The uber-liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with a lower district court and three appellate judges that officials at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California could censor students who wanted to wear flag-emblazoned shirts on Cinco de Mayo. The Ninth Circuit denied an en banc hearing on the matter and ordered no further petitions will be permitted. (Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District.)
I will go to my grave saying, I don’t get it.
Where else in the world is someone prohibited from wearing something with their Nation’s flag imprinted on it?
This latest controversy stems from an incident which occurred on Cinco de Mayo in 2010, when students were told by the assistant principal, Miguel Rodriguez, to turn their flag-emblazoned shirts inside out or else leave the school. Remember, only the students wearing the U.S. Flag were sent home. Administrators called the shirts “incendiary.” Students who cause trouble because they don’t like the flag should be suspended. They should try this stunt in Iran or China and see how far they get. If school personnel cannot control the behavior of their students, then they’re not doing their jobs.
First of all, I have no idea why Cinco de Mayo is an American holiday. Public schools can’t even acknowledge Christmas yet they’re allowing celebrations of some insignificant battle by the Mexican Army – not even our own Army – over the French back in 1862. Why do we care? Perhaps to sell a lot more beer and maragaritas?
How dare any Mexican or person of Mexican heritage be offended by the U.S. flag?
If you’re living, going to school at the taxpayers’ expense or working in this country, you should find nothing offensive about the U.S. flag. If you plan on staying here permanently, your allegiance should be to this country and this flag or get out. If you’re a U.S. citizen and this offends you, you should renounce your U.S. citizenship and live somewhere else. It’s absolutely outrageous.
What kind of craziness is this when we’re not allowed to wear a t-shirt with the U.S. flag on it because someone – whether legally or illegally in this country – may be offended by it?
When I was growing up, I learned from my mother at a very young age that I was an American of Polish and German descent. I wasn’t a German-American or a Polish-American – there wasn’t such a thing back then. I was not a hyphenated American, I was an American. I was raised in a Polish neighborhood but everyone considered themselves American. My father came from Germany and not once did he ever consider himself a German-American. He was an American.
I recently asked my cousin, who was born in Germany, whether there is anything like an African-German or American-German, etc. in Germany. He said, “Absolutely not. If you become a German citizen, you are German.” There are no such things as hyphenated Germans.
I admire Justice Diarmuid O’Scannlain, joined by Justices Richard C. Tallman and Carlos Bea, who dissented to the majority’s decision in Dariano, who said this:
“The freedom of speech guaranteed by our Constitution is in greatest peril when the government may suppress speech simply because it is unpopular. For that reason, it is a foundational tenet of First Amendment law that the government cannot silence a speaker because of how an audience might react to the speech. It is this bedrock principle – known as the heckler’s veto doctrine – that the panel overlooks, condoning the suppression of free speech by some students because other students might have reacted violently.”
Jutice O’Scannlain goes on to say:
“…[T]he [majority] panel opens the door to the suppression of any viewpoint opposed by a vocal and violent band of students. The next case might be a student wearing a shirt bearing the image of Che Guevara, or Martin Luther King, Jr., or Pope Francis. It might be a student wearing a President Obama ‘Hope’ shirt, or a shirt exclaiming ‘Stand with Rand!’ It might be a shirt proclaiming the shahada, or a shirt announcing ‘Christ is risen!’ It might be any viewpoint imaginable, but whatever it is, it will be vulnerable to the rule of the mob. The demands of bullies will become school policy. That is not the law.”
And this is not only happening on the school campus. People with opposing viewpoints are shouted down, scorned, called all sorts of vile names, heckled and, ultimately silenced because someone doesn’t agree.
I said it before and I’ll say it again: The last time I checked we’re still living in the U.S.A. and our freedom and nationality is represented by our flag. If someone is offended by our flag, that’s just too damn bad – even if it is on a high school campus. As far as I’m concerned, the U.S. flag should be exempt from every company policy, law or regulation. Under absolutely no circumstances, should any American citizen be forbidden to display the flag to show his or her pride in this country. If you don’t like it, get the hell out of this country. Period.
I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.