Stinko De Mayo; School Administrators Need a Lesson in Right and Wrong

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

Stinko De Mayo; School Administrators Need a Lesson in Right and Wrong


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

On May 5, five students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., were sent home for wearing clothing featuring the American flag. Their offense: trespassing on Mexican heritage during Cinco de Mayo. Administrators called the flag-wearing incendiary and likely to cause violence. The school district overrode the decision, and the boys were allowed to return to school. In response yesterday, about 200 students staged a walkout carrying Mexican flags. The question is: Who taught these kids to hate America so much?

There should be nothing disrespectful about the U.S. flag to Americans of Mexican descent or to any other immigrant group. Teaching children that their heritage is at odds with their citizenship promotes disunity and divisiveness. While the high school's administrators may have been responding to a real public-safety threat, that threat was the product of their failure to instill a sense of national pride in their students.

Identity politics has become such a staple of public life and education in recent decades that incidents like this illustrate the poisonous effects it has on the nation. In the past, immigrant groups would attempt to outdo each other in demonstrating their patriotic attachment to the country that gave them safety, opportunity and freedom. Today, immigrant activist groups think patriotism is at best an inconvenience, at worst a sellout. They have replaced the melting pot with hardening battle lines in a struggle for power.

It is odd that Cinco de Mayo has become a focus of conflict. In Mexico, it is a relatively unimportant, mainly local holiday. But in the United States, it has become the de facto Mexican nationalist day, a far cry from its origins in the 1980s as a marketing gimmick by beer importers to sell brews that taste best with lime wedges. …

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Stinko De Mayo; School Administrators Need a Lesson in Right and Wrong
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