Friday, May 7, 2010

Students Wearing Patriotic Colors Sent Home

I could not believe my eyes when I saw this story last night,Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees;Freedom of expression or cultural disrespect on Cinco de Mayo?. Now, there are times kids might need to change their t-shirts, or turn them inside out, or what have you, for inappropriate messages, but this was most definitely NOT one of those times:

I'm sorry, did this young man just say they were not allowed to wear American flags because it was the Mexicans' holiday? Evidently:
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."

The boys said the administrators called their T-shirts "incendiary" that would lead to fights on campus.

"They said if we tried to go back to class with our shirts not taken off, they said it was defiance and we would get suspended," Dominic Maciel, Galli's friend, said.

The American flag is "INCENDIARY"?? Are you freaking kidding me? Maybe in, I don't know, IRAN, but in the United States, it is our flag! For these boys to be sent home is absurd:
The boys really had no choice, and went home to avoid suspension. They say they're angry they were not allowed to express their American pride. Their parents are just as upset, calling what happened to their children, "total nonsense."

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous," Julie Fagerstrom, Maciel's mom, said. "All they were doing was displaying their patriotic nature. They're expressing their individuality."

But to many Mexican-American students at Live Oak, this was a big deal. They say they were offended by the five boys and others for wearing American colors on a Mexican holiday.

"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."

As for an apology, the boys and their families say, 'fat chance.'

Well, evidently, they are not teaching Logic in that school. There is no comparison between an immigrant wanting to acknowledge the country of their birth, and the day the country in which they live celebrates its independence. The holidays of other countries are not federal nor mandatory holidays for the US, nor should they be. We are not required to observe them, and if we do, like Cinco de Mayo, it is out of generosity of spirit on our part, and is not a requirement.

And I'm with the boys - they have zero about which to apologize:
"I'm not going to apologize. I did nothing wrong," Galli said. "I went along with my normal day. I might have worn an American flag, but I'm an American and I'm proud to be an American."

The five boys and their families met with a Morgan Hill Unified School District official Wednesday night. The district and the school do not see eye-to-eye on the incident and released the following statement:

The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration's interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions.

The boys will not be suspended and were allowed to return to school Thursday. We spotted one of them when he got to campus -- and, yes, he was sporting an American flag T-shirt.

Wow. What in the sam hill is going on here? Like Brian Kilmey said this morning, on St. Patrick's Day, no one gets angry if you aren't wearing green. No kidding. No kids are sent home from school for it, either. No other group demands that their holiday be observed here or else. Nor should they. I have zero problems with Mexicans and Mexico in general, but I have a huge problem with this sense of entitlement that seems pervasive among our youth today, and in this case, encouraged by someone in power. That is beyond the pale.

And while I am talking about Mexico, a new poll is out regarding our borders. The way Obama and the Democrats are talking about the new Arizona law, the results may surprise you. Or maybe not, if you know they are big liars. Anyway, the headline tells the story, Fox News Poll: Arizona Was Right to Take Action on Immigration. No doubt detractors will say, "Well, it's Fox News, what do you expect?" Bet you didn't expect this:
Polling was conducted by telephone May 4-5, 2010, in the evenings. The total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points.

Results are of registered voters, unless otherwise noted. LV = likely voters
Democrats n=366, ±5; Republicans n=331, ±5; Independents n=159, ±8
Questions 1-

You can view the full results here, but these are the highlights:
Most American voters think Arizona was right to pass its own immigration law, and think the Obama administration should wait and see how the new law works rather than try to stop it, according to a Fox News poll released Friday.

The new poll finds 61 percent of voters nationally think Arizona was right to take action instead of waiting for the federal government to do something on immigration. That's more than twice as many as the 27 percent who think securing the border is a federal responsibility and Arizona should have waited for Washington to act.

Most Republicans (77 percent) and independents (72 percent) support Arizona taking action. Democrats are divided: 43 percent think the state was right, while 41 percent think Arizona should have let the federal government take the lead.

Considering Arizona has asked the Federal government repeatedly for help, I think that ship has sailed, but thanks for playing. As for the Arizona law itself:
Significantly more voters think the Obama administration should wait and see how the new law works (64 percent) than think the administration should try to stop it (15 percent).

To varying degrees, majorities of Democrats (52 percent), Republicans (77 percent) and independents (68 percent) think the White House should see how the law works.

Nearly half of voters — 45 percent — say they don't know enough about the new law to offer an opinion on it. Thirty-four percent favor it, and 21 percent oppose it.

Who's responsible for illegal immigration? By a 60-17 percent margin, voters think the Mexican government is the one that deserves to be targeted by protests for creating the conditions that make so many of its citizens want to leave, instead of protesting the U.S. government for having tough immigration laws.

What a concept - wait and watch to see how the law works out. Huh. Apparently, most people in government haven't considered that option. And since it mirrors federal law, you would think the president would support it, not threaten Arizona with the Justice Department. But that just wouldn't be Obama, would it?

And then there is the question of how to prevent illegal immigration:
Stopping Illegal Immigration

Asked how to deal with illegal immigration, the poll shows large numbers favor using National Guard troops to help border patrol agents (79 percent), and imposing fines and criminal charges against employers who hire illegal aliens (79 percent).

Sixty percent favor using the U.S. military to stop illegal immigrants at the border. Support for using the military is up slightly from 55 percent in 2006, although it's down from a high of 79 percent in 2002,when memories of the 9/11 attacks were more top of mind.

