Thursday, May 6, 2010

Red Flag Waving

There's something wrong with this country when the PC police get you for wearing an American flag t-shirt to school.

From (San Francisco, go figure):
On any other day at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Daniel Galli and his four friends would not even be noticed for wearing T-shirts with the American flag. But Cinco de Mayo is not any typical day especially on a campus with a large Mexican American student population.

Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal's office.

"They said we could wear it on any other day," Daniel Galli said, "but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today."

I came really close to making a scene in the dining hall when I read this. I'm sorry, did AMERICAN kids in an AMERICAN classrooom get in trouble for wearing an AMERICAN flag during a MEXICAN holiday? Yes, yes they did. In fact, the students ended up having to go home in order to avoid being suspended for non-compliance.

Other students defended the school's decision.

"I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day," Annicia Nunez, a Live Oak High student, said. "We don't deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn't do that on Fourth of July."

So, so many things wrong with that quote, I don't even know where to start. In fact, I think I may even need to pull out the bullet points for this one, little sentence.

  • Cinco de Mayo is not a nationally recognized holiday, unlike Independence Day. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was imported, not to celebrate "Mexican Heritage" but as a reason to get wasted on Tequila midway through the week. I have many non-hispanic friends and relatives who celebrate this day with more gusto than any hispanic I've ever met.
  • It is not "disrespectful" to wear a flag on a non-national heritage holiday. Is anyone disrespecting the Irish when they wear an American Flag on St. Patrick's day? Last I heard, that was considered an important celebration of Irish heritage. What if you wear an American flag shirt during Oktoberfest (a German cultural holiday giving everyone an excuse to drink a ton of beer in the middle of the week)? Hmm? I'm German. I demand everyone wear lederhosen during Oktoberfest. If not, you're disrespecting me and I don't deserve that. You don't see me wearing lederhosen during the Fourth of July, do you?
  • Are you in Mexico, or America?
I have more, but I think I can sum up my last point with a little comparison. The principal's excuse for threatening the kids was that their shirts could be incendiary and start a fight. So, let's say a guy wears a Yankees shirt into a Red Sox bar. It's likely that some overzealous Red Sox fan gets offended and punches the Yankees fan in the face. For argument's sake, let's say it turns into a full on bar brawl. When the police come to break up the fight, who will they blame for it? The Yankees fan for his shirt? Or the Red Sox fan for throwing the first punch?
Anyone? Anyone at all?

They blame the guy who threw the punch.

You see, it was stupid to wear the Yankees shirt into that bar. Not illegal, just stupid. But nobody begrudges the guy the right to wear his shirt (except the guy who punched him, but he's going to jail now. See how that works out?).

That's the same thing here. Except in this case, the principal thought he could stem potential violence by punishing the would-be victims beforehand. He was going to suspend them for wearing a t-shirt with an American Flag. It wasn't like they were insulting Mexicans, or hispanics, or calling them names, or refusing to let them wear their heritage(?) flag. They were celebrating what they saw as their heritage on a day that, if you're not Mexican or a drinker, really doesn't mean anything. And obviously these kids weren't Mexican (or drinking) or there probably wouldn't have been a problem. As it stands, they were punished for not celebrating a day that doesn't mean anything to them.

That's what Political Correctness does. It punishes victims for non-crimes. Oh how far we've come when "freedom of speech" really means "freedom from speech". You don't deserve to be disrespected so some greater authority should have the power to dictate even what you wear so something non-offensive might not offend you later.

On a positive note, the school district has both apologized and distanced itself from the school's decision. The boys are back at school today, complete with American flags. Of course, today is one of the 364 days when it's not offensive. Except for St. Patrick's Day. And Oktoberfest. And ...

Usual challenge stands. Show me how the Liberal point of view on this one is somehow correct. Try and change my mind.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely said. You are also correct in your position that Cinco de Mayo is not a holiday--it's a made up holiday. Corona beer made it up to sell more of their product and as a publicity stunt to introduce their beer to America. It's not even celebrated in Mexico. I like your point of view and you write with absolute literacy which I really appreciate. Political correctness is a cancer that is killing this country. It has taken away our freedom of speech and is taking away our freedom of choice. The fear of offending has turned America into a mincing leviathan.