U.S. flag ban on Cinco de Mayo

Five students who wore American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo were sent home from a California high school, reports the GilroyDispatch. Live Oak High School in middle-class Morgan Hill is 43 percent non-Hispanic white and 40 percent Hispanic.

“They said we were starting a fight, we were fuel to the fire,” said sophomore Matt Dariano.

The boys refused to turn their T-shirts inside-out, saying it was disrespectful to the flag.

More than 100 students were spotted wearing red, white and green as they were leaving school. Some had the Mexican flag painted on their faces or on their arms.

. . . One Mexican-American student, freshman Laura Ponce, had a Mexican flag painted on her face and chest, peaking out of her low-cut shirt. She did it because, “it’s our day, the only day we can show our spirit.” A school administrator took away the Mexican flag she was carrying as she was waiting to go home. Ponce said: “not cool.”

Some students yelled “Mexico sucks,” reports the Dispatch. Mexican-American students yelled insults back  in Spanish.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, the school hosted folklorico dancers, who waved Mexican flags and played Mexican music. Apparently, it didn’t ease the tension.

Via Instapundit.

California gives students broad free speech rights, which the school apparently violated, writes Eugene Volokh.

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  1. Richard Nieporent says:

    If these students want to wear T-shirts with US flags at school let them go back to the US where they came from. Oh, wait… 🙁

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    It has come to my attention that Cinco de Mayo is not a holiday in Mexico.
    So…what’s going on, anyway?
    On the upside, the leftovers from my wife’s Spanish classes’ Cinco de Mayo parties will last most of the week.
    So there’s that.

  3. The school administrators are idiots for encouraging any celebrations based on ethnicity. We can assign some ethnic identity to St. Patrick’s day and Columbus day, but do we really celebrate those days, along with school wide acknowlegements, with any consistency any more?

    I suppose, in the name of self esteem building, they decided to throw the Mexican kids a bone. To bad it leaves out kids from other Spanish speaking countries and Puerto Ricans.

  4. I think the school would have been on solid ground had it banned all flag representations. However, it can’t ban some flag while permitting others while respecting the freedom of all students. I would be looking for the principle to resign.

  5. Possibly ironic detail: The school’s mascot is the acorn. Today, the school site was urging students to “Go nuts!”

  6. Homeschooling Granny says:

    Historian and CA resident, Victor Davis Hanson wryly writes:
    “I am waving the flag of a nation that drove me, in desperation and in poverty, to seek a new life away from it, and I am chanting in anger at policies of a majority of a nation that I most definitely wish to stay in.”

  7. I have heard before of schools that ban gang colors, but they usually ban both red and blue head scarves.

  8. bandit says:

    There’s no self righteousness like the self righteousness of the perpetually aggrieved. The principal should be standing on the unemployment line now.

  9. “I think the school would have been on solid ground had it banned all flag representations. However, it can’t ban some flag while permitting others while respecting the freedom of all students.”

    So – in the name of not “offending” anyone – all flags, including the American flag, should be banned? Who supports the school? Americans. Who attends the schools? Americans (mostly, anyway). What country are we in? America. These hyphenated ethnic groups are dumb. If you’re in America, and you’re a citizen, you’re an American – NOT Mexican-American or Puerto Rican American or Jamaican American – by golly, you’re an American. Whoever is offended by the American flag can leave.

  10. momof4 says:

    David: Banning representations of this country’s flag is ridiculous and possibly un-American. If anyone is offended, they are free to leave the country.

  11. tim-10-ber says:

    multiculturalism has caused so many problems for this country…it is time to drop the hyphen — you are an american. period. paragraph. you happen to have ancestors of another origin. okay. cool… but if you are in this country you are an american. period.

  12. The only way a US flag would be inappropriate at a Cinco de Mayo celebration would be if the US and Mexico were enemies at war. Were that the case, however, for the school to celebrate the Mexican holiday would be treason, and the school officials should all be executed.