Just over half of voters — 53 percent — favor building a wall or fence along the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration.

The new poll finds the biggest concern about illegal immigration is the overburdening of government programs. Forty-four percent cite the strain on government services — far outdistancing all other concerns. About one in five (19 percent) says their biggest concern is illegal immigrants taking jobs away from U.S. citizens, while smaller numbers mention an increase in crime (6 percent) and terrorism (6 percent).

By a 7 percentage point margin, more voters say they think Republicans (42 percent) would do a better job than Democrats (35 percent) handling immigration issues. And by a much wider 20 point margin, voters think Republicans (48 percent) would do a better job than Democrats (28 percent) on border security.

The issue of immigration falls far behind other top issues on voters' minds. The economy remains the priority — in fact, the poll finds nearly 10 times as many voters cite the economy (47 percent) as immigration (5 percent) as being the most important issue facing the country today.

These are not the things we are hearing from Washington. Now Obama wants to push Immigration Reform during a week when Unemployment reaches almost 10% in this country. He wants the Congress to focus on an issue that is way down on the majority of American's radar. Our president seems to have his priorities skewed, to put it mildly. Is it really just for votes that he, Reid, and other Democrats are wanting to shift onto this now? Really? When our Unemployment is so high? I'm guessing there will be a lot of votes, but they most likely won't be going the way Reid and Obama want them to go.

Students being thrown out of school for wearing the American Flag. American citizens begging for the border to be patrolled by the National Guard. The President siding not with the US citizens, but with the illegal immigrants. This is some kind of upside down world in which we find ourselves. How out of touch can this president, and this Congress be? I shudder to think we may find out...


Anonymous said...

Yep, that's progressive California, Rev. Wear a t-shirt with an American Flag on it on a day that celebrates another country's holiday, and get sent home. During Chanukah, NO ONE better mention Christmas. And during Passover, if I hear ONE WORD about Easter I'll take it to the media.

It would be funny if it wasn't real.

And Annicia Nunez needs to be more aware of what exactly Cinco de Mayo is. While it may represent pride in one's Mexican heritage, it is NOT "Mexican Heritage Day". Ms Nunez, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza SeguĂ­n.

And, as a matter of interest, it's not celebrated all that widely in Mexico. It's mostly celebrated in the U.S.


Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

ROTFLMAO - can you just IMAGINE if people blew gaskets for things like that on a regular basis? Oh my gosh - we'd constantly be having these kinds of battles.

And yes - that was my memory of Cinco de Mayo, too - so, let
s see. When we want to celebrate the Battle of Bunker Hill, by GOLLY, there better not be an Italian, or Mexican, or Greek, or Puerto Rican flag in sight!

Good grief. WTH is going on in this country, I ask you? You think that couple in CA who won the Megamillions will share?? Yeah, I didn't think so, either...

Sheesh, SF. Just shaking my head in disbelief...

Shari said...

I have a brother retired from the Navy and 2 nephews in the military. How dare the school system take away the freedoms my family has fought for and so many others have died life for. To me this was a disrespect to every military person show has served, serving or will serve the US. If school were in session on July 4th and students wore shirts representing another country, would they be sent home?

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Shari, thanks to your brother and nephews for their service to the country. I hope your nephews will be safe.

It is shocking, isn't it? As SF Indie pointed out, "Cinco de Mayo" isn't even a big holiday in Mexico. What makes all of this even more bizarre is that a number of the Mexican American students held a protest today for - are you ready for this? Free Speech. As I noted, logic is not their strong suit, apparently. They are demanding free speech for themselves at the very time they are trying to take away others' free speech.

I still don't know how wearing an American flag is considered "incendiary" in the United States.


Thanks for coming by, and again, thanks to your family for their service (and yours, too - having family members serve takes the support of their families, too)...

Anonymous said...

So, Rev, now that I’ve had time to mull this fiasco over a bit, it occurs to me that this could truly have been a “teaching moment”. Had the vice-principal been a man of any wisdom, he could have brought all the students together in an assembly and talked openly about what Cinco de Mayo really does represent, its importance as a holiday to Mexicans who live in the USA but not to those living in Mexico, what it means to celebrate an ethnic holiday in a foreign country, and what those Mexican students expect from the students who were born in the US. I would have asked those students who felt is was “disrespectful” of Americans to wear t-shirts depicting the American flag, in their own country, how they would feel if the situation was reversed. What would they feel if they lived in Mexico, and on July 4th they were told that because it was an American holiday, they were not allowed to display, in their own country, any depiction of their Mexican flag or heritage? How much more productive it could have been to open up a discussion instead of create the horrible conflict that now exists.

Thank goodness for The Pretender, who is going to bring healing to us all. Rumor is that every student at that high school will soon be receiving their very own unicorn! Yep, better remind them all to start wearing their boots, what with all those unicorns wandering around....

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

SF, that is it exactly. It COULD have been a teachable moment abt what the holiday really represents (primarily a holiday emphasized by beer-makers - ahem), and all the rest. You said it all just beautifully. It COULD have been handled very, very differently. And it should have been.

I understand the school is now making some apologetic sounds, but really - it blew this one from the get-go. Had this not gotten on the news, I sincerely doubt the VP and any others woulod have had the least bit of remorse for sending those boys home.

LOL abt the boots and the unicorns. No kidding! No more flip-flops for those kids!!

Obama - SUCH a uniter, isn't he? And I thought Bush was a "uniter." Ha! He looks like Mother Teresa by comparison.