US Flag Shirts "incendiary" on 5/5 at California School

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by madanthonywayne, May 6, 2010.

  1. WillNever Valued Senior Member

    Opposing illegal immigration is not an offensive political statement. And besides, what is the alternative? Being pro-illegal immigration..?

    Exactly what does a pro-illegal immigration stance support? Identity theft? Welfare fraud? Tax evasion? Drug trafficking? That is a much more offensive political stance than anti-illegal immigration, to be sure.

    By the way I saw the picture of the shirts. I wouldn't have batted an eye at those, and I'm white. I wasn't even cognizant that Cinco de Mayo just passed until it was mentioned by this thread. Almost nobody around here cares about that holiday.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Omega133 Aus der Dunkelheit Valued Senior Member

    For once, I can agree with you.

    Yeah I actually didn't hear about it until the day of.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. WillNever Valued Senior Member

    I don't agree. You are responsible for your own feelings. The ability to freely speak our minds is one of the most important things we have. People have literally DIED for that freedom. Instead of limiting the speech or expressions of others, the more apt alternative is to grow up and get over it.

    Those who are offended need to break free from their own mental chains, if they can. I know that many do not want to, however. Not deep down inside.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Wearing an American flag is not the equivalent of shouting racist slogans no matter what day it is. Not in America, anyway.

    As to what's un-American, there is nothing un-American about celebrating Mexican, or Irish, or Swedish culture. But being offended by an American flag, particularly in favor of the flag of another nation, that may well qualify.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Considering the obvious

    This is one of those things that comes down to that dreaded term, "reading comprehension". For one as cynical about some things as you are, the naîvete you show in other matters is almost paradoxical. And, for the record, that makes you exactly human.

    No, I'm not blasting you for illiteracy, or anything like that. Rather, let us consider a few excerpts from the articles available in this thread. From the article provided in the topic post:

    "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."


    And according to a Mercury News article Quad posted:

    The Morgan Hill Unified School District later said what happened was "extremely unfortunate" and that there is no ban on "patriotic" clothing. The new immigration law in Arizona, giving police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the United States illegally, formed the backdrop for the school drama.

    "We're happy about Arizona's law, and you bet we're fired up," said Julie Fagerstrom, whose son, Dominic Maciel, wore one of the shirts. Dominic's father, who is no longer in his son's life, Fagerstrom said, is a first-generation Mexican-American ....

    .... "School was pretty crazy today," Dominic told the Mercury News. "I don't think I'm a villain; I was just representing my country. But I don't know if I would do this again. People took our message the wrong way. We weren't trying to start anything at all."

    He said he can't remember whose idea it was to wear the garb and when the decision was made.

    (Fernandez and Newman)

    So what you have here is essentially statements of a coordinated plan to demonstrate patriotism including people who are "fired up" about a new, draconian, racist law in Arizona. Even at that level, the possibility of malevolence is a no-brainer.

    If we add to that people's perceptions of society in general and its various subsections (e.g., California, Santa Clara Valley, Morgan Hill, &c.), it isn't hard to suspect something more at play in the students' actions than simple stupidity.

    Morgan Hill is a mostly white (61%), affluent city of 38,000 or so, and growing fairly rapidly; the population increased 13.5% between 2000 and 2008. The median household income is 160% the rest of California; median home value is nearly 150% the rest of the state. The cost of living index, as of December 2009, was almost 61% above the national average.

    Additionally, the city is considering scrapping its police department in favor of outsourcing. The nearby town of Gilroy is a candidate for partnership. But the city is already burdened by the highest per capita cost of law enforcement in Santa Clara County, and sensitivities might be up as San Jose hosts the trials of five hispanics accused in the murder of a Gilroy resident. In other words, there is a lot going on in and around Morgan Hill that could contribute to ethnic tensions in the community.

    In the United States, one of our most precious rights is to be an asshole. And one need not be a genius, radical, or fool to wonder if maybe this plan to wear American flags as demonstrations against Cinco de Mayo might be under the influence of at least some rectally-inspired behavioral disorder. Indeed, one need only pay attention.

    Which brings us round to a point I've already mentioned: No matter what else you or I might think of this episode, it is difficult to protest that this was not a predictable outcome. The irony, then, that the U.S. flag has been deemed incendiary, derives from the equal application of standards that have been previously invoked against equality, diversity, and free expression.

    In Tennessee, last month, a fifteen year-old student was sent home for wearing too gay a t-shirt. While this incident certainly stoked the fires in the queer sector, it certainly didn't blow up into this sort of controversy. In that case, the district similarly does not have a policy that bans the word "gay" on t-shirts, but, "Administrators said they stepped in Monday because of a fight that happened the week before."

    Thus we might consider what other factors might have contributed to the school's decision. To the one, if, as Quad suggests, there are legitimate concerns related to past violence in Morgan Hill, we can expect those incidents and effects to enter consideration. And, to the other, if there are legitimate concerns related to past violence in Morgan Hill, that only increases the asshole score for these students.

