This piece originally appeared in Eagle Rising.
This past week national attention has been directed to the University of California at Irvine, where I have taught part-time since 1998. The issue revolves around a vote by the student government (ASUCI) to remove the American flag from their work space after some students complained that it was "exclusive" (more about that later.) After national attention embarrassed the entire university, the ASUCI called an emergency session over the weekend to reverse the decision.
This week's campus paper, The New University, has many articles and op-eds devoted to the issue.
I plan to jump into the reader discussion of New University and perhaps send in a piece with a request that they publish it in their print edition. It will go something like this:
While I appreciate the expressions in NU disagreeing with the take down of the flag, I don't agree with the efforts to acknowledge the sentiments of those who wanted to take it down. Are we really to take down our flag because it makes DREAMers uncomfortable? (DREAMers is the silly name given to students who are in the country illegally, many of whom were brought here by their families as small children.) In addition, are we to take down our flag because it makes foreign students uncomfortable? I don't believe for a minute that even a significant number of students at UCI want the flag removed. Nor do I put the primary blame on the students who voted to take the flag down. I blame the leftist professors in academia who poison the minds of our students into believing that America is an evil country-which it is not.
I have lived in three other countries a total of 11 years. Never did the sight of their flags make me feel uncomfortable or excluded. I never expected them to remove their flags from my sight. In short, the above two arguments are absurd on their face.
As to the darker chapters in our history, we freely acknowledge the crimes of slavery and segregation and have eliminated them. America has not been perfect, nor are we perfect now because we are a nation of human beings. Yet, we are the greatest and freest country in the world, and have no reason to be ashamed of our flag or apologize for it. Were it not for that flag and the country it represents, I dare say no country would be living in freedom today.
If I may brush off that old refrain in my own words, if anybody here is uncomfortable with the American flag, find a country with a flag that suits you better.