When I was a kid, the neighborhood boys would play a game with a Nerf football called “Smear the Queer.”
I wasn’t old enough to discern the homophobic nuances, but the spectacle of pre-teenagers with spindly mustaches beating the living crap out of the unlucky guy with the ball was enough to keep me in my own yard, safely ensconced in a Nancy Drew book. These were the kids who smoked cigarettes in their basement rec room lit by black light bulbs that made everyone’s teeth a scary yellow, and any game they played I quickly knew better than to be a part of.
Apparently, some students at La Quinta High School near Palm Springs, CA had no such inner compass, as several were apprehended this summer for spending the wee hours of the morning playing a game called “Beat the Jew.”
According to Care2.com, “the game consists of “Jews” being blindfolded and taken to a random location off the freeway. They then must make it to “base,” or the school, while being chased by “Nazis” who are out to tackle and capture them. While seven students were caught, the game has 40 fans on its Facebook page.”
Charming. The Facebook page has since been shut down, and the ADL swooped into Southern Cali this week to throw down what’s bound to be one muthafarkin’ tolerance and anti-bias education program, but I have my doubts that even Ravin’ Abe Foxman Himself can really make a difference to these kids.
Especially since some of them defended themselves with the argument that their “Beat the Jew” game was not anti-Semitic since no Jews were actually harassed.
Seriously, how much patience does a society have to have for this kind of stupidity? Does that mean the late afternoon ass-kickings of “Smear the Queer” weren’t homophobic because my scary redneck neighbors didn’t shake the sh*t out of any actual gay people?
At least they might have truthfully claimed that they didn’t know the word “queer” was a fairly obvious reference to a gay person in 1978. But how could the term “Jew,” in 2010 or 1939 or 1492, refer to anything else?