    Myself, I'm torn. To the one, in my day this sort of stunt wouldn't have been noticed unless the perpetrators puffed up their chests and tromped through the halls shouting, "USA! USA!" But I've watched America, as a body sociopolitical, lose its sense of humor over the course of my lifetime. I couldn't tell you when, exactly, it started, but, no, I don't spread the blame in equal portions. But there are some things we can do about it. First and foremost is to stop pretending we're all idiots, stop demanding that life occurs in some sort of vacuum wherein each vignette is its own independent universe with no connections to anything else. It's hard to sympathize with a bunch of morons trying to make their point by shouting about patriotism, for heaven's sake. "People took our message the wrong way," lamented perpetrator Dominic Maciel. And that is an understandable complaint. Except nobody has really made clear what their message actually was. "We don't go with our Mexican flags waving it up [on the Fourth of July]," complained student Biana Coreas, "so why can't they respect us too?"

    The answer, apparently, is because it is patriotic to be an asshole.

    Life goes on. This was clearly an ill-considered stunt on the parts of several Live Oak students. And now they have to live thorugh the process of being publicly ridiculed from sea to shining sea. And this is how it goes in America, sir. They have a sacred right to be assholes, but that doesn't mean nobodyt is allowed to make the point. And in that context, they ought to be proud of their patirotism; they have reminded us all of the great character of the American polity.


    Kiriyama, George. "Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees". NBC Bay Area. May 6, 2010. April 6, 2010.

    Fernandez, Lisa and Bruce Newman. "Morgan Hill: Teen athletes entangled in debate over U.S. flag clothing". San Jose Mercury News. May 6, 2010. May 6, 2010.

    City Data. "Morgan Hill, California". (n.d.) May 6, 2010.

    Partridge, Jonathan. "Team up for sheriff's contract?" Morgan Hill Times. May 4, 2010. May 6, 2010.

    —————. "Hearing for gang killing case under way". Morgan Hill Times. May 3, 2010. May 6, 2010.

    Dorsey, Sara. "School Sends Teen Wearing 'Gay' Shirt Home". WSMV. April 6, 2010. May 6, 2010.
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  9. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    You insensitive racist! Oh, wait, it's only natural: you're an AMERICAN!!!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Frat boys, 20 and 30 something yuppies, and other culturally "hip" idiots would highly disagree. It matters very much to people who need every excuse they can find to drink themselves silly.
  10. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    Granted, they may have tried be offensive on purpose. I don't know.

    But we live in America. If so-called Hispanic Americans, or whatever they want to call themselves, are going to be upset about the flag of their own country (supposedly they're all legitimate citizens), what does that say about them?
  11. John99 Banned Banned

    I doubt the Mexicans students would care about what flag was worn on what shirt. I've never heard of anyone being offended for any flag shirt in the u.s and we see pretty much all flags.

    I can imagine going to school wearing a flag shirt of say Poland or Canada nad the teacher saying 'take that shirt off, how dare you wear that shirt

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    and really, you just cant make shit like this up.
  12. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    Did you mean to say you "CAN'T" imagine getting kicked out for a a Polish flag?
  13. John99 Banned Banned

    can, cant, what is the difference?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  14. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    It's the elevation of "the right to not be offended" to a position that now seems to have superseded all other rights.
    That quote bothers me. Is the speaker not an American? Yet he speaks of the Mexican flag as "our flag". Hell, Cinco de Mayo is more of a holiday in the US than in Mexico! They should be flying American and Mexican flags themselves, and they sure as hell shouldn't be getting pissed off about seeing anyone wear the flag of their own country.
  15. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    Oh, it is a right indeed. But only if you're the right person!

    As I said above, if they were Mexican Americans, then certainly they wouldn't be offended by the American flag. Seems like it's a one-way street though. And why would they be waving Mexican flags at all, anyway? What has Mexico done for them lately, except filled them with a sense of entitlement to what's left of the USA?
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    This and that

    It would be an interesting statement, to be certain.

    • • •​

    I hope you'll pardon me if I don't thank conservatives for that heritage.

    In truth, your counterpoint bothers me. Plenty of Americans display the flag of their heritage. Go down to Ballard, in Seattle, and you'll find plenty of natural-born Americans who still refer to a blue Scandanavian cross on red as their flag.

    Do you really think this is just about the flag?

    See, when it comes to politics, I expect a certain amount of this superficiality. But, generally, I don't treat that kind of argument as genuine, because I really don't like to think so lowly of my fellow Americans.