  13. Richard N., that’s a good one.

    I feel sorry for the vice principal. He must realize now he made a very poor decision. What he did was an abuse of power and was enormously stupid. The district disavowed his decision but they should have gone farther and called him an idiot.

    It’s obvious that the five boys were wearing the American flags as a way to counter those who were expressing pride in their Mexican heritage. It was aggression toward Mexicans disguised as patriotism. That is probably what upset the vice principal, the clear racist motive of these boys.

    It’s too bad that the vice principal let his emotions overcome his common sense.

    Those five boys have a lot of growing up to do. But the vice principal is already grown and there is no excuse for his colossal blunder.

    As for Cinco de Mayo, it’s evolution is downright sad.

    It started out as a celebration promoted in the late 60’s by the Chicano movement in California to heighten awareness that common people can rise up and defeat colonization because a tenet of the Chicano movement was that, in a sense, all Mexican-Americans could still be viewed as colonized.

    But then came Mr. Adolf Coors, a very rightwing businessman from Colorado who was so rightwing, he had no problems at all with his first name.

    He gave away free beer, and a lot of it, every Cinco de Mayo, and other beer producers followed suit. By the early 80’s, Cinco de Mayo had more to do with Mexicans drinking beer than Mexicans thinking about historical facts or pathways to overcome social and economic challenges.

    It’s an inspiring story, what happened on the 5th of May in Puebla, Mexico. It’s too bad that it was hijacked. It’s too bad it’s used as an excuse to drink. And it’s too bad it causes cultural strife.

  14. Robert said…”That is probably what upset the vice principal, the clear racist motive of these boys.”

    The motive of the boys was racism? On what do you base this conclusion? By throwing around the term racism so loosely you’re demeaning the meaning of the word.

  15. Richard Aubrey says:

    When you have a problem, you reach for your Swiss Army Knife, or in Robert’s case, you accuse somebody, anybody, of racism.
    It’s a reflex. He can’t help it.
    I don’t see how celebrating a defeat at the hands of the French is a self-esteem booster, but racial grievance mongers don’t seem to think their audience knows or cares about such things. Seems they’re right.

  16. I think it’s silly to think that the boys motive was anything other than oppositional.

    It’s just a coincidence that the one day of the year they wear an American flag happens to be the 5th of May?

    That’s quite a coincidence.

  17. AndyJoy says:

    Oppositional, yes. Racist? Not necessarily, unless you presume that anyone who still believes in the “melting pot” idea that we should pride ourselves in being Americans (not hyphenated Americans) is racist.

  18. Conservatives believe the U.S. is a melting pot. Liberals believe the U.S. is a toss salad.

    Oh, and: http://www.mayorno.com/WhoIsMecha.html

  19. Yes, I would say that anyone who had a hard time accepting the fact that millions of Americans out of love and family values would rather hold on to their inherited cultural identity to a certain extent rather than lose it by becoming a pot-melted, homogenized white bread eating American, suffers from an insecurity that commonly manifests itself with an unproductive hostility, a xenophobia, a morbid fear of exclusion, a mindless opposition, a false patriotism, that I would call racist.

    Yes, most people pushed out of shape by hyphenated Americans are afraid of differences and exclusion and develop an intolerance for those who are not melted down and I would call that racist.

    Listen to the ranting of one of the mothers of the boys. She’s not talking about equal rights, not civil rights, not free expression, not patriotism, not legal compliance with a sensible immigration policy. She’s foaming at the mouth against those damn Mexicans who she characterizes a being less than American because they don’t look and talk act like her.

    The boys, I don’t think, are terrible racists, yet with parents like those interviewed, one wonders. I think the vice principal perceived them to be worse than the are. The vice principal is the one at fault here. He’s the one who blew their rudeness, their cultural insensitivity, way out of proportion.

    They’re Fox News watching teenagers, not cross burners.

