Daniel Johnstone says reaction to this photo highlights how people are prepared to laugh at one issue – drugs – but get wound up by children dressed in “blackface.” Photo: Facebook/Daniel Johnstone ALast moth a Perth mothyer painted her son’s skin black for a Book Week parade because he had wanted to look like footballer Nic Naitanui
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler Photo: Supplied
A child at an Alice Springs private school has dressed up as Adolf Hitler for Book Week while visiting Jewish students from a college in Melbourne looked on.
It comes after social media went into meltdown after a Perth boy donned “blackface” last month to emulate his hero – AFL superstar Nic Naitanui.
Then only a couple of days later, a Perth dad was condemned for painting his son’s face and nose white to look like fallen ex-Eagle Ben Cousins.
The student at St Philip’s College in the red centre apparently got permission from his teacher to dress up like the Fuehrer at the school assembly for Book Week according to the ABC Alice Springs.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the student was awarded one of the “best dressed”. And the cringe factor gets worse, as the assembly was full of Jewish exchange students from Bialik College in Melbourne.
It’s not the first time a student has dressed up as the former Nazi leader and won an award. In 2010, a Catholic primary school principal in Perth apologised to parents after a student dressed as Adolf Hitler won first place in class on a school dress-up day.
St Philip’s College put out a statement saying it was an “innocent mistake”.
The statement said the student had an interest in politics and history and got permission for his book week costume.
“This was an innocent mistake by a teacher who is a respected, honourable and lovely person who got it wrong on the day,” the statement on the school’s website said.
“The school apologises unreservedly to everyone for any offence that has been caused. We have been in touch with the principal of the visiting students who were present on the day and they have accepted our apology.”
The college said it was reviewing its policies so something like this wouldn’t happen again.
“The school is providing support and assistance to the teacher, the student, and their family,” the statement said.
“It has been a very distressing lesson for all concerned.”
Bialik College principal Jeremy Stowe-Lindner told the ABC it was an “unfortunate incident.
“I understand that no malice was intended and I guess the coincidence of Jewish children visiting from Melbourne is a learning opportunity for the community, and that the principal assures me this is number one priority,” he said.
The chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dvir Abramovich said he was “shocked” by the level of ignorance shown.
He is calling for mandatory Holocaust education in schools across Australia after the incident.
“Clearly, this offensive and ill-judged incident is a wake up call that we all have much work to do in ensuring that all students understand the evils of the Holocaust, and what Hitler represents, not only to the Jewish community, but to all the victims, the survivors and to those Australian soldiers who fought to defeat the Third Reich,” he said in a statement.
“This student, who displayed such disturbing insensitivity by choosing to dress up as Hitler, a brutal tyrant who symbolises unbridled hate and genocide, and the teacher who awarded him the prize, must be taught about the results of Hitler’s demonic plan to symmetrically exterminate the Jewish people and the enormous suffering he caused.”
The Perth mother who dressed her son as Naitanui said last month she expected to get some backlash from the political correct brigade, but she dressed him up anyway.
She boasted that he “looked fanf—ingtastic” and described the moment as a “parenting win”.
The photo of the boy sparked widespread condemnation on social media and a call for education from injured Eagles superstar Naitanui, who later volunteered to meet with the young boy.
The mother posted the photo on popular Perth blogger Constance Hall’s Facebook page, who deleted the picture because she didn’t agree with the use of “blackface”.
Ms Hall, who has over 880,00 followers, received deaths threats then overwhelming support on social media after she posted a picture of herself crying because of the venomous attacks.
“I got dressed. I didn’t think I could. But I checked out of the hotel and I was hugged in the lobby by a beautiful woman, I cried again but it was such a relief.
“So I want you to know that all of these messages and supportive comments have reached me.
“So far in the last hour I have been hugged by three strangers in Freo. I feel like those hugs are coming from all of you, you have reached me. You’ll never know how much you mean to me.
“Thank you so much.”
Perth dad Daniel Johnstone who painted his son “whiteface” to look like Cousins said the fact he received no backlash on social media highlighted why society might laugh at drug problems but react differently to racial issues like Naitanui “blackface” controversy.
“I think it’s quite damning to Australians that 20,000 people thought it [the Cousins photo] was funny and everyone was jumping on the Nic Nat kid,” he said.
” I think there is a bit of double-standard in society with political correctness.
“Anything to do with drug use is hilarious but everyone is quick to jump on a kid painting himself black, which was quite innocent.” Follow WAtoday on Twitter