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USA Chant Gets 4 Students Suspended From School – Is Chant Patriotic or Belligerent? [POLL]

Flikr user Cristian_RH7
Flikr user Cristian_RH7

Showing pride in living in the USA could get you in trouble.

You may remember this story from back in May.

A Texas school district has apologized for what some perceived as a racist chant from fans after one of its teams beat a rival in a high school basketball playoff game.

Alamo Heights High School, which is made up mostly of white students, beat Edison High, which is predominantly Hispanic, in the Region IV-4A championship in San Antonio on Saturday. As Alamo players celebrated the win on the court, a large group of students began cheering “USA! USA!”

Alamo Heights head coach Andrew Brewer silenced the students as soon as he heard them, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Alamo Heights Superintendent Kevin Brown said he has apologized to San Antonio Independent School District officials.

As punishment, Alamo Heights students who were involved in the chanting will not be allowed to attend the team’s remaining state title games.

Well, it’s happened again.

This time in California where a handful of students showed up at a high school basketball game wearing bandanas and shouted “USA, USA” during the game.
And while they had originally been suspended for their actions, the suspension has been rescinded, but it raises a larger question.

Is the chanting of “USA” directed at a group of Hispanic students considered either racist or inciting a racial incident.

In this story:

Four California high-school students were reportedly suspended for chanting “U.S.A! U.S.A!” and wearing American flag bandanas during a basketball game. While their punishment has since been rescinded, school administrators said “the incident is far from over.”

Oxnard Union School District superintendent Gabe Soumakian told Fox News Radio that “we need to pursue this further” and “work with teachers and students and the community about the concept of cultural proficiency.”

Soumakian and Camarillo High School principal Glenn Lipman felt that the students’ actions might have had racist undertones since the schools have large Hispanic student populations.

“We wanted to make sure [their actions weren't] racially motivated, and I told the kids I just want to be sensitive to the feelings of everybody,” Lipman said. “If we’re doing it for patriotism, that’s fine. But if we’re doing it for something else that’s racially motivated, I’m not going to allow that.”

But the students deny any racial element to their chants. “We’ve done it always,” one student said. “It’s something we do. It’s the same group of friends. We’re all very patriotic.” The four students gained support from their peers: More than 100 students gathered by the school’s flagpole the following morning to protest in patriotic clothing.

Much the same way we had an “America Day” in response to the celebration of cinco de mayo by a group of Hispanic students at, again, a California high school; prompting officials to ban the wearing of American flag bearing shirts for fear of inciting a racial incident.

It’s hard for me to consider a chant as “USA, USA” as anything but patriotic, when it’s used in the proper context.

Here, while being “patriotic”; one has to wonder how patriotic is too patriotic?

And are we being too excessive in our sensitivity to other groups?


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