  20. Richard Aubrey says:

    At least, you’re talking culturalism, not your go-to “racism”.
    Nothing wrong with oppositionalism.
    Consider that the non-C5 supporters are being left out because of an accident of birth. Theirs or even their parents’.
    This has nothing to do with culture, or about as much as Irish culture is leprechauns and German culture is lederhosen.
    It’s about the C5 celebrators deliberately separating themselves on a ginned-up party occasion hung on an obscure battle in a war over debt which few in Mexico pay attention to.

    I see you used “afraid”, another tired old trope, to discredit the actual concept, which is thinking something is a bad idea.

    I believe you’re a teacher. Must be why you think you can skate this by us. You’re not used to people telling you they’ve caught on. The kids who are smart enough are smart enough not to let on. They have their grades to consider. Bad habit, Robert.

  21. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Two things:

    1) The kids probably have a right to wear American flags (I say “probably” only because the rights of schoolchildren are, to put it gently, imperiled by federal jurisprudence post-Vernonia). But the fact is that there is a non-trivial chance that someone aggressively wearing the American Flag in the midst of Mexican flag-waving CdM celebrators is going to — even inadvertantly though one might question the inadvertence of the students in this situation — start a fight, that teenage guys are going to want to impress their teenage girlfriends, and that someone’s going to end up with a knife in their neck. At some point, it *doesn’t matter* that the moral fault lies with the student who “starts it” and that the dumb-asses who decided to provoke him were exercising their constitutional rights, because you’ve got a dead kid lying on the sidewalk. Adults can take their chances with their free speech; you want to go talking smack about n***ers at a Black Panther rally, you go do that. You can sue about your civil rights while you’re convalescing in the hospital and you can drive your assailant into penury in the civil suit. But a principal (or vice principal) needs to be looking out for flashpoint dangers in his school. So while I don’t think I would make the same decision as the principal, and while I think he probably (same caveat as above) did something unconstitutional, I’m not willing to condemn him out of hand. It’s easier to send home 5 kids than 80, and that’s what he decided to do: protect those stupid kids from themselves. Indeed, if he HADN’T done that and someone was killed, the school district might even be liable. (Some credit to Dennis Miller, who articulated wonderfully parts what I was feeling on this subject.)

    2) Mexico *does* suck. It’s a civil-war ridden, crime-infested corrupt kleptocracy. I’m with VDH as to why anyone would want to celebrate it.

  22. Richard Aubrey says:

    Michael. Ref how to best defuse a potentially dangerous situation: You’re right. Problem is, this means the principal thinks Mexican kids can’t control themselves. Get violent over silly things.

    I have a relation in LA who is always celebrating diversity. I asked her if she’d put her money in a Nigerian bank. Insist the LAPD recruit solely from the Mexico City police academy. Go to a clinic staffed by graduates of the Addis Abbaba College of Veterinary and Medical Science. She looked at me as if I were nuts. Of course not. (Not sure how grounded in reality she is, she depends on the solvency of the state of CA for her income).
    She is a restaurant diversity celebrator. Period.
    She also doesn’t have to live in the barrios.

  23. Richard A., I read your criticism several times and I confess I don’t quite understand it.

    Michael, you have a good point that sometimes it’s wise to be proactive when situations might turn violent. However, according to the law and the court cases that have interpreted it, there needs to be some objective evidence that the situation is starting to get out of hand before somebody’s freedom of expression is taken away. At Oak Grove, there was no such indication that things would turn violent. It was a fear that Assistant Principal Rodriguez said he had because he saw the potential. According to the law that protects freedom of expression on high schools, mere potential is not good enough.

    Everyone one of those boys wearing the flag that day, though they were woefully culturally insensitive, should receive an apology from Mr. Rodriguez and the district, a strong apology. And Mr. Rodriguez should be required to study the Bill of Rights and he should no longer hold a position of authority in the district.

    Cinco de Mayo, for many young people, has become a day not of pride, but an excuse for venting anger toward authority. And that isn’t right. Being white, and a figure of authority, I can tell you it’s a day that’s become for me a pain in the butt.

