Young Nazis of Orange County commit the unthinkable


Rebecca Guerrero

Five high school student holding an orange with the swastika engraved in it. This begs the question have OC students embraced the ideas of Nazism?

During the week of August 12, 2019, a controversial video of the Pacifica High School water polo team’s banquet was posted on social media. In the video, students began to sing the Nazi marching song and raised their arms in the Nazi salute. This is not the first instance of Nazi acts in Orange County either. It seems that over the last year these acts of Nazism have become more common with some high school students in Orange County.

The Anti-Defamation League noted a 57% jump in such incidents from 2016 to 2017. The sharp rise was due, in part, to a significant increase in incidents at schools and on college campuses, the organization said,” stated the LA Times. 

When asked why these high schoolers may do this, sophmore Syed Muhammad Ali Akbar Naqui said that it may have been done to get attention. He mentioned that we live in an age where the number of followers you have on social media is a big deal. Sometimes people go to extreme measures to do so; just a couple of years ago it was a trend to eat Tide pods just because one person did it and got lots of likes. Junior Brisa Rodarte said, “They might think it’s funny and they don’t realize the consequences.”

Rodarte stated, “They don’t realize they’re hurting people.” She mentioned that the reason this keeps happening is because the students do not see the harm they’re causing people, especially to the people associated with the Nazis attacks. “I feel they’re are going to feel really uncomfortable because Hitler is the reason many Jews’ lives were lost,” stated Naqui. He mentioned that it must feel uncomfortable for the Jewish people because they were Hitler’s targets. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, there are around 1,182,990 Jewish people in California. Most people don’t realize that California actually has a decent-sized Jewish population, so just imagine how they felt about the acts of hatred made in the name of Nazism. Rodarte stated that the Jewish people probably felt “offended and made fun of” when they heard of these acts. 

“‘In September, at a football game in predominantly white Aliso Viejo, the visitors from a predominantly Latino high school in Santa Ana were met with signs of ‘Build the Wall’ and ‘We love White,’ according to the Santa Ana principal,” reported the LA Times. Nazi acts are not the only acts of hatred being spread by high schoolers, but they are the ones that have shown up the most because they are spread through social media. It’s like Naqui said,“With the media, you can reach any part of the world.”