Sunday, January 17, 2016

Chis Cano: Selfishness, Sellouts, and Insulting Sacrifice

A recent wave of flag burning protest have become viral across the nation. These protestors represent various groups that are protesting racism in America. They say that the American Flag represents oppression and bondage to them, and they are utilizing their First Amendment Rights to burn it in protest. Clearly there is nothing more infuriating and disrespectful to the patriots of this nation than burning the American Flag. 

As a former member of the United States Air Force, this author finds these so called activists’ actions reprehensible.  Sadly, many of these activists had credibility at one point because they fought for just causes: immigration reform, equal rights, and ending institutionalized racism in America. These are all causes that this author has supported and continues to support, but it is the organizers of these protest that one can no longer support. It is quite ironic that these protestors claim the flag is one of oppression and bondage, yet demand the protection of the First Amendment to protect their right to burn it. They call patriots who condemn them sellouts and Uncle Tom’s. They speak so low of this nation with little regard for the sacrifices made for their Freedom of Speech. 

America is far from perfect and there are clear inequalities that have been institutionalized in this nation, yet there are men and women from every walk of life that have put on the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Each of these veterans chose to be one color, one voice, and one heart so they could make us a more perfect union.  American Freedom is not some abstract ideal. It is a living concept that is constantly evolving. It has widened its arms to immigrants from every nation, who upon their naturalization swear to
 defend its Constitution.
Yes, American Freedom has its hands stained in the blood of slavery. Yet, it also has its hands stained with the blood of those soldiers who died defending it. Soldiers like the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the 92nd Infantry Division, 332nd Fighter Group, the 65th Infantry Division, Colonel Virgilio Cordero, Lt. Colonel Ray Perez and countless others. So the question must be posed to these organizers who have such disdain for America, are these brave servicemen and women of color who have bled for the stars and stripes, Uncle Tom’s and sellouts in their eyes? Men like General Colin Powell or women like General Marcia Anderson?  Currently there American veterans in Tijuana who have been deported. Men who have bled for the stars and stripes. These brave men have been done a great injustice and this author would gladly trade these organizers in exchange for these brave men. The irony of hiding behind the First Amendment’s guarantee of Free Speech, for burning the same Flag that has real blood shed to protect it, must be lost on these unpatriotic protestors. All one can really take away from their message is they have never been 
of service to their country.