    In addition to demoting Mr. Rodriguez and requiring him to apologize, I would suggest that Oak Grove and other schools spend some time in April teaching what happened on the 5th of May in Puebla, Mexico and why this unexpected, short-lived victory would carry meaning.

    (In advanced classes, perhaps they can discuss how and why it grew out of the Chicano movement in the late 60s.)

    Maybe I’m being overly optimistic or liberal in the sense that I believe education can cure social ills, but I think if more people knew the actual history of the 5th of May, perhaps the day would become more inspirational and less incendiary than it is today.

    One more thing about cultural diversity.

    Any institution that claims “we consider our cultural diversity to be a strength, not a weakness,” does so out of self-interest, not humanitarianism. Embracing the existing reality is a wise thing to do when there’s no way you can change it.

  24. Richard Aubrey says:

    To use “afraid” to discredit a concern not otherwise manageable by facts and logic is…tired, old, transparent.

  25. It’s sad that wearing an American flag means you are “culturally insensitive” at any time. ¡Qué lástima!

  26. Richard, I’ll take a look at that and think on it some more.

  27. From what I’ve observed, a lot of the anti-Mexican sentiment is fueled by the sheer numbers of illegal immigrants from that country, especially where their concentration is high enough to change the local culture. In schools, they and their anchor babies, may be an actual majority and he drain on resources (academic and otherwise) is considerable. Also, while some certainly consider themselves Americans and feel loyalty to our country, there is a large number who do neither. Some of their “advocacy” groups explicitly reject the melting pot idea and focus on ethnic grievances and demands for ever more services. A look at how Mexico handles immigrants, even legal ones, is an interesting contrast.

  28. I explicitly reject the melting pot idea (as opposed to the tossed salad metaphor) as do most adults who don’t stoop to watch Fox News.

    As for grievances and demands for more services, I refer you to a corner in San Jose which borders a school in a poor, immigrant section of the city.


    The pedestrian crosswalk button has been broken for over five years and elementary school children have to cross that street twice a day.

    Five years.

    This isn’t something you’d see last for more than five days in a middle class section of town.

    This is the context for what you see as “demands for ever more services.”

  29. Tom, agreed, sad is the word.

    Sad that wrapping oneself in any flag is protection from common sense.

    Sad that patriotism is often “the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

    Sad that because of that bonehead assistant principal, Oak Grove called on police to be stationed at the school today.

  30. One thing that European immigrants in America should understand is that you stole our land. There will come a time when we will deport you and you stinking flag back from where you came. Gringos go home!

  31. Richard Aubrey says:

    Jeez. I tell you and I tell you and you just don’t get it.
    We are not your students, dependent on you for a grade.
    We can tell you we know better.
    Johnson’s remark was not about genuine patriotism, but about false patriotism, about the appeal to patriotism to hide misdoings.
    None of which applies here.
    As to the crossing light…. You may be right. People have to complain. The civic activity of those made passive by “assistance” and other vote-buying techniques is substantially reduced from that of the middle classes.
    All you need is one call to a reporter–they live for those stories.
    I talked to a retired cop, doing PI work for attorneys. He did a good deal of investigation for traffic injuries and fatalities in Detroit. According to him, the city pays out huge amounts in settlements routinely, while not bothering to fix things like stoplights and stop signs and other traffic control items. It’s not that democratic city governments are uncaring. It’s that they are aggressively incompetent.
    Some years ago, Detroit discovered they had a biggish sub account–so well hidden nobody’d looted it–from a small tax designed to pay for fixing streetlights. Quite a bit of money in it, compared to the purpose, and not a single light had been fixed–out of that account, anyway.
    Thing is the voters of Detroit elect these clowns.
    It would be interesting if an enterprising reporter tried to find out if there were as many as one complaint to the proper department about the crossing light and what happened after that.
    At some point, it would be the easier thing to do to issue a work order, instead of running CYA schemes.

  32. Richard A., if I sound condescending toward you, it is not intended. I don’t consider myself your intellectual superior.

