Take Offense

A Northern California case against wearing American flag T-shirts could be headed to the Supreme Court. AP
A Northern California case against wearing American flag T-shirts could be headed to the Supreme Court. AP

Rights: A Ninth Circuit Court ruling that students can’t wear American flag T-shirts because they may offend Mexican students celebrating Cinco de Mayo is a ridiculous yet dangerous assault on the First Amendment.

On Sept. 17, more than four years after Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., sent students home for wearing American flag t-shirts, an 11-judge Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that it was the right choice, “tailored to avert violence and focused on student safety.”

The decision upheld the court’s three-judge ruling in February that justified the school’s actions based on tensions between Mexican and American students. Past events, Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote, “made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.”

We are not making up this surreal situation. Oh, yeah, the incident occurred on Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates the defeat of the French army of Napoleon III by Mexican forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

It’s often mistaken as Mexico’s independence day and is actually celebrated more in the U.S. than in Mexico.

The shirts offended Mexican students who, the Ninth Circuit ruling states, responded by shouting, “They are being racist. F*** them white boys. Let’s f*** them up.”

According to the court, the wearing of an American flag t-shirt on Cinco de Mayo was the functional equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

“The controversy and tension remained,” a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in their opinion, “but the school’s actions presciently avoided an altercation.”

William Becker, a lawyer for the students, has said that he’ll take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The 9th Circuit upheld the rights of Mexican students celebrating the holiday of another country over U.S. students proudly supporting this country,” he said.

The ruling sets a chilling precedent that “by threatening violence against those with whom you disagree, you can enlist the power of the state to silence them,” wrote Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain in a dissent.

What about the students, O’Scannlain asked, wearing Che Guevara, Martin Luther King or a President Obama “Hope” t-shirt? Ban them, too?

The irony here is that Sept. 17 was the 200th anniversary of the first printing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The song celebrated the Battle of Baltimore, in which American forces beat the British In that battle, the rights and freedoms that we hopefully still enjoy were defended.

Come to think of it, that would make a great t-shirt.

Maybe we just need more Burkhas!

Or Halal Food Mandates…

Muslims in Minnesota facing poverty and tapping local food banks say they need a program that recognizes their pork-free needs.

Somali-Americans in one Minneapolis community have called for local government officials to create a no-pork zone via a special food shelf just for foods that conform to their faith, a local CBS News affiliate reported.

“It’s about human rights also — basic human rights to get the proper food and also healthy food,” Imam Hassan Mohamud told the affiliate.

“Some food shelves are trying to meet the need, but some of them already got canned beans that have already been mixed with pork — and there is a literacy issue here,” Mr. Weli said, CBS reported.

So Americans need to cater to illiterate unemployed Muslims on welfare. Human rights doesn’t mean having the government give you pork-free products. It means not being forced to eat pork products.

How dare you give people a choice to buy Pork & Beans with the Pork in it! How Racist are you!

Maybe Pork should be banned from Grocery Stores out of consideration for our Muslim brothers and sisters! 🙂

After all, you don’t want to “offend” anyone now do you… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

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