The United States of America. The most feared nation on earth. The greatest nation on earth. A nation built by immigrants. A nation without a national language. One nation under God. A nation full of atheists. A nation that gives its citizens unalienable rights. A nation with issues. A nation with people willing to make a better world. We, as America are one incredible powerhouse.
Recently, a college in Massachusetts, has been in the headlines, and for what I think is not a good reason. Due to who this nation elected as president, the college, Hampshire College, chose to no longer fly the American flag after students took it down and burned it. The ultimate sign of disrespect. Things that we see other nations doing to our flag on the news, but something we hardly, if ever, see in our own backyard.
Before anyone says it, I 100% understand that burning the American Flag, the flag that will drape my casket, the flag that has draped hundreds of thousands of veteran’s caskets, is within their Constitutional right. The very same Constitutional right that protects the Westborough Baptist Church to protest veteran’s funerals, and display horrifcally hateful signs like, “God Hates Fags” at gay pride parades. The same Constitutional right that I was willing to lay my life down for protecting, and the same right that so many have laid their lives down for.
My issue with the student body’s protest is this: The cost to go to Hampshire College is roughly 62,000 dollars a year after tuition, room and board, that pesky technology fee, and other miscellaneous charges. I am very hard pressed to believe that the majority of these students have hardships before them that are just so traumatizing, or so severe, that burning the American Flag, the symbol of this nation, the very symbol that allows them to burn it, serves any purpose. DJT won’t oppress any of these students.
These students are so disconnected from the real world. They’re so disconnected from what it means to be a citizen. They’d rather burn a flag that stands for their independence, than try to make an actual difference. There are people I know that have become citizen’s of this nation that are so incredibly proud to say that they are now an American, they can’t begin to fathom burning the National Ensign.
I understand so many people are upset with the election, but burning a flag that represent so much to so many, is abhorrently atrocious. How does burning something that represents everything that allows you to do the foolish action, accomplish anything? They are burning the one thing, the one thing, that symbolises their ability to accomplish so much in this nation because of their freedoms.
Try pulling this kind of protest in these countries:
Denmark (other nations flags cannot be burned)
France (You can’t kneel here, 7500 euro fine, and 6 months in prison. And no flag burning)
Israel (three years in the slammer)
If you were wondering, flag burning or desecration in the countries listed above is illegal.
It pissed all the wrong people off. It pissed off so many veterans, that over one thousand vets went and marched for support of flying the flag at the school.
And now my issues with the college: The school has caved to children. Children run Hampshire College. Children get their way at Hampshire College. Nothing but children. The school has an inability to say, “Students do not touch this flag, or you will be expelled for defacing the college’s property.” They have an inability to hold people accountable and are cowards caving to 18 and 19 year olds who have never served their nation in any capacity. I am horrifically disappointed in the leadership at that college and their inability to tell the students to, as Apple would say, think different, and think in ways how to watch your new government closely and campaign about policies that hit home.
Some how instead, burning the National Ensign is an acceptable means of spreading the college’s mission of, “…Foster lifelong passion for learning, inquiry, and ethical citizenship that inspires students to contribute to knowledge, justice, and positive change in the world and, by doing so, to transform higher education.” Let’s go ahead and teach our children to despise the very thing that allows them to be the free American they are. Let’s go ahead and teach our children that being an ethical citizen is someone who burns the American flag in the face of change.
Keep teaching our children how to not be True American’s Hampshire College.
It is within every Constitutional right of mine to say this: I give you my most sincere Fuck You Hampshire College.