Friday, May 7, 2010

anti-racist excess: T-shirt edition

Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees on Cinco de Mayo.

Yeah, the kids were probably being assholes, but freedom of speech has to include the freedom to be a jingoistic jerk.


  1. Freedom of speech has to include the freedom to have a Boston TEA Party too! :-)

  2. Apparently this was followed the next day by 200 Hispanic students marching on city hall to protest against the 5 students wearing American Flag shirts. Not sure what they think city hall has to do with it. Humans are weird.

  3. serial, yeah. If I'd been there, I would've sold shirts with the US and the Mexican flags on them.

  4. I have sympathy for the school officials. I imagine they were thinking that these were teenagers; suppose some sweet young thing takes offense, and a guy wanting to make time with her sees an opportunity for a macho moment. Suddenly raised voices, neither bundle of testosterone willing to back down, and next thing a shove, then who knows in these days- maybe a knife or gun pulled. The the principle has to notify next of kin. That's probably what was going through their minds.

  5. I have sympathy too. But the right thing to do was to make an announcement that on that day, as on every day, it's right to be proud of your heritage, especially in the US, where everyone has a mixed heritage, and the flag you wear should not be disrespected by anyone.

  6. (Or I could just delete and fix, of course. Whee.)

    I expect there is more going on than is being accurately reported. (There's probably a history of racial tension in the community if nothing else.) On the other hand, adults do have a tendency to overreact to things and make silly decisions. I went to a high school once where they had a rule against wearing plaid shirts because they thought it was gang related.* (Them Scottish gangs'r the worst, I tell ya.)

    I think telling everybody to be proud of their heritage and respectful of other people's heritage is an immanently reasonable response. Hence, it is also a highly unlikely one. ;)

    *There really wasn't any gang activity in the area at the time. So banning plaid was... not only ineffective as a form of violence prevention, but kind of bizarre.