I missed all the action. The ironic thing is that I only had one kid at home at the time, and it all happened within blocks of my house! Too bad I don’t have any pictures to go along with this post. Oh well. By the time I found out the happenings of the day, it had all died down.
I was driving down a main thoroughfare today after picking my son up from preschool and a pickup truck pulled up alongside me with a huge Mexican flag attached to the tailgate. My son was like, “Look, it’s a flag from Mexico! That guy must be Mexican!” Yes, apparently so…or is he an American? I wonder how he would answer that question about himself? I was actually a little peeved. NO, I’M NOT A RACIST! But, in light of what happened here in our town yesterday, I was annoyed by the blatant display. And in fact, it turns out (although I didn’t find out until later) this guy was headed downtown to join the march on Morgan Hill, a bunch of Hispanic teens demanding respect after the incident at their high school yesterday. “What happened” here yesterday you may have already heard about, as it has gone viral: some boys from the high school just up the street from our house were sent home because they were wearing shirts with pictures of the American flag on them…and they refused to turn them inside out. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem, but it was Cinco de Mayo…and some of the Hispanic students were offended by this display of American patriotism in America on “their” day.
The district, thankfully, sided with the boys and said they disagreed with the administration’s call. The story obviously received national attention, and in response to both of these things about two hundred Hispanic students simply walked out of school today and marched down the street to the district office, and then to City Hall, in protest. They said they were marching for “respect.” Give me a break. One teenage girl yelled at an innocent bystander pumping her gas, “you dumb white b**ch!” Respect indeed.
RESPECT is something that is earned. To be respected is not a right. Tolerance is another thing entirely. I have tolerance for many people for whom I have little respect. I respect the many generations of immigrants who suffered and sacrificed to come to this country, who contributed to this country economically, socially and culturally…despite being discriminated against. My ancestors were obviously immigrants to this country, as most of yours were too, I’m sure. I love that American culture is a reflection of that great “melting pot.” The reason the melting pot analogy works so well, though, is because America has been made up of many different people with different cultural backgrounds who chose to come here and assimilate. They “melted” into American culture. That doesn’t mean that they gave up their cultural heritage, but it does mean that they became American citizens and thus pledged their allegiance to America.
I think it’s great that we can have a good time celebrating the many diverse cultures that have contributed to American culture: St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, etc. But there is something else going on here. A refusal to learn English, a refusal to respect and pay allegiance to America, a refusal to become citizens, a blatant refusal to obey the law, being intolerant to the display of the American flag on “their” day? Do these people want to be here or not? If yes, then they should DO IT THE RIGHT WAY, and at least have the decency to respect the country they’re so desperate to occupy. How are they somehow privileged to become the exception to obeying the immigration laws that already exist, to receive special treatment over immigrants who OBEY THE LAW? The uproar yesterday and today was not about Cinco de Mayo. It was about illegal immigration. It was about the AZ law recently passed. It was about political correctness. It was about Hispanic students becoming offended because showing American patriotism is now somehow racist against them.
FYI, I respect immigrants who come and work here LEGALLY. I welcome them, in fact…no matter what color their skin is or what country they come from. I do not respect the students who marched on Morgan Hill today. They just lost themselves a whole lot of respect. And people who couch this whole illegal immigration debate in terms of race are completely missing the point, by the way.