A Slip of the Tongue

Tina Czaplinska News Editor On May 29, 2012 while presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, President Obama mistakenly used a slur against Polish Jews and Polish people everywhere. During World War II, Karski was a member of the Polish resistance, which made multiple efforts to inform the Allies of the horrors of the Nazi regime. In referring to Karski’s efforts, Obama unintentionally described concentration camps located in German-occupied Poland as “Polish Death Camps.” While the distinction may not appear to be evident, it strikes the soft spots of many Poles throughout the globe. Accusing concentration camps like Auschwitz of being under Polish control collaborates evil with its victims. This slip of the tongue speciously links Poles with the unrestrained evil of the Nazis. The evil that subjugated and murdered millions, including Poles. While the statement lacks factual merit, it ultimately discredits the intentions of the heroes like Jan Karski, and the suffering of the Poles who died during the Holocaust. It is important to end that kind of ignorant thinking. At Latin, classes like Nazi Mind allow for an in-depth study of Nazism and the Holocaust. Latin also facilitates clubs like LIFE that raise awareness about a variety of injustices in the world. Finally, in general, Latin fosters a no tolerance policy in terms of racism. Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t go to Latin. Most people can often be hindered by unintentional ignorance. In hopes of spreading more public awareness, a petition has been started on www.whitehouse.gov asking for a public apology from Obama. So far, it has received almost five thousand signatures.]]>