    You write:

    “Johnson’s remark was not about genuine patriotism, but about false patriotism, about the appeal to patriotism to hide misdoings. None of which applies here.”

    I disagree with you. I believe it applies here–to a T.

    The five boys weren’t expressing genuine patriotism, otherwise they would have worn flag shirts before the 5th of May. They simply used patriotism to get away with their infantile slap in the face of their fellow students of Mexican heritage.

    And they should have got away with it. And I hope they not only get an apology but a cash settlement.

    But patriotism? No. It was an anti Cinco de Mayo statement.

    And those who come to their defense out of a sense of patriotism are being fooled.

    What Johnson noted a long time is at play today in Gilroy, California.

  33. Robert said…But then came Mr. Adolf Coors, a very rightwing businessman from Colorado who was so rightwing, he had no problems at all with his first name.

    FWIW Adolf is a perfectly good name and if you’re trying to make a Hitler reference. Hitler was a socialist and a left-winger.

  34. Homeschooling Granny says:

    Robert Wright wrote:
    It’s obvious that the five boys were wearing the American flags as a way to counter those who were expressing pride in their Mexican heritage. It was aggression toward Mexicans disguised as patriotism. That is probably what upset the vice principal, the clear racist motive of these boys.

    Are you sure? I heard one of the mothers on the radio saying that her son and his friends often wore clothing with flag or patriotic designs.

  35. Mike Curtis says:

    Did the school raise the flag of the USA on the flag pole standing outside of every public school I’ve ever seen in this country? Probably so. So, why wasn’t the principal chastised for such an in sensitive act in the face of people who celebrate the birth of Mexican resistance to the French?

    The fifth of May is just the fifth of May. Those who have trouble with that are responsible for their own sensibilities about the meaning of the date. To wit, ever heard a story of Mexican children being chastised for wearing Mexican flag symbols in Ciudad Juarez on the 4th of July?

  36. Ernesto,

    I was born and raised in Texas, and spent my entire life living here. I’ve never been to Europe. I AM home.

    So, come try and take my flag down and send me ‘home’. I dare you.

  37. SuperSub says:

    Want to see aggression towards Mexicans? Talk to any non-Mexican Hispanic immigrant.

    To those who are arguing that wearing an American flag is aggressive, the same could be said of those wearing the Mexican flag. I wonder how many of them routinely wear the green, white, and red.

    The issue with recent immigration, especially by Mexicans, is the unwillingness to assimilate into the ‘melting pot,’ which most immigrant groups have done in the past.

  38. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    Of course the students who wore the U.S flag T-shirts wanted to be provocational–and they should be. Cinco de Mayo–a minor holiday in Mexico (celebrated mostly in Puebla), has been inflated in importance by Mexican-Americans and their activist lobbies in the U.S over the years, and conveniently marketed to sell food, beer, etc. St. Patrick’s Day plays a similar role, yet I never hear of Irish Americans or Irish immigrants being offended at anyone wearing a U.S. flag. At the end of the day…it is not Uncle Sam’s role to teach or even celebrate the heritage and cultural pride of Mexicans or other immigrant groups. That is the family/community’s role. Taxpayers who fund public schools might actually want American public schools to focus on teaching American history, government and civics. Historically, immigration to the U.S has been a privilege, not a right. Most taxpayers are sick of the entitlement and grievance mentality of many immigrants who fail to effectively assimilate and appreciate our country’s largesse. Anyone whose first reaction to an American flag as “offended” is deeply insecure. Should Live Oak High School also remove its flag from the flagpole every Cinco de Mayo? ‘Nuff said.

  39. It’s unfortunate that the focus keeps moving from the terrible mistake that the assistant principal made to the defense of the boys who purposely tried to rain on somebody’s desfile.

    Unfortunate because I keep sensing veiled hostility toward Mexican-Americans, a hostility that appears to have its origins in some pretty dark places of the soul. (A hostility that isn’t veiled at all when you hear the boys’s parents speak.)

