The Stars & Stripes: Always ‘Two Thumbs Up’


By: Guest Authors

by David Bozeman

AOL News reports that film critic Roger Ebert criticized the five California teens who wore clothing bearing the American flag to school on May 5 — Cinco de Mayo. He announced on his Twitter page that the five should have to share a lunchroom table with those who wear a hammer and sickle on July 4. Brilliant. And this guy actually won a Pulitzer.

The five students, of course, were sent home, but the school’s principal has since apologized. Now, if only Ebert and Juan Williams (appearing on The O’Reilly Factor) would follow suit.

Ebert, probably America’s premiere film critic, should stick to penning the praises of his cinematic favorites, such as Booty Call. He once wrote a column — now how’s this for originality? — questioning Sarah Palin’s intellectual curiosity. How about a nationally know conservative film critic — now THAT would be original. Ebert, who has lost his voice and suffered disfigurement due to thyroid cancer, reportedly received angry retorts from bloggers making fun of his physical state. Naturally, AOL focused as much on that aspect as on the disrespect of America’s flag on her native soil, the same flag for which thousands of Americans are dead and just as severely disfigured as Ebert.

Note to Ebert and others: the American flag is never out of place or inappropriate in the United States. Not on any day of the year. To the 40% (noted by Ebert) of the school who are Hispanic, Old Glory stands proudly as an inspiration, a symbol of values such as freedom and opportunity that either your immediate family or your ancestors obviously valued. Why else would you be in the USA? To anyone who is offended at any time by the American flag — don’t let the door hit you on the way out! We don’t keep people in — that’s the domain of Hollywood’s favorite political pop star, Fidel Castro. And would the face of Hugo Chavez (beloved by critical fave Sean Penn) emblazoned on a T-shirt bear moral equivalence to the Stars and Stripes? Therein lie the stifling confines of political correctness — the edicts of right and wrong are built on the quicksands, not of mob rule, but of the equally short-sighted fashions of elite opinion makers.

Speaking of which, commentator Juan Williams opined that a potentially volatile situation merited quick attention, thus the students being forced to change their shirts or go home. Williams wrote off the tension to the testosterone of teenage boys — with Mexican and American flags little more than gang symbols. An American flag was snatched from a student, but, hey, boys will be boys, and who are we to judge?

These young men are patriots, Juan. We see patriots on the streets and on the battlefields but not often enough in the comfort zones of political roundtables and certainly not in the entertainment sections of Chicago newspapers. Who in the media have the guts of these fellows, but more importantly, who is on their side? Certainly no one on Fox News at that moment. Once we lose sight of our symbols and shared values, freedoms will surely topple one by one. But then, of course, that is the very aim of liberalism, which is why liberty begs for saving not merely from masses of illegal immigrants unwilling to assimilate but from liberals within our own borders.