowed and encouraged. Even more so, the punishment being that they got to meet Anne Frank’s sister which should be viewed as an honor and not a form of discipline. Being fostered in this type of environment is detrimental in shaping one’s conceptual maps since hate speech is interpreted as humor rather than understanding and representing the true meaning and deep rooted history of hate speech words, symbols, and actions.
This correlates to the discriminatory propaganda present during the Holocaust that shaped German childrens’ conceptual maps to view Jewish individuals as inferior and the Ayran race as superior. This can be illustrated in the 1938 German children’s book, “The Poisonous Mushroom” by Ernst Hiemer which warns German children of the Jewish individuals who “poisonous mushrooms” who plague the German and use racist descriptions in order to “recognise a Jew.” Being exposed to this systemic discrimnation at an early age can impact one’s conceptual map in a way that distorts reality and leads to the inferiorizing of an ethnic group due to cultural differences which leads to the superiority of one culture.
The climate of the school in the aftermath of the Nazi salute videos is demonstrated through a Pacifica High school student in his third year who will remain anonymous. He stated that a high amount of stress was echoed after the resurfacing of videos brought many news reporters on campus. The death threats made towards teachers, who were unaware of the videos, were sent for “not acting against what the videos represented.” The student wishes to move on from the incident and learn as a community.
Another interview is demonstrated from the perception of Pacifica history teacher, Anna Tourtellote, who demonstrates a great concern over the school district “not being able to both directly and publicly confront this sort of behavior” which has led to a “[loss of] precious time”(CNN).
Created with an image by Michael Fousert - "untitled image"