Anti-Semitism alive and well at Burlingame

Ethan Gardner, Sports Editor

A Jewish sophomore’s locker was broken into and vandalized on April 18. Drawn in deodorant were graphics of swastikas, hateful anti-Semitic messages, and other obscenities. Although not the first time Burlingame students have experienced anti-Semitic violence, this act seemed especially direct and hateful.

What is it that makes people think anti-Semitism is acceptable? Why is it that Jews continually seem to be the target of ethnically-driven attacks? It appears that at Burlingame, the student body lacks tolerance for minorities, in this case, Jews. Although there is a line between a joke and a hate crime, the continual use of Jew jokes by a select few as an overused and dry comedic backdoor creates an environment in which people think it’s acceptable to joke about the Jewish people. And then the jokes grow. They become a mindset. Through continual exposure, people are taught and begin to truly believe that it is okay to act upon hatred. Thus, anti-Semitic sentiment grows into a school-wide phenomenon and eventually results in something that crosses the line; in this case, the events of April 18.

It is imperative that the administration do more in the face of such an act. Although the police were notified, it is necessary that the student body is addressed as well. By remaining virtually silent about the issue, the administration has made its own statement about the wellbeing of students at Burlingame. The administration must assume its role and teach the students of Burlingame why anti-Semitic hate is so wrong in order to prevent situations like this from happening again.

There is no reason that any teen in an affluent suburb in  the Bay Area should feel unsafe because of their religion. As a student body, we need to take a step back and take a look at how we treat those around us. I hope a valuable lesson was learned from this deliberate act of hate, and those responsible understand the red mark they have left on the entire school’s slate.