Four California high-school students reportedly were suspended for chanting “U.S.A! U.S.A!” and wearing American flag bandanas during a basketball game. Although their punishment has since been rescinded, school administrators said “the incident is far from over.”
The students attend Camarillo High School. They attended a game against rival Rio Mesa wearing the flag bandanas. After a vice principal ordered them to remove the bandanas or leave the gym, they left but came back at half-time and began the “U.S.A.” chanting. There are allegations that they pointed towards the Rio Mesa student section while chanting, but I don’t see such pointing in the video of at least a portion of the chanting.
Rio Mesa has a predominantly Hispanic student population. This fact caused Oxnard Union School District superintendent Gabe Soumakian and the Camarillo principal to worry that the students’ actions might have had racist undertones, even though at least two of the “offending” Camarillo students are Hispanic (judging by their names). The administrators will pursue the matter further in the interest of what Soumakian calls “cultural proficiency.”
But wait! What reason is there to suppose that Hispanics take offense at shows of American patriotism? Do they harbor hostility towards the United States? I wouldn’t have thought so, but then I’m not on the ground in Oxnard, California.
I hope Soumakian and his crew get to the bottom of this quickly. I wouldn’t want Congress to provide a path to citizenship for millions of illegal Hispanic immigrants if they, and maybe even some of their legal counterparts, can be presumed offended by standard expressions of American patriotism.
Via Andrew Johnson at NRO.
UPDATE: Here is the video.