By Greg Drobny
It should go without saying based on our name, but we don’t apologize for being American. Our very existence does not—should not—prompt or require an apology.
Why bring this up now? Because it apparently needs repeating for the sake of current events.
“Students at an Iowa high school have apologized to a neighboring school for wearing red, white and blue to a recent basketball game.
“The Valley High School students’ USA-themed attire was seen as offensive because some of the rival school’s players were from refugee families.”
Just a quick question before we go further: what, exactly, isn’t considered “offensive” anymore? I ask because I’m starting to think that list is much, much shorter than one telling me what is offensive.
“Any normal person, any educated person can look at that and think what the hell are these kids thinking,” said Valley High School coach Morgan Wheat.”
I’m not sure if I qualify as “normal,” but I feel pretty confident in the category of “educated,” and I honestly fail to see the problem. The last time I checked, red, white, and blue are the official colors of the United States of America—or did I not get a recent memo changing that?
The issue here is quite simple: we have a growing number of people in this country who’s default response is set to “offended.” Instead of even considering the possibility that the intent of an action was not directed at them (or whatever special group they are expressing their faux outrage over), they leap to the conclusion that any given action is specifically intended to rustle someone’s jimmies*.
It doesn’t take much to notice the ego-centricity of this mentality. One must believe that their own views are obviously and clearly the ones of any and all “enlightened” individuals, so therefore anyone who does something outside of that is, well, broken. And should probably be in shackles.
Or taken to the gallows. It’s hard to keep up with what we’re doing to the undesirables these days…
Of course there will be those who say that the response to these kids sporting the colors is rare. But the evidence pointed to by the article linked above suggests otherwise.
“In Oklahoma, students at a Tulsa high school were blocked from bringing flags and banners on “USA Night.”
“In South Carolina, a high school banned the American flag in the stands, claiming it had been used in the past to taunt opposing teams with Hispanic players.”
High school kids taunting other high school kids?!?! WHAT THE HELL HAS THIS WORLD COME TO?!?!?!
In all seriousness, if you have kids shouting racial or ethnic slurs at kids from other countries, that is decidedly not okay. But it does not follow that banning the American friggin’ flag is a logical response. And why have a “USA Night” if you can’t bring a flag? What the hell is the point?
Listen, on more than one occasion—on this very site, mind you—I have been more than willing to point out America’s flaws. There are plenty, and ignoring them is, in all actuality, un-American in and of itself. I strongly believe that part of being UA is admitting when and where America is wrong. That’s how we get better.
But stating that the very colors of the country itself are “wrong” or “offensive” misses that point entirely and focuses on superficial things instead of legitimate issues. And I’d argue that being offended by everything is exactly one of those issues we should be more concerned with.
*Rustling jimmies is, I believe, a phrase that should work its way back into common use. Any normal or educated person knows that.