So now we know what historical ignorance looks like:
A Pennsylvania high school marching band is raising eyebrows with a halftime performance that commemorates the Russian revolution, complete with red flags, olive military-style uniforms, and giant hammers and sickles.
“St. Petersburg: 1917” is the theme for the New Oxford High School Marching Band. Ironically, the school’s athletic teams are called the Colonials and their colors are red, white and blue. The band’s website features a picture of the group with students holding a hammer and sickle.
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. “I am truly sorry that somebody took the performance in that manner. I am.”
“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.”
Besides, she explained, “in 2008 we did an entire show on freedom.”
But some critics said it’s outrageous for any American school to be celebrating such a violent era.
“It would be tantamount to celebrating the music of 1935 Berlin,” the parent said. “If I was Lithuanian, Estonian, or Ukrainian, I’d be a little hot. I’d be really hot. It’s insulting to glorify something that doesn’t need to be glorified in America.”
(Read the rest of the story here.)
Maybe next year they can celebrate the famine Stalin created in the Ukraine, killing something in the neighborhood of 20 million of his own citizens. And the year after that, perhaps a “Party in the Gulag” theme.
Actually, I believe that these kids weren’t endorsing Communism. What they were endorsing was something different: the forty year march of a values-free approach to education, one that manages to leave both students and their teachers incapable of understanding what they teach or learn. To them, what happened is an “event,” without meaning or consequence. This goes beyond moral relativism into absolute meaninglessness — and if that isn’t sad, I don’t know what is.
A bowdlerization of Chesterton has him saying: “When a Man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.” That saying isn’t quite on point, but it somehow seems appropriate here, when we have a group of well-intentioned young people incapable of understanding the meaning of what they study. They know nothing, and misunderstand everything.