Hampshire College, a liberal arts institution in Massachusetts, lowered its U.S. flag to half-staff the day after Donald Trump became president-elect. Why anyone would set fire to the flag the following day is a mystery, but the college decided its only recourse was to remove the flag entirely. “Officials lowered [the flag] to half-staff due to claims the flag represents “racism and hatred” and because “It’s been used as a symbol to ostracize people.”
“‘Our goal is to give voice to the range of viewpoints on campus across cultures, and hopefully find common ground,’ [a spokesperson for the college] said in a statement. ‘We’ve heard from members of our community that, for them and for many in our country, the flag is a powerful symbol of fear they’ve felt all their lives because they grew up as people of color, never feeling safe. For others, it’s a symbol of their highest aspirations for the country.'”
Nice of him to tack that last bit on.
It takes a lot to make me angry (unless someone takes the last Krispy Kreme). I’m handicapped by a preternatural ability to see both (all) sides to an issue, but this is beyond the pale. I can feel my blood boiling, and I am literally mad enough to spit. I won’t, however, because somebody has to show the navel-gazing students at Hampshire College that it is indeed possible to control one’s emotions.
Where do I start?
“Last week, in the current environment of escalating hate-based violence, we made the decision to fly Hampshire’s U.S. flag at half-staff … This was meant as an expression of grief over the violent deaths being suffered in this country and globally, including the many U.S. service members who have lost their lives … We hope this will … focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors.”
You know what else would address misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors? Frank comparisons between our society and societies that throw homosexuals off of buildings; export the kind of terrorism that bombs synagogues; and stone women to death for not wearing the veil (and throw acid in girls’ faces for trying to attend school, and require women to wear mobile jails called burquas, and prevent women from voting, driving, and leaving home without their husband’s permission, and, and, and…).
Tucker Carlson of Fox interviewed Hampshire student Daniel Vogul, who graciously took time away from his $65000 per year education to become a—wait for it—history teacher. A history teacher! Knowledge of history a plus. Vogul must have missed the day they taught what a veteran put so movingly.
“The thirteen stripes represent the original colonies that gained their independence from England. The fifty stars represent the individual states. The white represents innocence, the red represents valor and bravery, while the blue represents perseverance, vigilance, and justice. I think these are values that are instrumental in guiding the future leaders of America, and not to be carelessly discarded.”
But would they have to do hard labor? North Korea just sentenced a U.S. college student to 15 years’ labor for trying to steal a political propaganda poster from his hotel.
Let’s see…the U.S. holds a constitutionally valid election, and students’ feelings are placated. North Korea catches a U.S. college student taking a poster without permission and sentences him to 15 years’ labor.
In what world does an institution of higher learning a) take leave of logic and ban the symbol of their freedom to educate; b) placate students’ upset feelings (about which facts don’t care) as a higher priority than preparing them for real life; and c) teach (explicitly and implicitly) that the freest, most tolerant, most human rights-drenched country in the world is a toxic blight that must be made to heel?
In a world that protects sheer idiocy constitutionally. Which protection is symbolized by the U.S. flag. For which incalculable sacrifice of life and limb has been made. Which sacrifice has been made overwhelmingly by white men. Watch teenage boys storming the beaches of Normandy during WWII if you’re a little rusty on your history. Then get a life.
While you’re at it, contemplate all possible meanings of “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”