The communist symbols of tyranny and mass murder were proudly on display at a Friday night football game last week, and no, this didn’t happen in one of those progressive outposts like San Francisco or Cambridge, Mass. To the contrary. The hammer and sickle of the communist Russian revolution were proudly strutting their stuff in a super sleepy suburban backwater nestled next to the Gettysburg Civil War National Park.
The New Oxford High School Marching Band entertained the home crowd during halftime by offering up a medley of music produced under the banner of St. Petersburg 1917, performed with the flair and flounce of military fatigues, red flags, and giant hammers and sickles. The adult educators in this hairy little hamlet apparently thought how sweet it would be to have the kids celebrate a quaint historical event from the 20th century, hailing as heroic a movement that ultimately murdered millions of people.
And even after all the parental complaints, the dosey dork who serves as the Superintendent of the Conewago School District, still can’t see what all the hubbub is about.
Rebecca Harbaugh, the superintendent for the Conewago Valley School District, told Fox News that the band’s performance was “not an endorsement of communism at all.”
“It’s a representation of the time period in history called St. Petersburg 1917,” she said. “If anything is being celebrated it’s the music,” she said. “It is what it is. I understand people look at something and choose how to interpret that and I’m just very sorry that it wasn’t looked at as just a history lesson.”
In other words, according to Ms. Harbaugh, the problem is not the outrageous presentation of a historical event that should cause all of civilized humanity to gasp in horror at any ‘celebration’ of its murderous themes and images. Oh no, the problem must be the backward yobs who just can’t appreciate the artistic worthiness of the effort.
Gee, Ms. Harbaugh, I’d suggest you do a little traveling through Europe and visit such locales as Lithuania, Poland, the Ukraine, Estonia, Hungry, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania, and ask the folks in these ethnic enclaves about the artistic value of the hammer and sickle. I think they will be more than willing to enlighten you as to why St. Petersburg 1917 ain’t about the music.
Or maybe dear Rebecca could open a history book, preferably one written before 1965, to get some historical context to that St. Petersburg brouhaha she so simplistically dismisses. Or if she can’t read, perhaps renting a DVD of Mel Brooks’ movie to get a cultural clue and finally come to understand that the only two reasonable reactions to murderous mass movements are horror and derision.
Springtime for Hitler