It’s now racist to be patriotic? What the ... ? Four California high school students were recently reprimanded for wearing American flag bandanas and chanting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” at a school basketball game. They were reportedly suspended, and while the punishment was rescinded, school officials said, “The incident is far from over.”
Camarillo High School principal Glenn Lipman worried that the chanting might have racist undertones due to the southern California school’s large Hispanic population. Oxnard Union School District superintendent Gabe Soumakian told Fox News, “We need to pursue this further” and “work with teachers and students and the community about the concept of cultural proficiency.”
How about this for cultural proficiency: It’s the freaking United States of America! Teach the students, especially those that may come from immigrant backgrounds, that this country rocks, and they should take some pride in it. Kids participating in school sport and taking pride in their country are not the teenagers we need to worry about.
This is not only political correctness gone too far -- it cheapens and degrades the term racism. Racism is treating people differently because of their race -- making black children go to separate schools and sit at the back of the bus. It means that you think you’re better than other people because your race is better than their race. It labels people by their skin color instead of valuing them for the heart, mind, and soul underneath their physical appearance.
If anything, these boys should be commended for attempting to bring the students together in unity, celebrating one thing that binds them -- they are living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. These administrators should be ashamed at their attempt to widen any racial gaps by attributing racism to teens that are proud to be an American. Not white, not black, not Mexican, Asian, Filipino, or any other of the many races that make up our country, but American.
The students say the claims of racial motivation are without merit. “We’ve done it always,” one student said. “It’s something we do. It’s the same group of friends. We’re all very patriotic.”
Their friends agree. The next morning, more than 100 of their peers gathered around the school’s flagpole (presumably still flying Old Glory) to protest in patriotic clothing.
Good job, kids.
Do you think racism was involved here?
Image via Craig Allen/Flickr