By: Bob Unruh:
May 6, 2014
Americans now are being blasted as “racist” for the simple act of waving an American flag.
It happened Monday in California to a small group of protesters who waved U.S. flags in front of a school where officials had banned the practice to avoid violence threatened by Hispanic students celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
The controversy developed in 2010, when school officials ordered students not to wear U.S. flag-themed shirts on the Mexican holiday. The ban has been upheld by a federal appeals court.
The controversy brought a small group of protesters out Monday, and the community reacted immediately.
“What’s wrong with these white people holding up American flags in Morgan hill??? Racist a–holes,” wrote Gia Lee in a feed monitored by Twitchy.
The report also noted the school superintendent was confirming that students wearing American flag-themed shirts on Monday “won’t be kicked out.”
“Read that sentence again and then cringe at the fact that had to be said in the United States,” the Twitchy report said.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported a group called Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots stood in front of Live Oak High School for about an hour waving American flags.
The protest followed the decision earlier this year by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that school officials, in a dispute four years ago, were right to suspend the First Amendment rights of students who wanted to wear U.S. flag-themed shirts on Cinco de Mayo.
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Mexican students allegedly had threatened violence because of the shirts, and school officials, consequently, suspended the right of other students to wear Old Glory.
Twitchy caught Davey D blasting the patriots: “Shout out to the racist a– adults, so-called patriots who are posted up at Live Oak HS in Morgan Hill protesting Cinco de Mayo #idiots.”
“The Gilroy Morgan Hill Patriots … what a bunch of racist d–k-heads!! I think they may be part owners of the LA Clippers. #racist,” wrote Jorge P. Gonzalez.
“Hey folks in Morgan Hill. You have some racist neighbors. You need to check those tea party a–holes,” said Al_Bondigas.
“F— your American flag. Racist as f—s. I’ll always have pride with my Mexican flag but not the American one,” wrote Ivan Mora.
KPIX-TV in San Francisco reported the high school built a chain-link fence to keep the tea-party group from “disrupting classes.”
“Usually when you put up a fence, it’s a barrier. And, we interpret it as a barrier to keep out the First Amendment,” Georgine Scott-Codiga, president of the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots, told the station.
“I don’t believe there’s any need in America to suppress a national symbol of patriotism and freedom.”
SFGate reported students built a “unity banner” to express that they felt united.
“They want to make it a regular day. The students have expressed that they don’t like the outside attention, and we’re trying to help them with that,” Steve Betando, Morgan Unified District superintendent, told the news site’s reporter. “But they wanted to send a message that what the media and the world has really depicted as a divided school is really not a divided school.”
WND has reported on the dispute since it developed.
The most recent step was the 9th Circuit’s ruling that called the American flag a “symbol of racial animus.”
“The court’s rationale behind this ruling was essentially that it’s not safe to display an American flag in an American public school, for fear of causing offense and disruption,” said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute and author of “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.”
“This case signifies so much of what is wrong with America today, where the populace is indoctrinated into a politically correct mindset, starting in the schools, while those who exercise their freedoms are punished for it,” he said.
The full 9th Circuit has been asked to review the case, in an appeal filed by a number of legal teams, including attorneys with the American Freedom Law Center and the Thomas More Law Center.
The case centers on a decision May 5, 2010, by Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez. During a break, Rodriguez told several school students they were not allowed to wear U.S. flag shirts. He allegedly told them that he had received complaints from some Hispanic students about the flag apparel, and the students were not allowed to wear clothing that would offend them.
Later, Principal Nick Boden met with parents and students and affirmed Rodriguez’s order.
The appeals court “acknowledged that other students were permitted to wear Mexican flag colors and symbols, [but] it ruled that the school was allowed to forbid the American flag apparel out of concerns that it would cause disruption, even though no disruption had occurred,” attorneys argued.
Rutherford said school officials violated long-standing Supreme Court precedent forbidding suppression of protected expression on the basis of a “heckler’s veto.”
The attorneys said the school’s actions constituted viewpoint discrimination against pro-American expression, violating the free speech clause in the First Amendment and the due process and equal rights clauses in the 14th Amendment.
A three-judge panel of the court earlier had said: “The specific events of May 5, 2010, and the pattern of which those events were a part made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real. We hold that school officials … did not act unconstitutionally … in asking students to turn their shirts inside out, remove them, or leave school for the day with an excused absence in order to prevent substantial disruption or violence at school.”
AFLC’s Robert Muise noted: “Not only is the panel decision wrong as a matter of Supreme Court precedent, the decision affirms a dangerous lesson by rewarding student[s] [who] resort to disruption rather than reason as the default means of resolving disputes. The school district’s proper response should be to educate the audience rather than silence the speaker.”
It was pointed out that only violence from “Mexican” students was feared, not violence by those wearing the U.S. flag.
David Yerushalmi, also of AFLC, said the panel “reasoned that because the ‘Mexican’ students were not ‘targeted for violence,’ they were permitted to express their message.”
“Yet, because school officials perceived that the same ‘Mexican’ students might react adversely to the pro-America students, the latter group’s speech – wearing an American flag T-shirt for goodness sakes – should be silenced. This not only creates perverse incentives for student hecklers; it ultimately turns the First Amendment on its head,” he said.
The attorneys noted: “The panel went so far as to compare the wearing of American flag images with the wearing of the Confederate flag – an arguable symbol of racism – and to liken relations between ‘American’ and ‘Mexican’ youth in an American school – a distinction not clearly apparent on this record in that it is unclear whether the students referred to as ‘Mexicans’ were citizens of Mexico or of the United States – with racial tensions between white and black students.
“Of course, plaintiffs had a constitutional right to wear shirts bearing the American flag on their public school campus, even on Cinco de Mayo or any other holiday and regardless of the expression of ethnic pride asserted by people aligned with another culture. The obvious and odious premise underlying the panel’s opinion is that the American flag is a symbol of racial animus – an inherently flawed premise,” they argued.
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