May 16, 2011
The American Flag Is 'Offensive' in Schools NowBy Selwyn Duke
Increasingly, it seems that the American flag is joining toy guns and dodgeball on the banned-from-school list. And the latest story on this front involves The Butterfield Elementary in Orange, Massachusetts, where a teacher told an eleven-year-old boy that he may not hang his depiction of Old Glory because it might "offend" another student.
The boy, Frankie Girard, had drawn the picture in art class but then found that his teacher didn't share his patriotism. Says his father, John, "He was denied hanging the flag up. And he asked if he could just even hang it on his desk, and he was told no. He could take the picture that he drew and take it home and be proud of it there."
I guess patriotism has joined piety as a "private matter." (Leftists tend to confuse closets with shelves. Everything that should be in the former, they display; everything that should be on the latter, they hide.)
There is a bit of a back story here, too. It is claimed that this incident followed an altercation in which the offended one struck Frankie after Frankie asked him why he didn't recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
As for the accusation leveled against the teacher, it's denied by the school superintendent, Dr. Paul Burnim. He refused to go on camera, but, reports WWLP.com's Matt Caron, he "told 22News over the phone that nobody ever told Franklin the drawing was offensive, and said the only reason it wasn't hung was because Franklin was supposed to be doing other work; [sic] not drawing a picture."
Nose growing much, doctor?
The reason why I don't believe this man for a second is this: What eleven-year-old is going to concoct a story that his teacher said his flag drawing was "offensive"? Oh, I understand that kids can lie almost as well as educators, but such a fabrication would require a level of cultural knowledge and sophistication beyond the grammar-school set. No, what we have here is a guilty teacher and a superintendent doing damage control and hiding under his desk.
As to this, Frankie's father, John -- who has contacted the ACLU (which makes me wonder about his cultural knowledge) and gotten a lot of press -- said that Dr. Burnim asked him if this would "go away" if his son were allowed to hang the flag now. Obviously, this educator is worried about being hanged himself. Doctor, the time for that is past.
And you are a coward.
If you were any kind of man, you would have been offended that a teacher would look askance upon the flag. If you were any kind of a man, you would have leapt into action without hesitation. If you were any kind of man, you would have defended our culture. But you're something other than a man.
It's called a leftist.
And this is typical of leftists. They persecute traditionalist students in thousands of schools and universities nationwide (see Campus-Watch.org), and, when they are occasionally caught with their hands in the commie jar, they don't even have the guts to come on camera and defend their "beliefs."
This is because they operate based on popularity, not principle. They are pack animals, fawners over the fashionable. In 1936 Germany, they would have been doing the goosestep, and in 1917 Russia, they would have sported the hammer and sickle. This malleability isn't surprising, either. "Left," like "right," is a relative term. Left of what? In the case of these folks, the only constant is that they're left of sanity.
Now, in the comments section under Caron's article, someone in the community accused Frankie of being a bully. But this is irrelevant. It would be a mistake to conflate a defense of the flag with a defense of a flag-waver. If the boy misbehaved, punish him, but you don't prohibit the flag's display because it's "offensive." You hang the flag -- and then "hang" the child if necessary.
Speaking of which, was the little offended offender punished for striking Frankie? Or is that allowed now when someone has the temerity to express patriotic sentiments?
And who is offended by the flag, anyway? Is this classmate a budding al-Qaeda member? A La Raza Reconquista type? Is his last name Chavez? (Actually, Frankie's sister claims he's a Jehovah's Witness.) Whatever the case, if the American flag offends him, I suggest that he's in the wrong country.
The thing I find most irritating about this story is the ridiculous idea that "offensiveness" should be a guide for anything. And it not only shouldn't be...
...but it cannot be.
This is because offensiveness is completely relative and subjective: most everything offends someone and most everyone is offended by something. Yet we won't prohibit everything. Would we kowtow to a child who was offended by sitting next to a black classmate? In short, we have to discriminate among people's feelings. And what will be the yardstick that we use to judge? Unless it is the "feelings" of the given authority figure -- in which case the judgments are completely arbitrary -- the standard of right and wrong must be applied.
Once you recognize this, the offensiveness argument goes out the window. It passes muster only in a relativistic universe in which, without a conception of Truth as a yardstick for making decisions, people use the only thing they have left: emotion. Yet this reduces society to the law of the jungle: we fight, using fists, votes, or words (maybe lies), and those who prevail see their will done. And that higher one, and civilization, are casualties.
The truth is that when people take offense, it's usually just a ploy. They're not really offended.
They just don't happen to like what you're saying.
But if they were honest and said just that, they'd seem intolerant. So they try to seize the moral high ground by putting the onus on you and claiming you're "offensive." Yet they usually have neither the high ground nor anything moral. If they had the latter, they'd likely be able to mount an argument as to why you're wrong in a real, absolute sense. Instead, all they're saying, properly translated, is that they don't like how you taste. If they looked to Truth, however, they might find that the problem actually lies with their palate.
Something else that can exist only in a relativistic universe is the spiritual disease that today wears the label "liberalism." Get people to believe in Truth, and this disease will die as surely as will a fungus exposed to the light.
Contact Selwyn Duke