'Racist' American flag wavers on Cinco de Mayo
Does the desire to prevent violence override the First Amendment rights of citizens?
In one California school, the answer is yes.
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.
Here's a telling quote from the article that draws the proper lessons from this stupidity:
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.
Some of the tweets directed at the protestors were rancid:
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.
I guess giving offense is a one way street.
There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting" words — those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.
I see nothing in those words that define a symbol as "fighting words." There is no excuse to prevent students from expressing a valid viewpoint using the symbol of the American flag. Fear of violence, especially where none has occurred, is no excuse either.
School administrators are too lazy - or too incompetent - to "educate" rather than silence the speaker.