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OPINION: In high school with a Nazi - The Trail Blazer: News

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OPINION: In high school with a Nazi

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Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 7:42 am

I went to high school with a Nazi who ended a life.

Much like the rest of our nation, I tuned into the news when the awful events of Charlottesville, Virginia took place this past week. However, unlike many of the viewers, I was horrified to realize that I recognized the person in the mug shot being flashed across my screen. A boy who graduated with me from my high school was now in jail for suspected murder.

I began to do research and read the articles surfacing about James Fields and his “troubled past.” He was being portrayed as a lonely and sad student, and many articles insinuated the lack of help from our high school could have added to his problems. Just as I expected, many people were struggling to add blame to as many sources as possible, rather than have Fields take full responsibility for his actions.

Turning the focus onto our high school is a useless tactic that only takes attention away from the real problem. Fields is a Nazi, and he had been for at least his entire high school career. Having more friends or more attentive staff would have never been able to make even a dent in his belief system. When there is a teenager who is filled with hatred and bigotry to that extreme, there are much deeper psychological issues that did not stem from being a press-labeled “outcast” in high school.

The death and injuries that occurred in Charlottesville are not a high school’s fault. They are not the fault of any of James’ previous teachers, or the fault of peers who may have ignored him in the hallways. The death lies solely on the shoulders of Fields himself, who hated non-white people so much, he had to kill to make his point.

We must stop excusing white supremacists from their actions on the grounds of free speech and freedom of assembly. These people are Nazis, and they are preaching hate and intolerance in a time when we need tolerance more than ever. Their entire platform built from hatred and violence, and the incident in Charlottesville was a direct consequence of that hatred.