A Pennsylvania school marching band is under fire for a performance reportedly commemorating the Russian Revolution, in which they waved a large hammer and sickle during halftime. Photos show the students wearing military-style uniforms, with bright red belts.
Todd Starnes wrote on the Fox News Radio website:
“St. Petersburg: 1917” [was] the theme for the New Oxford High School Marching Band [performance]. 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.
“There is no reason for Americans to celebrate the Russian revolution,” said one irate parent who alerted Fox News. “I am sure the millions who died under Communism would not see the joy of celebrating the Russian revolution by a school 10 miles from Gettysburg.”
The parent, who asked not to be identified, attended a football last Friday night with his children. He said he was shocked by what he saw.
“It was Glee meets the Russian Revolution,” he told Fox News. “I’m not kidding you. They had giant hammers and sickles and they were waving them around.”
“Who thought this was a good idea?” [Emphasis added]
But the school's superintendent Rebecca Harbaugh insists the performance was "not an endorsement of communism." According to the school official it was a "representation of the time period in history called St. Petersburg 1917," and she is "very sorry" it was interpreted as anything other than a "history lesson."
Paul Kengor, author of "The Communist," remarked: “The Bolshevik Revolution launched a global Communist revolution that from 1917 through the 1990s was responsible for the deaths of over a hundred million people...What the Russian revolution unleashed was a nightmare – a historical human catastrophe. This is something that should be condemned and not in any way commemorated or laughed at.”
One parent equated it to unexpectedly seeing your children waving swastikas during a halftime performance, noting that communism has killed more people than the Nazis.
Gerson Moreno-Riano, the dean of Regent University’s College of Arts & Sciences, added for Fox News: “To raise the emblems of the hammer and sickle – the emblems of so much violence, destruction and terror – is a lack of knowledge of history.”
(H/T: Todd Starnes)