California school would like students to stop "intolerant" chants of "USA!"

Folsom, California is a suburb of Sacramento, probably best known for the iconic Folsom Prison of Johnny Cash fame. It’s also home to Vista Del Lago High School where a different sort of trouble is brewing. Teachers and administrators are worried about threatening chants which have broken out during school sporting events and other gatherings.

The offensive speech in this case consists of chants of “USA!” which erupt from the crowd at moments of great excitement. And yes, while it seems to boggle the imagination, that particular chant has been described as being potentially inappropriate and intolerant. (CBS Sacramento)

Controversy erupts at Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom over students chanting “USA.”

It’s a popular way to for students to show pride during sporting events and rallies, but school and district officials are now warning students that the chants could appear inappropriate and intolerant.

“I wasn’t angry, but I was definitely like ‘Why can’t we chant USA?’” said senior Ryan Bernal, “To say USA, you know, we’re all the same. We’re all American. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is or where you’re from.”

The chants are now causing chatter campus-wide after school staff brought up the topic to a leadership class.

The school wants to be clear that the chant hasn’t been officially banned or forbidden. The school’s principal just feels that there’s a time and a place for chanting USA and perhaps it would be better to do it after the playing of the National Anthem or reciting the pledge of allegiance. (Don’t tell Colin Kaepernick that.) At this point these are just suggestions and they’re likely to be put to the test during tonight’s football game where the theme is scheduled to be, “USA Pride.”

This isn’t the first time this complaint has surfaced but it hasn’t gotten any more sensible with age. If we were talking about kids chanting “USA” at a group of foreign tourists you might have room to argue that they’re being “offensive.” (Though that’s still an incredibly weak argument.) But these are situations where majority white audiences are chanting it during games against other schools with more minority students. Here’s a news flash for you. Pretty much all of those students are citizens of the same country. (With the possible exception of some illegal aliens or the occasional exchange student.) Chanting the name of their own country isn’t offensive and if they think it is for some reason then there’s something seriously wrong going on in their homes.

What we’re seeing here are further symptoms of a society in decay. When you begin to not only lose your sense of your national identity but start identifying it with something negative or shameful, that’s a country which is swirling the drain. The fact that it’s taking place in our schools where the next generation of young minds are being molded should be alarming to anyone. This is a cry for help, but nobody seems to be listening.

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