    And for anyone to refer these days to “the melting pot” is a sign that we’re moving backwards, not forwards, on the path toward getting along together.

    A little shocked and saddened that people are jumping on Mexican-Americans instead of the assistant principal and the school district that hired him.

    There’s a lot of progress that still needs to be made.

  40. There’s hostility to people who come here illegally and most of those are Mexican. Hardly surprising, since Mexico is on the other side of our southern border and is an embodiment of the fact that abundant natural resources do not necessarily make a prosperous or stable country. There’s also the issue of the trashing – literally – of the environment as they enter; strange that the environmentalists are silent on that issue. Then add in all of the costs to the taxpayers, including drugs and crime as well as academic and social services. Then the anchor baby graduates from HS and is given preference in the college admissions process over a non-URM with the same qualifications. Some people expect laws to be enforced and our national interests protected. Preserve, protect and defend, you know.

  41. Momof4, you are linking illegal immigrants to Mexican-Americans as a whole.

    I appreciate that you are doing so honestly.

  42. The US Supreme Court was pretty clear about free speech in schools. The specific case was black armbands during the Vietnam War, but the criteria for limiting speech is that it “materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school.”

    See Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).

    If a high school principal doesn’t know about Tinker, they aren’t qualified.

  43. momof4 says:

    No, I am linking illegal immigrants to Mexicans. Not all Americans of Mexican ancestry are illegal but most of the illegal immigrants are Mexican. I have nothing against legal immigrants of any type; I grew up with many and have them in my family. Illegal immigrants are different. Our government is deeply at fault for not securing our borders and for policies that encourage illegal immigration.

  44. GEORGE LARSON says:

    If it is okay to celebrate the 5th of May to remember a battle from the 19th Century. Is it okay for some Americans to remember some other 19th Century battles, like Manassas or Chancellorsville by carrying some other flags?

  45. Is it a prime qualification for a principal in the school to be stupid. He apparently doesn’t know our country’s laws. I feel sorry for the students who has him as a example.

  46. Tim–10–ber:
    I’m sorry to differ with ya! Just cuz you live here doesn’t make you an American. I don’t know where you live, but I am from the Central Valley of California. We have (our state) gone bankrupt with the help of the people that are not legal residents. We have to have special printings of notices from the various State programs that GIVE aid to these people so that they can read them in thier language, our Medical facilities are shutting down right and left because they are losing money from not getting paid either from uninsured “illegals” or the States’ MediCal Dept. Thousands of illegals come into this country every year, and not just from Mexico…East Indians, Asians, should I keep going? The problem is that they don’t become legal, but they want to be “All that they can be” without any of the commitment. That’s not right!!! Come here to start a new life? then start a new life-0-legally.

  47. Bill, I tend to agree with you, but in fairness, it was the assistant principal.

    George, the state law is even more applicable than Tinker.

    Sharon, I’ve never heard anybody say that the state’s budget crisis or that skyrocketing medical costs had anything to do with illegal immigrants. You might be right, but I’ve never heard anybody outside of Fox News make those claims. I agree with you that voting material and driving tests should all be in English. And I agree with you that not all illegals are from Mexico. 50,000 of them are from Ireland.

  48. SuperSub says:

    You’ve never heard about the financial stress that illegal immigrants place on the state budgets in the southwest? Where have you been? I remember hearing a lot about it from various news sources back during the amnesty discussion of the Bush presidency.

    The ad hominem shot you take at Fox News and its watchers displays the level of thought (or lack thereof) that you give to your positions.

    Trying to insinuate that anyone mentioning the ‘melting pot’ concept is a closet racist is baseless because, quite frankly, you have no clue who I am or anyone else who mentions it. Cultural assimilation is a necessary component of any successful society, and the failure to assimilate immigrants is a sign of impending collapse. Your attempts to create a white-hooded bogeyman from others’ comments sounds more like a paranoid conspiracy fear than anything else.

