KTTH OPINION

Rantz: School held candlelight vigil for Fidel Castro, ‘martyred … advancing civil rights’

Feb 1, 2024, 4:44 AM | Updated: 5:07 am

A Shoreline high school offered a "candlelight vigil" where Castro was celebrated as "martyred" for fighting on behalf of civil rights. (Photo obtained by The Jason Rantz Show) (Photo obtained by The Jason Rantz Show)

Last week, The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH exclusively reported a high school in Shoreline hailed Fidel Castro, a notorious dictator, as a “social justice” champion. But details more disturbing than we initially thought, have now come to light.

The assembly offered a “candlelight vigil” where Castro was celebrated as “martyred” for fighting on behalf of civil rights. And student leaders refused to recite the pledge, instead asking kids to stay silent during what should have been the recitation — though very brief.

The original report was based on a student’s recollection of a Martin Luther King Jr. assembly at Shorecrest High School in the Shoreline School District. Some parents were upset that Castro played any role in the assembly, but a school administrator brushed off concerns. She noted that the presentation labeled Castro “a problematic person and figure, too.” That’s demonstrably false.

The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH has now exclusively obtained the slides presented to the students, along with the accompanying script.

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Celebrating a murderous dictator

Toward the end of the assembly, student presenters offered what they called a candlelight vigil to honor the “martyred.”

“Now we are continuing a tradition today to have a candlelight vigil to pay solemn tribute to a selection of the people who were martyred while working on behalf of advancing civil rights, social justice and decolonization,” the student presenter said, according to the assembly script. “This year we are selecting Black American civil rights leaders as well as leaders of developing nations who valiantly sought to liberate themselves from the shackles of Western imperialism, capitalism and a specter of war crimes.”

Castro was not “martyred.” He died a peaceful death from natural causes. Yet he appeared alongside Nelson Mandela and Emmett Till during the vigil. Students took turns reading a short description of the accomplishments of the others they said were “martyred” for fighting to decolonize or advance various social justice causes. Castro’s description was glowing.

The students were told that Castro was “a figure whose impact on Cuba and the world is undeniable.” While that’s true, it’s not for positive contributions. The script conveniently omits that Castro’s reign was marked by human rights abuses, mass murders, and political suppression. Instead, he was applauded because he “challenged imperialistic influences.”

“As the leader of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Castro aimed to uplift his people by overthrowing the Batista regime and ushering in a new era of social justice. His policies in healthcare and education significantly improved the standard of living for many Cubans, and his politics promoted antiracism,” the script said.

No criticisms of Castro directly

When an upset parent asked how Castro could possibly be celebrated, an administrator brushed off the complaint, noting he was a small part of the larger assembly.

“His decolonization efforts were why he was selected, but his problematic leadership and actions were also included in his blurb,” the administrator said in an email forwarded to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

But there were no specific criticisms of Castro, as the administrator claimed. Instead, students were offered nine words that were mildly critical of his government: “His communist regime faced criticism for limiting political freedoms.” But the U.S. was criticized, called out for targeting him.

“There were Many failed Attempts [sic] to overthrow his regime, he actually has the most survived assassination attempts of any world leader, Castro was able to live into old age,” the script said.

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Dismissing the Pledge

The assembly also included a seemingly intentional attempt to slight the Pledge of Allegiance.

According to the script, students were told they were legally required to feature the Pledge of Allegiance, as if it were a burden. But it was never offered. Instead, it was presented as a very brief moment of silence.

“We hope our assembly today inspires open dialogue and fosters a community where every voice is heard, understood, and respected. In the spirit of unity and reflection, I invite you to take a seat or stand as we take a moment of silence for the Pledge of Allegiance. Your ability to have a choice is an action that transcends physicality and speaks to the freedom and individuality that is at the foundation of our nation. the [sic] moment of silence will begin now,” the script said.

There was, however, a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the so-called black national anthem.

A student at the assembly confirmed the moment of silence was brief, and that no student stood up “because there was no time.” The student said it is a “typical” occurrence at the school to move quickly passed the Pledge. He said the slide was displayed for just a few moments, too. The slide isn’t a reflection of the actual Pledge.

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” the slide read.

Slide of the pledge. (Photo obtained by The Jason Rantz Show)

Whitewashing history, indoctrinating students

The disturbing whitewashing of Castro’s history is obviously dangerous.

Teaching kids to celebrate people like him because they enjoyed his “decolonizing” (a term these students don’t even really understand) only means they’re more apt to justify political violence. If mass murder via firing squads, which also was used against minors, is acceptable because it’s done to challenge “imperialistic influences,” imagine what kind of activism they’d engage in here in an area that props up Black Lives Matter riots and Antifa violence.

As alarming is there’s not even a counterbalance to the propaganda. There’s no indication from the assembly slide or script that anything was offered to the students beyond what was printed. And the school and district don’t seem to mind. The district’s communications director Rachel Belfield refuses to respond to media inquiries.

These problems aren’t isolated to Shoreline, of course. It’s systemic to public education (and increasingly private education), particularly in Democrat-run regions. It would behoove parents to inquire what curriculum is being taught in schools and not treat assemblies as frivolous affairs where your child is safe. Parents now have to deprogram this radical propaganda from the minds of their kids.

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Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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Rantz: School held candlelight vigil for Fidel Castro, ‘martyred … advancing civil rights’