Film Critic Roger Ebert’s now-infamous attack on five California students disciplined for wearing patriotic clothing on Cinco de Mayo, is a classic in the annals of leftist debate technique: Silence your opponent by strangling an argument into a stultifying mass of reason-killing sophistry.
Take Ebert’s statement: “Kids who wear American flag T-shirts on 5 May should have to share a lunchroom table with those who wear a hammer and sickle on 4 July.”
What a fabulous specimen of progressive idiocy in all its ponderous, doltish glory. He actually believes that T-shirts featuring revered American symbols, displayed on blood-bought American soil, in an institution funded by the fruits of American freedom, worn by grateful young beneficiaries of prodigious sacrifice; are as offensive to other Americans as flaunting the flag of a tyrannical police state and America’s sworn enemy for most of the 20th century. It is absolutely breathtaking.
It reminds me of the time a Portlander (therefore a leftist) decreed that I should respectfully bow to the wishes of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (the guru of a now-defunct free-love cult that tried to steamroll Oregon politics by poisoning a town on Election Day) and pull over whenever his Rolls Royce motorcade sashayed by. The reason, as he astutely pointed out: I also “pull over for fire trucks and ambulances,” don’t I?
Isn’t that priceless? You just can’t predict when these gems are going to drop into your lap like a wormy apple. I really must start keeping a notebook at hand.
It’s almost all worms and no apple in the immigration debate. Just yesterday Ellen Ratner defended Ebert on Fox News’ America Live by – you won’t believe this – comparing the American flag to “gang colors,” and the teen’s patriotism to violent delinquency.
“Once you understand what is going on at some of these schools in California, I got to hand it to Roger Ebert. Context is very important. The principle, at first blush, looks like he was a lunatic, but when you really look at what is happening in these schools, he may have not been so crazy, and Roger Ebert probably isn’t so nuts either.”
Amusing as it is, though, I always end up wondering how these geniuses got into college. It’s been a long time, but I remember analogies and comparisons were included in the English portion of the SAT. How could they score high enough for basket-weaving school or even community college with such an obvious handicap – especially if the questions were worded like this:
1. The border fence is to Mexicans what…
A. The Berlin wall was to East Germany.
B. Locks are to a candy store.
2. Left-wing, anti-American educators are to immigrant students what…
A. Jim Jones was to the People’s Temple.
B. Abraham Lincoln was to the slaves.
3. To brainwashed immigrant students, the American flag most closely represents what…
A. Canaan was to Israel.
B. The swastika is to Israel.
4. Paying left-wing educators to teach our children to hate America…
A: Would disgust our forefathers.
B: Is monumentally masochistic and ultimately suicidal.
C: Robs youngsters of their national pride.
D: All of the above.
Of course, they could have lost their critical thinking skills after four years of college.
Last January, I stumbled across this painting in a restaurant near Juxtlahuaca in southern Mexico. I was touched by the wistful view of America from the outside looking in; a promised land, transcending the tumult of the world within a single crystal teardrop.
I have traveled the back roads and villages of Mexico and Guatemala. I love the Mexican people. That’s why my heart bleeds when their petulant and aggrieved children curse the America dream and vilify our flag. That isn’t typical of Latino culture. It’s the corrosive byproduct of an infestation in their hearts and minds, which renders them brainwashed hostages to the statist cause.
Victor Davis Hanson said it best:
If there were a “metaphor” in all this, then it is how multicultural instruction results in moral equivalence, cultural relativism, ignorance of American law—and irony in that millions of Mexican nationals are fleeing Mexico to enter America only within a few years to see their children wave the flag of the country they fled, and resent those who wear the flag of the country they desperately sought to join.
Your tax dollars at work. Anybody for apple pie?