    As for the Tinker comment, there is no law that is more applicable regarding Constitutional rights than the Constitution itself and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of it.

    I have no problem with Americans (legal or illegal) of any stripe. I do have problems with those who take advantage of our freedoms and success here while actively subverting the same culture that provided them. This includes naive teenagers who in their ‘wisdom’ assert the primacy of their Mexican heritage, media icons who choose to live elsewhere due to the ‘intolerance’ of America while continuing to work here, and politicians who pander to the multiculti and internationalist crowds for votes.

  49. Richard Aubrey says:

    Melting pot vs. deliberate balkanization.
    Which is likely to survive?
    Robert. I didn’t say I thought you were trying to pretend to be my intellectual superior.
    I was trying to say that, when you say things you know are bogus in school, nobody calls you on it. Gets to be pretty easy.
    That’s a habit you bring to discussions with people, like me, who can call you on it.
    You have to be seriously off the beam to consider wearing an American flag theme as a slap to the Cinco celebration if Cinco celebrated anything that actually happened.
    French flag, maybe.
    However, Cinco is not an isolated phenomenon. Those people, anglo and others, live in an environment of pro-Mexican rhetoric, resistance to assimiliation, self-segregation, and sometimes even more drastic talk from la raza and other groups and individuals with similar views.
    Cinco–seen from the kids’ viewpoint–is not a marketing, partying venture, but yet another in-your-face demonstration of otherness with its implicit hostility to the standard culture.
    Those in the standard culture are allowed to notice. And react.
    Wearing the flag themes is a reasonable reaction.
    What is worrying is the school’s reaction to the initial incident, and the later reaction to the mass truancy.

  50. Did they drop the colors hat day too. (colors being the American flag flying on the flagpole at the school. Just wondering if that was oo inflamatory too.

  51. Richard, I agree with you on some of this.

    Earlier I posted what I see at school, the “in-your-face demonstration of otherness with its implicit hostility,” as you aptly word it. And it bothers me.

    We don’t agree that the response from the boys with the flag shirts was an appropriate response, but you’re right that the particular nature of the way Cinco de Mayo is “celebrated” might have contributed to how the boys reacted.

    I hope, as I said before, that some of this negativity can die down with a little more education. I hope that when my students actually know the history of what happened in Puebla that day, they might celebrated it with more light and less heat.

    SuperSub, I mentioned California, not the Southwest. And it’s true, when I hear discussion of the budget crisis in my state by respected politicians and government analysts, illegal immigration isn’t brought up. And with the complicated situation of rising health care costs, it’s the same. Illegal immigration isn’t brought up as a factor. At the Fox News tainted so-called “Town Hall” meetings, sure, you heard it as part of the angry rhetoric, but those were protests, not discussions.

    I’m sorry if I tripped up and used ad hominem. I don’t want to insult anybody because they watch Fox News. I just want to mention that might be a reason why they feel comfortable with their prejudices. Fox News created the Tea Party and it’s not a reputable news source.

    I didn’t say that those who use the term “melting pot” are necessarily closet racists. Perfectly well-meaning people use the term. I think I used the word “backward.” The word “ignorant” would also apply.

    Why is anybody even bringing up illegal immigration when the incident at Live Oak High School had nothing to do with it?

    The mistake that the assistant principal made was appalling.

    But the backlash is even more appalling.

  52. momof4 says:

    Do we know that illegal immigration had nothing to do with the incident? Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t and the fact that California politicians don’t mention the issue of its costs doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Political correctness and bending to the dictates of La Raza and similar organizations mean that uncomfortable issues don’t get much public mention.

  53. Momof4, you might be right. Political correctness often comes into play.

    I don’t understand the budget crisis or the health crisis well enough to agree or disagree with much of what is said about it.

    I honestly don’t know what illegal immigration has to do with it. I’d have to look at the data and then struggle to understand it.

