Tail starting to wag the dog in U.S.

In Morgan Hill, Calif., yesterday, five Live Oak High School students were sent home for wearing T-shirts featuring American flags. Administrators ruled the shirts “incendiary.”

Excuse me? You can’t wear the American flag in America? No. Not in that school, not on May 5th, not on Cinco de Mayo.

“They said we could wear it on any other day, but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today,” explained one of the T-shirt wearers.

“I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day,” said a Mexican-American student. “We don’t deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn’t do that on Fourth of July.”

Disrespected!? That girl and anyone who thinks like her needs a serious attitude adjustment. Hers is precisely the attitude that’s fueling anti-immigration sentiment in America today. She’s an American (presumably) in America. She was accorded the ultimate respect the day she was born or became an American, with all the inherent rights and privileges. (Her parents and teachers should have taught her that long before now.) She is given respect and recognition when Americans from all backgrounds celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Her heritage and culture is respected every bit as much as any other in America. But Irish-Americans don’t object to American flags on St. Patrick’s Day, nor French-Americans on Bastille Day, nor Canadian-Americans on Canada Day, nor African-Americans during Kwanzaa.

The school administrators made a really bad call in the “political correctness” department. Whether in the classroom or by example, they should be teaching civics and what it means to be an American. They should be teaching tolerance, patriotism, history, and respect for the American flag. Doing so should not include removing American flags in deference to a vocal minority with a distorted sense of where their loyalties lie.

If Mexican-Americans, or any other hyphenated Americans, genuinely feel they are being disrespected, put down, belittled, insulted, or offended in any way by a display of this nation’s flag, then they should seriously reconsider their country of residence. They’ll never be happy here.

In America we respect, remember, and celebrate our cultural diversity, but we are, first and foremost, Americans.

5 comments

  1. Well, I’m just insulted. You forgot Italian-Americans on Columbus Day. Oh, wait, offensive to Native Americans. *rolls eyes*

    You know, I’m pretty liberal. Progressive, even. Celebrate diversity. Enjoy multiculturalism. Be a citizen of the world. But that kid needs to go back to Mexico if it’s that important to her.
    ________
    Actually, I had Italian-Americans and Columbus Day in one of my drafts. But the paragraph got so ridiculously long (Vietnamese-Americans and Tet, British-Americans and Boxing Day, Swedish-Americans and St. Lucy’s Day, etc.) that I had to make some cuts. Sorry ’bout that. You’ll get top billing next time.

    Yes, that girl really ticked me off. Could you tell?

  2. I just can’t help thing there’s more to this story than meets the eye here. I can’t imagine this scenario playing out the way it was decribed. Then again… who knows. I started a bit of debate on my facebook page about this subject when I mentioned that I was impressed with the Pheonix Suns statement on Tuesday night when they wore the ‘Los Suns” jerseys. Like so many polarizing issues, the middle ground, i.e. reasonable, is getting paved over by racists on one side, lunatics on the other.
    ______________
    I’d go read what you said, but I closed my FB account recently. I can’t imagine what the Suns could have said that made those jerseys okay in such a a volatile, polarized environment. Personally, I think sports teams should stick to sports.

    I dunno if I’m a racist or a lunatic or somewhere in between. I’ve always thought it was reasonable to expect people to obey the law and treat each other with respect. But then, I’m terribly old-fashioned …

  3. Pingback: We are not Borg |

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