Friday, May 7, 2010

A Patriot Every Single Day

By now you've heard about the kids in California who were sent home from school for wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.  I wanted to point out, in case you missed it, the response Victor Davis Hanson left on The Corner yesterday:

A few youths were sent home from the local high school for subervisely wearing American-flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. “I think they should apologize,cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day,” Annicia Nunez, a Live Oak High student, said. “We dont deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldnt do that on Fourth of July.”

Note the use of “we,” suggesting an ethnic allegiance that trumps the national one; note the equation of a Mexican Heritage Day with the Fourth of July; note the strange idea that the sight of the American flag leads to one being “disrespected”; and, of course, note the action by the schools administration — banishing the boys for apparently politically incorrect, subversive behavior.
He is correct, of course.

At The Morgan Hill Times, one of the offended Latin American students says,

"It's disrespectful to do it on Cinco de Mayo," said Jessica Cortez, a Live Oak sophomore. "They can be a patriot on some other day. Not that specific day." 

I don't guess the First Amendment stands for much in California these days.  

With all due respect to Miss Cortez, I will be a patriot every single day; I'll be a patriot on the Fourth of July, on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, hell, even Boxing Day and Bastille Day.  I'll be a patriot on Thanksgiving, Christmas (oh yes, I can say Christmas here), and even on Cinco de Mayo. 

(Photo by: Lora Schraft:  The Morgan Hill Times)


G.R. said...

The irony of Cinco De Mayo is that it's not a big event in Mexico. It's not Mexican Independence Day. It the celebration of the Mexican Army over the Frencyh at The Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. What more, the winning of the battle didn't even kick the French out of Mexico. The French left about four or five years later.

What's even sadder is how Cinco De Mayo is being forced down our throats as if it should be an American celebrated holiday. Wonder if Ms Cortez has the same zeal for the Fourth of July, or does she regard it as if it were a popcorn fart in the wind?

Steve said...

I thought it was in memory of some ocean freight liner loaded with mayonnaise that sank off the coast of Mexico.

Tina said...

G.R.'s point that Cinco de Mayo is not a big event in Mexico reflects what was until very recently also the case in Texas among Mexican immigrants and Americans of Mexican heritage. It was first introduced mostly by the schools as a way to have a fiesta theme for schools and local events (no "nationalist" or even commemorative elements). The promoters I guess overlooked the local fiestas happening several times a year. Then advertisers picked up on it when foreign beer became stylish. The best thing it prompted was more opportunities for the children's traditional dance groups to perform.

I love celebrations of all the different ingredients in our melting pot, and Cinco de Mayo is one of those great ways for us all to have fun together, just like the German Festivals (Maifest in Brenham is one of the oldest at 120 years), just like the Indian PowWows in Oklahoma, and like Dickins Christmas events. Fun for everyone and welcoming of everyone - just a great party.

Not a declaration of "loyalties" but a rejoicing that we all bring something wonderful to the common table.

It's sad and discouraging to see that true hospitality and true mutual celebration of unity soiled and sullied by political interests and manipulation.

Lynn said...

I just heard that Cinco de Mayo was an advertising gimmick of Corona beer that has been recently, the last 20 years or less, turned into a "holy" Mexican holiday of sorts.

Puebla in Mexico does celebrate the day for the reason you so stated, but for the most part the day is ignored by the rest of Mexico.

Bottom line, it is politically advantageous to celebrate in the U.S. for Democrats picking up the Mexican vote and for the Republicans to pick up the crumbs.

Sandy said...

I like Steve's answer!!!

G.R. said...

Lynn said, "I just heard that Cinco de Mayo was an advertising gimmick of Corona beer that has been recently."

I too had heard that Cinco De Mayo was brought to the forefront for commercial reasons. It must have some truth to it, because Cinco De Mayo was basically unheard of up until 15 to 20 years ago. Wouldn't it be ironic that all this fuss is over what started out as a ploy to sell more tacos and Mexican beer?

Jordan said...

This Mexcophile kids are plenty assimilated to America, but the "you're culture is special, ours isn't" education has put a glitch in their thinking. Like Tina said, its great to have all these festivals and parties. I wish they had more Lebanese festivals in Utah (mmm fataiah), but that's wishful thinking. This is America. You deal with the flag, the anthem and the culture. Simple as that.

It's one thing to celebrate heritage, but its really amazing to fence off an entire day from the entire country-at-large and be offended when someone objects, or indirectly annoys you in this case. I don't go hunting Jews or Druze on All Saints' Day (not a real custom, fyi lol) and I really don't expect people to let me do it if I was crazy enough to. Why? Because this is America, not Lebanon or Greece or India.