    Your critique appears willfully apathetic toward a certain vital aspect:

    So what you have here is essentially statements of a coordinated plan to demonstrate patriotism including people who are "fired up" about a new, draconian, racist law in Arizona. Even at that level, the possibility of malevolence is a no-brainer.​

    Do you think these factors don't exist? Do you think hispanics need to just fuck off when someone goes out of their way to be an asshole toward them? What? Really, what the hell is it that compels you to ignore these notions entirely? Don't get me wrong, if you disagree, at least there's something to talk about. And if you skip it because you don't have an answer, I understand. But skipping it and then ignoring its presence in the rest of the consideration? That just reeks of deliberation. And, frankly, having encountered this seemingly dishonest rhetoric from your side of the aisle for the whole of my political awareness, I would think it perfectly obvious why I disdain Republicans and conservatives. It doesn't do anyone any good if we just agree to fuck off and then sit and glower at each other from our corners. But, fuck, man, I can't meet anyone halfway if the best they're going to do is sit in their corner, sneering and glaring, and then complaining that people aren't treating them fairly when everyone else just shrugs and decides to ignore them. And, just to be thorough on this point, I am sick to death of the conservative habit of retreating and then saying, "Okay, now come halfway again ... and again ... and again ... and again ...." Transforming Zeno's Paradox into a political method is an exercise in nihilism.
  17. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    I'm wondering when tolerance for the cultures of others transformed into intolerance of your own.
  18. sifreak21 Valued Senior Member

    the funny part is if they waved mexican flag on the 4th of july i wouldnt give 2 shits.. as another poster said i didnt even know it was until this thread was started.. and for thoes mexican students as i stated before NUT THE F@#% UP you live in the US of A now if you can stand the colors of your country now assuming they were legit citizens some probably weret then ill help throw your shit over to that shithole of mexico hopefully you can get far enough south so you dont get your head lopped off
  19. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

    Yes, you could. Live Oak High School itself is 40 percent Hispanic. Even if the other 60% was comprised entirely of white people, that's not exactly a huge majority. And nobody is being excluded when a handful of patriotic kids wear shirts with American flags on them.

    No, I mean do they "regularly" have Cinco De Mayo celebrations on a daily or weekly basis? That was the standard you were holding the pro-American kids to with regard to wearing clothing with American flags on it.

    If the Mexican kids at the school felt that way, there wouldn't have been a problem in the first place. And the purpose of the holiday is to celebrate a victory by Mexico over France at the Battle of Puebla which occurred on May 5th, 1862. If the goal was simply to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage, they could have picked any random day. Instead, the holiday is celebrated on a day that is specifically related to an event in Mexico's history. Hence my position that it's based on Mexican national pride/identity. I have no objection to that, but it is what it is.

    You have no idea what the political views of these students or their parents are. And, as you pointed out before, American flags have nothing to do with ethnic backgrounds. If I did some research and found out that the town I reside in was originally founded as a hippie commune, would that make me a hippie? Would that mean I'd raise my future children as hippies?
  20. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

    Who were the neutral observers? You? Me? The Minuteman Movement? Some La Raza organization?

    So this goes back to one of my previous comments about the school administration defaulting to an anti-American position in conflicts over national pride/identity. Those people clearly aren't qualified to hold those jobs.

    High school students don't wear Tapout clothing with flags and other crap on it? They don't wear bandanas? They do around here. I see people (not just kids, but adults, too) wearing Tapout stuff with American and Mexican flags, soccer jerseys from their ancestral homelands (mostly Mexico and Portugal). They have flags on their cars and trucks. So on and so forth.

    National pride/identity may not be a big thing wherever you are, but it sure is with people in these parts.
  21. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    And I'll not thank the left for their part, either.
    Displaying the flag of your forefathers is one thing, referring to it in the present tense as your flag is another. I've never heard any American call a foreign flag "their" flag, and would be offended if they did.
    The flag and various interpretations of what it means. Regardless of the intent of those who wore American flag clothing, the Hispanics are the ones who chose to take offense.

    They are choosing to be offended by their own flag, and then flying the flag of another nation in preference to that of their own. That is not the act of a patriot or even of someone interested in assimilating into the broader culture.

    My father wasn't even allowed to speak Spanish in the house despite the fact that it was the native tongue of both of his parents. Yes, my grandfather was the president of the Spanish Society (in Gary, IN), but he was (and is) also a patriotic American. They celebrated their heritage but did not choose to put that before their status as American citizens as these students seem to be doing.
    Indeed. But the proper response would have been for the Hispanic students to also be wearing US flag clothing while waving their Mexican flags; thus celebrating the land of their forefathers and the nation that is now their home.
    As I said above, the response of the Hispanic students to what was a pretty mild provocation was inappropriate, excessive, and suggests a lack of patriotism on their part.
    LOL. That's a great one.
  22. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Or rather, wearing an American flag should not be the equivalent of shouting racist slogans, since that's contrary to the national values that the flag is supposed to stand for.

    But that doesn't mean it can't be: any symbol can be used in just about any way, if you're creative enough. It just means that assholes who appropriate the flag for use in racist speech are just that: assholes. If you're going to excuse people who do that, then you have no grounds to turn around and insist to the objects of their scorn that they have no grounds for being offended. You've allowed the flag to be redefined into an offensive symbol.

    And this is exactly why the wrapping offensive speech in the flag is so nefarious: it's done with the expectation that the right will be willfully oblivious to the actual speech and instead attack the victims with a bunch of phony outrage about how seditious it is to be offended by a flag display. And, sure enough, you and your kind found the opportunity irresistable. After all, what's a bit of intellectual credibility compared to the chance to slam those ungrateful Mexicans as traitors?
  23. WillNever Valued Senior Member

    Query: the Mexicans are victims how? Exactly how can you be a victimized by clothing belonging to others?

Share This Page