Monday, May 10, 2010

Morgan Hill and the Failure of Cultural Assimilation

The issue at hand is not the flying of Mexican flags on Cinco de Mayo, at least its not to me. Pride in your cultural heritage can be displayed by waiving a flag of another country without issue. I've seen it happen lots of times during St. Patricks day marches and even on Columbus days or (if you've ever been to New York) on numerous Italian Saints days. I've seen Maori celebrations that waive either New Zealand flags or Maori symbols on flags, I've seen Indian cultural days where the banner of India is flown proudly. Even on Israeli Independence day you'll find American Jews (many of whom are not Israeli) waiving Israeli flags. Flags by themselves are not a sign of a lack of assimilation or respect for one's home country.
The issue is the affect the American Flag has on the cultural celebrators. Back again to the Israeli Independence Day celebration - if I wore an American flag t-shirt to that celebration, no one would care. In fact I saw American flags at those celebrations and even heard the Star Spangled Banner played to open the festivities. The celebration was devoted to Israeli culture but those who attended did not forget who they were and where was their home. I saw plenty of American flags during St. Patricks day parades, some during the Italian saints festivals and during all the other cultural festivals. The message was the same; we honor our heritage but we don't forget who we are and where we live. That's what is called Assimilation - not forgetting your heritage but also integrating yourself into the country you live.
Now take the brats at Morgan Hill (please); it can be rightly assumed that many of these kids are born in the United States and are therefore American citizens. These children are blessed with something their families desperately wanted, the chance to live and work here without being deported to Mexico. Just by their being born they are given benefits that thousands of people have strove for years to get and something their parents risked life and limb to achieve (please no immigration debate now). But as second generation Americans they should be allowed to be proud of their heritage, no different then many of the first wave of Irish, Italian, German, Chinese, etc immigrants who came here.
But their school's response to other boys wearing American flags was to be outraged and then, after being made to feel like victims by their moronic principal, to go out and scream that they were offended. It got to the point that prior to the boys being reinstated in school that the principal demanded that the American flag wearing boys be made to apologize to the Mexican students for offending them. The principal also stated that "Cinco de Mayo is not the day to show Patriotism". Ignoring the idiocy of that statement, please return to the previous celebrations I mentioned above - American flags are either part of the celebration themselves or shown without incident (at minimum). Why? Because pride in cultural heritage can be shown at the same time as pride in your national identity. To these brats and their moronic principal, such can't be allowed. Why? Because many of these brats don't have an American identity to begin with. It goes to such a point that not only are they offended by American flags but are repulsed by them to the point of trying to strike them down.

And I blame this crap directly on the principal and the school system. We have been such a multi-culturalist society that we have forgotten to teach children that they are Americans and they should take pride in such. But when kids are taught constantly in their schools about how America is an evil imperialist hate filled society formed by rich evil white slave owners and are taught that as minorities they have a right to feel aggrieved at every turn, is anyone surprised they don't think of themselves as Americans? Is anyone surprised as well that they think they have a right not to have themselves "offended"? Even when forced to apologize for his mistakes, the principal has the gaul to state that this was mostly the doing of bloggers and sensationalist media who mis-interpreted the situation.
This is made worse when you consider that many of them are not taught the history of the Mexican-American War which lets them think this is nothing but stolen territory when in fact it was acquired and then paid for when the American Army invaded and captured....Mexico City. Surprise, not only did we give the Mexican government most of its country back but we paid them $10 million for the territory we won in battle. What was to have stopped us back them from saying "Screw you all, we captured Mexico City, we're adding a dozen or so new states to the American flag"? Nothing. And then we paid Mexico for another strip of land that now makes up the borders of Mexico with Arizona and New Mexico (Gasden Purchase, wikipedia it).
This isn't limited to these brats, look back at most May Day immigration protests from 2007, 2008 and now. The majority of American flags are held by those counter demonstrating the illegal immigrant protesters, many of whom are waiving not American flags but Mexican, Guatemalan, El Salvadorian, etc flags. While some illegal immigrant protesters do indeed waive American flags, its a small number. How many members of groups like La Raza and MECHa speak of this land as stolen land or the creation of a new nation of Aztlan within the south-western United States? Assuming many of them are actual US Citizens, do they bother to read their own history, instead content with a bastardized version to fit their sensibilities, or do they not care in the first place?
Without getting into too much of the immigration debate what Morgan Hill shows, besides the stupidity of some of our youth, is that we have as much of an assimilation problem as we do an immigration problem. One is tied into the other because with the increase in illegal immigration, we have a bigger group of individuals who do not assimilate to American customs, who have produced children who feel no attachment to the country their families strove to come to. This is compared to hundreds of LEGAL immigrants who come here to live and work and who become assimilated into our melting pot. When combined with a school system that feeds their grievances and specifically targets against forming any sort of American identity, we are quickly on the way to losing what makes a nation a nation (borders, language and culture). And if this doesn't stop soon, within a few generations, we could be in for a major problem.

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