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Steve Lunetta: Have we lost America?

Right About Now

Posted: May 9, 2010 10:21 p.m.
Updated: May 10, 2010 4:55 a.m.
My wife went into a semi-government office the other day and had to fill out a form. I say “semi,” since it’s a contractor that gets reimbursed by the government for the service it provides.

When she began filling out the form, she noticed the space to designate ethnicity. The first box read “Hispanic.” The second box read “non-Hispanic.” There were no other boxes.

Think about that for a minute. We are no longer Caucasian, African-American, Asian and Indian. We can even forget about an Old-World label like Polish, Irish, Dutch, Kenyan, Chinese or Korean.

We are now simply Hispanic or “something else.” When did this happen? When did I stop being an Italian-German with a pinch of French (which explains my obnoxious streak), and get relegated to the dust heap of racial irrelevance?

I shouldn’t be surprised. Uncontrolled illegal immigration and laughable immigration policies have created an immense segment of our population who have come to California with no interest in melting into our culture but instead insist on standing apart.

The flap in Morgan Hill is a great example of this festering problem. Several students at Live Oak High School decided to wear clothing that had United States flags emblazoned upon them. A vice principal asked them to invert their shirts so as not to offend Hispanic students celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

When they refused, they were sent home. They following day, the school district came out staunchly against the vice principal and principal of the school, saying that they disagreed with the decision and there would be no further disciplinary action against the five students.

Of course, Hispanic students decried the injustice, and 200 of them found a convenient excuse to take the day off and march to the school district headquarters.

Did I forget to mention that Vice Principal Miguel Rodriguez is Hispanic, and that two of the five students were also of Hispanic origin?

Rodriguez decided unilaterally that the American flag would be offensive to students wearing Mexican flags in honor of Cinco de Mayo, a nearly meaningless holiday in Mexico, but which has transmogrified itself into “Mexican Pride Day” here in California.

Since when did my flag become offensive? I don’t recall voting to become part of Mexico. My license still says “California,” and not “Baja California.” I still pay taxes to the U.S. government. And I’m still protected by the U.S. Army and Navy.

Old Glory still flies in front of my place of business, the post office and (gasp) public schools. I’ll bet it was flying in front of Live Oak High School on May 5. Maybe Rodriguez should have removed the U.S. flag, and run up that flag that has the eagle with a snake in its mouth. It’s obvious that he prefers that to the Stars and Stripes.

Rodriguez reportedly tried to give the boys a history lesson on Cinco de Mayo in his office. Maybe we should give him a little history lesson.

You see, Rodriguez, many men have died for the flag that you so callously want covered up. That flag is not simply a collection of colors on a shirt. It’s the blood that stained the beaches of Normandy. It’s the blood that drenched the field at Gettysburg. It’s the cold tomb of a battleship that sits at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.

Our flag also means the countless hours of work and sweat that built a nation out of nothing. It stands for the countless immigrants who came to these shores legally to build a better life for themselves. It stands for our right to be free.

It also stands for brown, white, black, yellow and red people. It stands for a people united in purpose and hope. It stands for you, Mr. Rodriguez.

So ends the history lesson.

I am not Hispanic. Nor am I an Italian-German with a smattering of French. I am a pure-blooded American and proud of it. If my flag offends, that is tough. It’s my country.

I am willing to assume that Rodriguez made a terrible mistake, and he can make amends by apologizing. However, what does it say about our nation when we forget who we are, what we believe in and the symbol that helps us remember?

Folks, raise your flags and tell your children what it means. We cannot lose America.

Steve Lunetta, a Santa Clarita resident and can be reached at His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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