Baraboo High School in Baraboo, Wisconsin, has been subjected to great criticism by leftist media in recent weeks.
A prom picture that featured a group of male Baraboo students went viral due to the apparent mimicking of the “Nazi salute”by nearly all of the students in the photo.
According to the “Baraboo News Republic” (their local newspaper in Baraboo), Lori Mueller, the superintendent of Baraboo School District, decided that the actions of the students in photo will not be “disciplined”; the district “was not in a position to punished the students for their actions… [as they could not know] the intentions in the hearts of those who were involved.”
To no one’s surprise, leftist media was quick to spin a story on an image that is ultimately easy to gain attention: the image of a group of almost all white teenage boys raising their arms in an apparent Nazi salute amidst what writer Jill Fillipovic from CNN called an era of “right wing… including white supremacist and anti-Semitic terrorism.”
Left wing media and writers like Fillipovic are eager to exploit issues that will lead to the right wing coming under public scrutiny via farfetched assumptions of supposed “right wing terrorism.” The rising fear of the public towards “Anti-Semitic uprisings” allows for large amounts of publicity and attention, especially from institutions like the ACLU (the American Civil Liberties Union).
Subsequently, Fillipovic advocated for “suspension at the very least” of the individuals in the photo.
While the image is indeed frightening given no context, the media should do their job and research the context and facts before immediately punishing students.
Jordan Blue, a student in the photo whose hand was not raised, told CNN in a televised interview that Pete Gust (the photographer behind the camera) told the students to “raise their hands… [not in any] specific way.”
Another student in the photo, Brock Turkington, told CBS News affiliate WISC News, “there was never any mention of a salute or anything regarding Nazis or anti-Semitism… that was not the intent at the time.”
Gust told WISN News, that there was no Nazi salute; he told the boys to “say goodbye to their parents.”
As Mueller correctly interpreted, even if the general populous were to give in to the widespread perception of the issue, “the student’s actions were protected under the First Amendment.”
Perhaps a punishment would have been adequate if Baraboo High School had a prior history of anti-Semitism and “right wing terrorism,” but as Catherine Ross, a professor at George Washington University’s Law school, says in an article for The Atlantic, “I haven’t heard anything about this school that suggests that they’ve had violent anti-Semitic or anti-LGBTQ incidents — the sorts of things that Nazis arrested people for just because of who they were.”
The Baraboo High School incident serves as an example of how leftist media can be quick to make assumptions over issues that are easily malleable to suit their own narratives.
The American people should remember FDR’s famous inaugural words: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” — well, perhaps the media too.
Left-leaning media ultimately wishes to exploit the American people’s fear of rising anti-Semitism.
In recent months, news organizations like CNN and The New York Times have spewed article after article with headlines such as “Anti-Semitism never disappeared… it’s alive and kicking “ and “Europe’s Jew Hatred, and Ours“ respectively, suggesting that the world is just steps away from the next Holocaust.
When media succumbs to not only feeding off of the fear of individuals, but fueling that fear just to gain attention, the American people should remember FDR’s famous inaugural words: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” — well, perhaps the media too.