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Patriotic Students Accused of Racism for Chanting 'U.S.A.!'

by Jenny Erikson on February 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM

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 They were reportedly suspended, and while the punishment was rescinded, school officials said, “The incident is far from over.”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

Filed Under: education, in the news, immigration, racism, school, behavior, clothes, discipline, friends, news


  • KFiggy
    -- Nonmember comment from


    February 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM
    As a hispanic woman I think this is incredibly ridiculous. We live in the US and if you don't like this country then you are free to leave. My parents love this country too, before and after they became citizens. Lighten up people. I can't even tell you how many times I've seen people of other nationalities wave their country's flag with pride and we should be able to do the same.
  • power...


    February 13, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    wth how is usa offensive

  • Sarah...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

    February 13, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Complete and utter bullshit. Though...I don't really understand why they would be shouting, "USA!USA!" if their school was playing a team that is ALSO from the USA....that just doesn't make sense to m;e but is it racist and offensive?HELL NO. We're IN the USA so showing pride in that fact should not be punished.

  • worms...


    February 13, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    I shared this article, well the actual News article on my facebook page. I'll just copy and paste what I had to say about.,,,, WTF, this Country is getting so screwed up. No matter what someone says, someone is offended and we must not offend ANYONE. This place is becoming a joke. We are fools to fall for all this political correctness (all it does is cause tensions between us) as we are told what to be offended by and trading our freedoms for a false sense of security. Everyday I read something that makes me want to cross the border and run far far away. I say instead of me leaving, all you people who want to depend on the Government and have so much trust in them, why don't you all go a live on some island together and give the United States back to the people.

  • small...


    February 13, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Both my mother and father fled from Mussolini's rule in Italy in the 1930's and came here after great hardship when they were in their early teens.  Both of them were sponsered.  My mother became a citizen after having to learn the constitution and my father automatically became a citizen when he joined the army and fought in WW2.  They love their home country.  They are both very proud to be Italian.

    HOWEVER, they never regret their move here and both my mother and father always support the USA in everything.  I don't think anyone chants USA louder than my dad when watching every single Olympics event every four years.  I don't think I know anyone who is more proud to be American than them.  I remember once someone asked my dad where he was from.  He said he was born in Italy but he was American and this will always be his home.

    Racist to chant USA now?!  Pfft!

  • early...


    February 13, 2013 at 11:24 PM
    Its a ridiculous thing to try and make ppl feel ashamed to be patriotic.
  • Katy...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Katy Khan

    February 13, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    This pisses me off, this isn't the first time and I'm sure it wont be the last .The south of California may be mostly immigrant, but sorry, this is America. Also, are any hispanics actually complaining? When I see these stories it just seems like panicky apologists pre-emptively striking in all the wrong ways.

  • PinkB...


    February 14, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Why would they be chanting anything other than their school's name if not to be offensive.  It was deliberate and it was meant to be offensive.

  • kelli...


    February 14, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Context is everything.

  • Cynth...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Cynthia Parten

    February 14, 2013 at 5:28 AM

    This is ridiculous. It's racist to shout USA just because there are a large number of Hispanics?? I am sure they love America too. Even if they don't, who cares? It isn't racist to be patriotic.

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