A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Thursday, April 06, 2006

There's No Defending This

AP: Protesters Defend Carrying Mexican Flags---

Hundreds of protesters gripped Mexican flags as they marched for immigration reform in the past few weeks, but they say a display of cultural unity is being mistaken as a lack of loyalty to the United States.

The displays turned off many Americans. Conservative talk show hosts admonished the protesters, while everyday people wrote angry letters to the editors of their local newspapers.

Some called for those carrying the Mexican flag to return to Mexico. Others questioned why immigrants demanding rights in the United States would wave symbols of Mexico.

But those who carried them, and scholars of the immigrant community, say that pride in their culture should not be misconstrued as a lack of patriotism in their adopted nation.

"Nobody gets upset with the Irish on St. Patrick's Day," said Gabriela Lemus, director of policy and legislation at the Washington, D.C.- based League of United Latin American Citizens, the group that organized most of the recent protests and is heading the dozens of marches and rallies scheduled across the nation Monday.
Let's see. If I illegally enter England and then march around demanding citizenship, I'm going to carry the Union Jack. How would carrying the flag of my native country, the great United States of America, show my desire to become a British citizen?

The people who marched in the illegal alien marches showed hardly any patriotism for their "adopted nation." In the first place, they haven't "adopted" the United States. They have invaded. And, quite obviously, their first loyalty is to Mexico. I'm a big fan of England (history is my Grand Passion), but I would NEVER wave the Union Jack over Old Glory.

This is nothing like St. Patrick's Day. The Irish aren't trying to take over America, last I checked. Nor do people who participate in St. Patrick's Day parades, such as the huge one that takes place in New York City every 17 March, shout anti-American slogans or tear down the American flag and put the Irish flag up. On St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish. The majority of people who celebrate St. Patrick's Day do not do so as a political protest. Indeed, are there any politics involved in St. Patrick's Day. (Though, don't forget, the Irish were treated HORRIBLY when they first came LEGALLY to this country)

And, "pride in their culture"? This is part of the problem. These people haven't assimilated and joined the culture of the United States. We don't live in Mexico. We don't celebrate Mexican culture. It is one thing for people to gather together and celebrate their culture with a party. It is entirely another for these people to march in our streets demanding we change our culture, our laws for them. I refuse to do so.
Critics of waving the red, white and green have questioned marchers' loyalty to the United States, but Latino activists deny the implications.

"The Mexican flag is like a symbol of dignity and identity and pride for the people who carry it," said Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers of America with Cesar Chavez. "If people try to read more into that flag than what it is, they're wrong."
Sorry, not buying it! Waving the Mexican flag promotes solidarity with and loyalty to Mexico, not the United States. These protests are entirely political.

The Mexican flag might be "a symbol of dignity and identity and pride for the people" of Mexico (but, the way the Mexican goverment treats its own people---and others---I doubt that), but here in the US, patriots wave Old Glory. Old Glory IS a symbol of dignity, identity, and pride. Old Glory is the flag of the United States of America, which has given more to the people of the world than any other nation, including Mexico. If any flag ought to be saluted by people every where, it is the Stars and Stripes. How much money, supplies, and assistance has Mexico given other countries? Americans can hardly turn on the news without hearing the US government giving more money, supplies, assistance, etc., to some needy nation or disaster-hit area. We don't get credit for it, but we do it all the time.

If these people were truly proud of the United States, truly wanted to be AMERICANS---as opposed to "Mexican-Americans"---they would behave in a much different manner. Doing this to Old Glory is not the way to win us over to their side.

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email me and let me know at what level you would like to participate.

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