  54. SuperSub says:

    Robert –
    Regarding illegal immigration, I only mentioned it after you did (not sure if you were referring to me). Not sure who brought it up originally. As I hope I made clear in my post, I don’t care about an individual’s legal status as long as they honestly contribute to our society.

    As for the costs issue… I personally count California as part of our southwest as it also has a significant border with Mexico. As for the medical/legal/staffing costs associated with illegal immigration, I remember reading about it (I am in NY) and seeing it in multiple news sources (CNN, NY Times, in addition to FoxNews). The issue even occasionally pops up in NYC.

    Personally, I would prefer being called a closet racist than backwards or ignorant. No divided nation has ever prospered, and events that encourage individuals to focus on the differences between us weaken the nation. There are plenty of cultural celebrations that are truly all-inclusive (St. Patty’s Day for example). I personally prefer Coors’ take on Cinco de Mayo as it seems to openly welcome all to celebrate it.

    I have also seen individuals be turned away from various events that supposedly celebrated diversity because they were not part of the identified culture or race.

  55. Richard Aubrey says:

    Rodriguez, the assistant principal, should be fired for his easy assumption that Mexican kids are prone to violence when disrespected in any way.
    Maybe he’s racist–that would interest Robert–and self-loathing.
    Maybe he’s desperate to become Anglo and thinks that being so beastly to his own race–I can talk PC when I have to–will get him some Anglo points.
    We have a problem here. Either Rodriguez is right, in which case we have a problem with violent Mexican kids. Or he’s wrong, in which case he vilely slandered a huge group of kids.
    Problem is, to defend himself, he’s going to have to insist that expecting violence from Mexican kids is perfectly reasonable, and that, further, doing nothing about the violent Mexican kids is also perfectly reasonable.
    Buena suerte, Rod, amigo.

  56. Richard Aubrey says:

    Crap. What is it with this thing?
    Anyway, those who defend Rodriguez’ actions for any reason will have to do the unthinkable; agree that Mexican kids are prone to violence when disrespected.

  57. Richard, I don’t know much about Rodriguez and it’s probably not fair for me to speculate, but my take on him was that

    1. he was personally, not professionally, upset that the boys were deliberately being provocative.

    2. he wanted to assert his authority and let the boys know he was boss.

    3. he didn’t actually believe there would be a violent response to the boys but he thought he could get away with that loophole in the law to circumvent their right to free speech for his own ends. (There was no indication at all that anybody was going to be violent.)

    4. he was ignorant of the value of free speech and the existing laws that unequivocally should have protected those boys.

    5. he was grossly ignorant of how most Americans revere their flag.

    6. he trampled on the Bill of Rights which is worse than flag burning.

    I don’t think for a second that he thought there would be violence.

    I just can’t make up my mind what he is more of–abusive, ignorant or stupid.

  58. Richard, who on Earth is defending Rodriguez’s actions?

  59. Richard Aubrey says:

    What Rodriguez might have been thinking is one thing.
    What he’ll have to say to defend himself is another. Strikes me he has one and only one route; he reasonably anticipated violence from the Mexican kids.
    He’s put himself in a box.
    Some reports indicate “tension” the previous year. He could point to that. Either he makes a lousy case, or he makes a good case. If he makes a good case, one that stands up to analysis of, among other things, the previous year’s tensions, if any, then we have some evidence of potentially violent Mexican kids.
    If he makes a lousy case for potential violence, then he’s a racist bastard.
    Um. Now he’ll be racist against his own race.
    I love it when PC comes together.
    The issue is not restricted to The Day. It includes what was done about the mass truancy the next day. Rodriguez may have been the Butthead of Cinco, but the entire admin folded the next day.

  60. If he defends his actions, yes, he’s digging his hole deeper.

  61. really did the school get away with it? Last I knew freedom of expression was legal. And by treating the kids this way tells them that if they take pride in their country they can get into trouble? So much constitutional rights.


  1. […] five Live Oak High students were sent home for wearing U.S. flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo, some Live Oak High students wore white and purple to school as a sign of unity.  Others marched […]