Holocaust Trivializing Principal Prevails

Oct 27, 2020 by

“…Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened…I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event…”

These are the words of William Latson, the principal of a public school in Florida, who declared that as an educator, it was his”role to be politically neutral”, and that the allegation that the Holocaust actually occurred is just a reflection of “personal ideology”.

Substitute “slavery” for “holocaust” in this direct quotation and consider what resounding, unequivocal and universal condemnation would justifiably ensue.  The historical revisionist would be canned and rightly so. 

It’s increasingly recognized that there are aspects of American and world history that have been for generations presented as fact which are fallacies and need to be corrected by an updated curriculum, but there is zero controversy about the calumny of slavery and neither should there be about the holocaust.

Latson was not the principal in an area of bigoted bumpkins.  Plenty of cosmopolitan folks in his neck of the woods!  He could just as well have been in New York City.

Could it happen here?  What would be done about it? 

The Holocaust exists for that portion of the population who choose to subscribe to that “belief”, according to Latson, who was fired around a year ago and reinstated last week by majority vote of the Palm Beach School Board with $158,000 in back pay after Administrative Court Judge Cohen ruled that Latson’s conduct did not constitute incompetence or misconduct or otherwise meet the standard for dismissal.

He made his determination on the basis of judicial merit alone, he would claim.

Latson said that he was “tolerant of those who did not believe the Holocaust happened at all”.  His attorney, Thomas Elfers, affirming the duty of educators to “stay neutral”, compared the moral equivalence of the opposing positions on the Holocaust with “the contention between creationists and evolutionists”.

Such dirty sophistry!

Until the bad publicity dies down, Mr. Latson will not be in charge of any school, but his pay and perks are locked in.  He has meanwhile been kicked upstairs to a post in the district’s assessment department. 

Hopefully he won’t be assessing any Holocaust questions.

One of the school board members who didn’t think that Latson’s de facto Holocaust denial was such a big deal, mouthed “It’s bad stuff that happened with him saying this a back and forth.”

Such compelling speech!  The stench of ambiguity is self-incriminating.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, renowned for its civil rights litigation, noted that denying or minimizing the Holocaust is “an essential manifestation of anti-semitism”.

Latson is a credentialed but not an educated man.  By training and as a Black man and community leader, he should gave been spiritually and intellectually above taking such a callously scoffing view of persecution and genocide. 

Freedom of thought cannot be regulated, but are there no restrictions or caveats on free speech?   Is absolute truth rendered inaccessible if there are any abridgements or conditions? 

If there is a “slippery slope”, who defines it and who greases it? Let the bones of that quandary be thrown to the debating society dogs.

There are New York City school-based supervisors who have intimated brutally insensitive and ignorant views about historical realities that ought to be untouchable as they are irrefutable. Ratings officers have been known to penalize subordinates who they suspect have opposing standpoints.
What are the DOE’s “guidelines” when cases are brought to their attention?

Just as it is sometimes the duty of partisans to rise up against oppression, communities must in lawful contexts, by means of boycotts or otherwise, relentlessly apply pressure to drive the Latsons out of their careers.
If the impetus of righteousness is not sufficient to the task, escalating political action may be necessary.

Ron Isaac

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