PMHS senior furious at parent concern over golf-course booze party while adults ignore George Floyd memorial, racism

To the editor:

I am a graduating senior at Pelham Memorial High School. Every night for more than two weeks, there has been a peaceful vigil in Pelham to honor and remember George Floyd, a man who was lynched by four police officers, and I have never seen more than 20 adults in attendance. I am absolutely furious, outraged and embarrassed by the lack of response from so many parents in Pelham to the murder of an innocent man, especially when considering the fury that so many parents in Pelham expressed on a Facebook post this morning showing that there were some empty beer cans left on their golf course.

On Wednesday night, there was a party at ‘The Woods’—a local golf course where many students of PMHS frequently go to party—in celebration of the last day of school, and for many of the attendees, their last ever day of classes at the high school. The following morning, a video was posted to the private Facebook group, Parents of Pelham, showing empty beer cans on the golf course, followed by many comments from angry parents about the condition that this golf course was left in.

I am furious, outraged and embarrassed because of the many Pelham parents who seem to have found their voices when there were a few beer bottles left on their golf course but remain silent when it comes to respecting minorities and speaking up for what is right. Members of the Facebook group commented on the video that last night’s acts at The Woods were “horrible,” “disgraceful” and “outrageous.” They further explained how angry they were because this was illegal, foolhardy, irresponsible and selfish. I agree, what happened Wednesday night was wrong, but I can tell you that it was far less horrible, disgraceful, illegal, irresponsible or outrageous than the racial epithets and swastikas that are emblazoned in our public schools every year. People commented that anybody who has children who attended this party should talk to their children about respecting the property of the Pelham Bay Golf Course and should bring them to clean up the mess that they made. Instead, I beg you to speak to your children about the dangers of hate and the history of these words and symbols. As far as I have known, the swastikas were written about in an email with no further information. I was told that the same, in fact even less, was done when a fellow student used the “N” word when speaking to black students and neighbors. This is not only wrong, but how can we expect kids to be “ashamed” of “destroying” a golf course our parents pay for, if they aren’t ashamed of these disgusting and offensive acts?

It is very upsetting to me that so many of these parents are more outraged when they see a video of their littered golf course than when they hear about these intolerable acts of hate that plague our school. It is an outrage that I was called an ethnic slur while a student at Pelham Middle School. It is an outrage that people from Mount Vernon and New Rochelle are scared to drive through Pelham because they know that they may get profiled. Having to pick up a few beer cans that your own children left while you are trying to play nine holes is not an outrage, it is a minor inconvenience.

Justin O’Beirne

10 Westward Lane