Maryland minors should face hate crime charges


The Holocaust was a mass genocide during World War II that targeted individuals based on religious identity, ethnicity, sexuality, disabilities or political orientations. Led by German dictator Adolf Hitler, the Nazi campaign was based on the creation of a supposed “pure race.” The Holocaust Encyclopedia, as organized by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, estimates that 6 million Jewish Europeans were killed. 

Despite America valuing freedom of religion as emphasized in the First Amendment, there are still many instances of antisemitism and the utilization of Nazi symbols across the nation. At Plum Point Middle School in Calvert County, Maryland, three middle school students are being charged after repeated reports of hate crimes directed at a classmate’s religion. According to these reports, these students “displayed swastikas, performed Nazi salutes and made derogatory remarks.” 

While those prosecuted are minors, their actions reflect a lack of compassion and open-mindedness. Especially stemming from the upcoming generation, these acts are immensely concerning. The fact that these dangerous thoughts that resulted in the deaths of millions decades ago are still present in a nation preaching freedom indicates that we have not accomplished the pinnacle of progress we may have believed. Most importantly, these bigoted notions need to be squashed to prevent drastic actions from these youth once they come to adult age. 

Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who passed away in 2016 and the author of “Night,” reminds us that “human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.” The perpetrators of the Holocaust should not be praised by these young students or anyone. They resurfaced these harmful philosophies that do not and should not align with American values. 

While this case involves minors, they should face some degree of charges to truly denote that these actions are unacceptable. These students were repeatedly told that their behavior was inappropriate, leading to police involvement. Cases of hate should be taken seriously so we truly can foster a generation of care and love.


Featured photo courtesy of Michael Wheeler, Wikipedia