I can’t find any more details online than what’s here, but since people are e-mailing about it, let’s do it. Your turn, Napa Valley.
Vintage High School students were suspended for fighting and burning a Mexican national flag during incidents on campus Wednesday, school Principal Craig Lewis said.
At 3 p.m., four female students were involved in a fight related to the burning of a flag, according to Napa police.
Thursday, school administrators found out the burned flag had been discarded on the school campus. They checked trash cans and found a partially burned Mexican national flag, police said.
If anyone knows more about this, send me the link. The only one of the three outrageously outrageous kids-and-flags stories in the news that really bugs me is this one, just because in its own small way it replicates the logic of the Comedy Central/Mohammed fiasco. I had a long argument with a friend about that via e-mail today. She insisted that, yes, in an ideal world, it’d be harmless to wear an American flag shirt to school on Cinco de Mayo in the U.S., but we don’t live in a perfect world, do we? Reality is what it is and the kids should have known it; as it is, they’re guilty of a provocation. Which I’m happy to accept as true. Let’s take it as given that they wore the shirts in protest of Cinco de Mayo, as a statement of support for cultural assimilation, and that they did it knowing it would piss off some Mexican-American kids. So what? If “reality is what it is” then Comedy Central’s right to keep Mohammed off the air. Ain’t nothing more “real” than an angry jihadist, as Theo Van Gogh would tell you if he could.
But once you make that move, rewarding illiberal reactions to free expression by silencing it, you’re in Appeasementland. The difficulty here, I think, is in recognizing that not all provocations are necessarily wrong. Wrongness depends on what principle the provocation was meant to defend. Van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi Ali were surely guilty of provocation when they created “Submission,” but it was in service to a liberal value — i.e. defending women from abuses under Islam. So too with the kids in American-flag tees: They’re making a point about integration and the melting pot, a classic liberal value (if not, perhaps, a “progressive” one). If that bothers you as an American — or, in the parlance of constitutional law, if you’re an American student who finds that “disruptive” — then you’re the one with the problem. Adjust your attitude accordingly.
Incidentally, via Breitbart, here’s audio of Laura Ingraham discussing the day’s other outrageous outrage with the mother of that kid who took down the Mexican flag. Apparently the school thinks he owes some sort of damages or something. Oh, and here’s yet another national poll showing support in excess of 60 percent for Arizona’s new law. What can I say, amnesty shills? Realty is what it is.
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