It’s been about two weeks since you’ve last heard from me but I figured that I’ve been quiet for long enough. Everything has died down as much as it’s going to and I think it’s time for me to comment on the response I’ve received for my last article, not only from my community, but also from the world.
Before I really get into everything, I’d like to preface my message with a very big thank you. To everyone who has sent me kindness, support, and love: I thank you. To all who were my friends before “Drinking Games,” and have remained my friends through the insanity and media firestorm: I thank you. To anyone who’s had my back and stood by what they know is right, especially those at Princeton High School, where it is currently extremely unpopular to support me and what I did: I thank you. Not only for being there for me, but also for holding tightly to your morals and not ditching them in fear of being ostracized in our halls. You are brave and greatly appreciated.
That being said, I am amazed at how large the story became. I never anticipated that this would be the response my article, or anything I’ve written, would evoke from the world. International News? Woah.
I am beyond impressed at the feedback which I have received from those who have read and responded to my article and at how seriously many have taken the incident. That is no small thing. It is essential that people recognize how ignoring any issue, whether it be anti-Semitism, ignorance, insensitivity or pure, privileged blindness, does nothing to alleviate the problem. In fact, I would suggest that it perpetuates the issue.
In addition to the multitude of congratulations and supportive messages which I have received are an alarming number of people willing to stand up in defense of the boys and their actions. I am appalled by the response which I am receiving from several in my community-more so than I am by the game itself.
So many people adamantly excuse the game as exactly that- just a game. That idea in its foundation is completely incorrect. This is the expression of latent racism and proclivity to diminish the culture and experiences of others. By excusing the game as anything other than what it truly is projects the notion that under certain circumstances this behavior is acceptable. Which once again is wrong. It is never acceptable.
The widespread disregard for the severity of the boys’ actions, especially seeing as they are prominent individuals and role models in the Princeton community, only serves to show exactly where a large portion of Princeton High School is in terms of empathy, understanding and regard for the major events and struggles which have shaped the world we live in today.
This isn’t about a lack of Holocaust education. This is about people thinking they can do whatever they want without there being any repercussions. Students’ adamant backing of the game has only reinforced the existence and previous reality of this deranged mindset.
We didn’t need this entire event to prove that there is a serious case of ignorance plaguing a large portion of the Princeton High population. The fact that the boys could post this atrocious picture on social media, even after being told to take it down by their peers, then have the audacity to leave it up for 24 hours and have no one say anything about it- that proves quite enough. The world getting a hold of the story is significant because it shows that if it can happen here, it’s definitely happening elsewhere.
It’s not okay because there were Jewish students there or because “boys will be boys.” Those are excuses, which make no sense at their roots. Those boys are not a representation of the world’s entire Jewish community. And saying boys will be boys is a sexist piece of commentary which relinquishes teenage boys of responsibility for their actions in cases where anyone else would be held fully responsible. Using these ideas to defend the boys is, for lack of a better term, stupid.
People have claimed that I posted the article for a myriad of different reasons. Though, it doesn’t really matter why they think I did it, because at the end of the day, it was the right thing to do. Through the adversity and criticism, I stand by my article and everything I have done in light of its release. Would I do it again? Without a doubt.
Until next time,