As long as it’s not theirs!
Mexicans and Mexican-Americans protesting restrictive immigration bills in the southwest states and in Congress have been waving US and — gasp! — Mexican flags. Conservative windbags, like Lou Dobbs and U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode Jr., R-Va., have jumped at the chance to show their prejudices and say the Mexican flag wavers should go home if they love their country so much.
While none of the anti-Mexican windbags have accused immigrants from the south of being terrorists or “Fifth Columnists” … yet … it seems clear that in their minds Mexico is not quite on a par with, say, Ireland. The Irish flag, after all, comes out of the closet in droves on St. Patrick’s Day, and no one is suggesting the Irish go home. (Well, at least, not since the 1840s or so …)
Three of my grandparents emigrated from Sweden around 1900. I don’t have a Swedish flag flying in my home, but to correct that omission, here it is:
When I was a kid, my parents used to take me to Vasa order lodge meetings. My grandmother used to be a Vasa lodge officer of some kind. There was a lot of Swedish food, people dancing the polka and schottische, and Swedish flags. I’ll bet there were even photos of the King up, though I was too small to remember.
So, should the government have deported the Vasa members for waving a foreign flag? Were the Swedes celebrating their heritage or undermining the “American Way” somehow?
Waving the flag of your or your ancestors’ birthplace says nothing about your loyalty to the USA. It is a statement of your ethnic pride, a recognition that you have roots elsewhere, as most of us do here in the US.
Were the flags being waved in these protests Canadian or the flag-wavers’ skin color been a tad more pale, I doubt the conservative windbags would be suggesting the protesters be shipped home. It’s prejudice, plain and simple, and that attitude will backfire. Many of those flagwavers can vote here, and if they can’t, I bet they know someone who can.