Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, commemorates the Battle of Puebla in Mexico which took place on 5 May 1862. In that battle Mexican forces defeated a French army of Napoleon III considered to be the most might army in the world at the time. Ironically, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo is bigger in the US than it is in Mexico! In the US the celebration is less about the Mexican military victory over the French and more about celebrating Mexican heritage with muy grande parades and celebrations.
Before you get all excited mi amigos I must tell you that a federal court has stepped into the fiesta and they had something to say about it all. I know, you’re thinking WTH? Anyhow you might recall this past Cinco de Mayo there was a controversy involving the celebration at Live Oaks High School in Morgan Hill, California which is a suburb of San Jose. This school has had a history of problems. What school doesn’t? Some students at the school celebration of Cinco de Mayo wore T-shits with American flags on them and school officials ordered them to take them off and turn them inside out in order to avoid potential racial problems. Students sued the school and now the 9th US Circuit Court has ruled that school officials acted appropriately in ordering the students to turn the American flag shirts inside out during Cinco de Mayo celebrations at the school.
The court says school officials were justified in their concerns about possible racial violence exploding over the shirts and they say racial violence concerns outweigh the students freedom of expression by wearing the flag shirts. School officials feared seeing students wearing American flag shirts at the celebration would inflame the passions of Latino students during the Mexican holiday. The 3 panel judges ruled that due to past incidents of racial violence school officials acted appropriately by order the shirts turned inside out and they also ruled that schools have wide latitude in curbing certain civil rights of the students due to campus safety.
So I take it Hispanics living in America and going to American schools should be outraged when they see the American flag? Now I’m asking WTH? I also take it that the assumption of the court was that Hispanic students are incapable of controlling themselves and that they tend to be racists as something as simple as seeing the flag of the country they are living in and going to school in, for free, might set them off into violence? So bascially what I am hearing the court say is that Hispanic students are like wild animals and one must be careful what one wears around them or it might set them off. What a crock of BULLSHIT!
The way I feel about it is that if you are a Hispanic living in and/or going to school in America then you’re an American and ought to be proud of the American flag because THIS AIN’T MEXICO! And if you are in love so much with Mexico then maybe you don’t need to be living in America. This is just one more example in a long line of examples of the plundering of American pride despite what one’s race or ethnicity is. For some reason the message is clear. That message is, “Anything having to do with American symbols or pride is WRONG!” Well if it is so wrong whey don’t these judges remove the American flags from their courtrooms? Why don’t they remove the pictures of Washington from their walls?
As person of Hispanic blood myself I am offended by the court ruling and I am insulted as an American by the behavior of the school officials ordering students to turn their T-shirts inside out so the Hispanic students can’t see the US flag on them. I have news for the 3 amigos on the court bench. Hispanics are NOT wild animals! We are NOT idiots! We know we live in America by CHOICE and we are proud of this country and we do NOT want to go live in Mexico or anywhere else, period. Most Hispanics I know are very proud to be living in the US and very grateful that they are. Most of them I know have no problems seeing the US flag and in fact many of them own one themselves. This ruling by this court is what is truly outrageous! It is insulting to the intelligence of the Hispanics students who were celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Trust me Hispanics can celebrate their Hispanic heritage and still be proud of being Americans, no problema!
I wonder how the court would have ruled or what school officials would have done had all students worn T-shits with those half US and half Mexican flags on them? Would they have been ordered to remove them and turn them inside out too? And what if some student wore a shirt with an Irish flag on it?
The assumption in this ruling is that display of the US flag somehow is racist and in this case racist against our Hispanic heritage. I do not agree! I do not see the US flag as a symbol of racism. I do not see the Mexican flag as a symbol or racism either. Hispanics in the US celebrate Cinco de Mayo more than they do in Mexico because we are proud of our Hispanic heritage and seeing the US flag has nothing to do with it as the US flag does NOT diminish our ethnic or cultural pride one bit. So I take it after this ruling that any time anyone of any culture displays the US flag they are doiing so because they are a racist? WTH? Of course I must consider that MANY of the decisions and rulings by the 9th US Circuit Court have been out to lunch anyway if not outright comical. This court does not have a reputation for integrity. In many cases this court is a rubber stamp for anything and everything. In this case they were a rubber stamp for a school that seems NOT to understand Hispanics living in America. Here’s a clue. We are not ashamed of our Hispanic heritage NOR are we ashamed of being and/or living in AMERICA!! Comprende???
Finally, let me guess…..at the upcoming celebration of Cinco de Mayo all Hispanics in the US are now suppose to keep a close eye out for displays of the American flag and if we see even one we are to throw ourselves into a racial rage and violence? I have news for you 3 Amigos on the court. I’ve been to plenty of Cinco de Mayo celebrations where the American flag is displayed PROUDLY along with the Mexican flag and even the Irish flag among others and it has never been a problem! I’ll let all my compadres know this year how wrong we’ve been—not. This court is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill IMO. BTW I wonder how man of those 3 Amgios are Hispanic? I bet there’s not one.