CA - American students catch heat for wearing red, white & blue on Cinco de Mayo

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by tlcya, May 7, 2010.

  1. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    1. Let's toss the caber last. Because that will be my final event--ever!

    2. On the other hand, I found haggis delicious when I was in Scotland. But I want mine from a 4-star restaurant, of course.

    3. If you get a dress tartan like mine, the wool is so fine, it feels like silk. Much heavier, of course, but not at all scratchy. The front of mine (MacDuff) is white and someone at a party dumped an entire glass of red wine in my lap. I bellowed and immediately stood up: every drop of wine rolled off like Tang off a plastic placemat. Scot wool is an amazing fabric indeed. (I shudder to think what it would cost: mine was about 300 pounds back in the 1970s--but a man's tartan contains about 14 yards of fabric!).

    Shall we wear the cross of St. Andrew on Scottish almost independence day?
     


  2. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Please take a deep breath and get a good night's sleep. The attackers mean well--even when I think they are wrong--and you have more than a few us who agree with you!
     
  3. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Unless you are referring to my posts, nora, I don't think posters mean to be ugly so much as the topic brings out the righteous indignation of some people. If you feel I have been unfair or unkind to you, please let me know in public or in private. I promise that wasn't my intention.
     
  4. krimekat

    krimekat Amazed and Baffled

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    Love this !!!

    from 93 to 01 we'd go to MX over 5 May & the locals thought we were nuts! We Americans were the only ones celebrating :)

    Yeah, I don't get not allowing students to wear clothing of their choosing -- we all should celebrate who we are everyday
     
  5. i.b.nora

    i.b.nora I am polka dot

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    It (the ugliness) has nothing to do with you Nova. But, I do disagree, in that it seems very purposeful to me.
     
  6. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Sonjay, if I am following the disagreement correctly, I agree with you. If speech designed to provoke--even in a childish way--isn't protected, then we have no free speech. Muslims will have to get used to the fact that we in the West are often irreverent even to the deities in which we place our faith.

    That doesn't mean I am impressed with the jokers and their American-flag clothing. Taunting people whose ancestors have been oppressed for 500 years is bullying, even if the speech is legally protected.

    As for the vice-principal, I think he was wrong, but he may have been relying on court rulings that give school administrators considerable latitude in restricting speech in an attempt to maintain order. He couldn't merely ban the flag-wear because it was in bad taste; but he may have been on strong legal ground in banning it to prevent fighting.

    He was still wrong. But if my memory of free speech in school cases is correct, I do understand his thinking.
     
  7. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Oh, you know me. I just want everyone to get along. (NOT AGREE, certainly, but not have their feelings hurt either.)
     
  8. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    Mine either. I think the ugliness of this thread is from old posts. This is an old thread. The issue has been revived as of today.
     
  9. sonjay

    sonjay Well-Known Member

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    BBM. Exactly. Speech, including messages or expressions conveyed through clothing, cartoons, etc., that is childish, offensive, or provocative is exactly the speech that is in need of protection. We don't need protection of our freedom of speech for popular speech; nobody's trying to suppress popular speech. We need it for unpopular speech.

    I support the principle of free speech for all speech, no matter how offensive or provocative. Yes, even when it's offensive to me personally. I'm not a fair-weather free speech supporter, supporting it for those with whom I agree and rationalizing reasons to suppress it for those with whom I disagree. I support it for everyone, everywhere, all the time.

    In this particular case, I believe the school was just barely on legal grounds. I found a good article in the LATimes from last year that discusses the legal issues in a pretty even-handed way:
    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-flag-schools-cinco-de-mayo-20140228-story.html

    I wish SCOTUS had taken the case and upheld the students' first amendment rights. IMO, this flies in the face of the anti-war armband decision from the Vietnam era, which I thought was absolutely the appropriate position for the court to take. I hope SCOTUS is simply waiting for a case that's more "ripe" to review. They do that sometimes.
     
  10. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    BBM. Hey, that one's my birthday. I've long declared my birthday a holiday- it is in Mexico!!!
     
  11. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Confidential to LinasK: an oratorio I wrote about 15 years on the events at Tepeyac has been picked up by an opera house in Mazatlan. Now all I have to do is translate it into Spanish! We'll see if I was paying attention during all those years of Spanish classes.
     
  12. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Like sonjay, I tend to be a hardliner in favor of free speech, but if students--because they are minors--are to be protected from tobacco and R-rated movies, then I agree that different rules should govern the speech they are forced to endure. They have a right to an education, too.

    I'll still defend unpopular speech, but that doesn't mean everyone gets to say everything everywhere.
     
  13. sonjay

    sonjay Well-Known Member

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    Minor children do occupy a special position in many legal areas. There are some restrictions on their rights that aren't applied to adults, and there are special protections for them that don't apply to adults.

    There's been a constant balancing act in the legal arena in attempting to protect minor children from certain types of speech while also protecting their own free speech rights as well as the free speech rights of others.

    In general, I think that statutory law and case law have gotten it right. Of course, that doesn't mean that the status quo is perfect or that it will never be modified, but we've got a pretty darn good balance at the moment. I was pleased when SCOTUS struck down portions of the Communications Decency Act.

    The Supreme Court has decreed, repeatedly, that while the state has a compelling interest in protecting children from "indecent" material, that interest must be exercised through the "least restrictive means possible." I wholeheartedly support that approach.

    In the particular case under discussion, no one has argued (nor would they, I hope!) that wearing a national flag or the colors of the flag is "indecent." Or offensive, or obscene, or appeals to the prurient interest, or that it's commercial speech, or that it's child pornography or fighting words or incitement to imminent lawless action, or any of the other narrowly defined exceptions to the very very broad freedom of speech that we enjoy in this country.

    No, the flag-wearing ban is essentially a "heckler's veto." National Review had a good article on heckler's veto and the 9th circuit's decision in the flag-wearing case:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corne...ech-upholds-hecklers-veto-american-flag-david

    I'll quote (approvingly) a couple of excerpts from the article:

    "Under traditional constitutional principles, this is an easy case. Your free-speech rights do not depend on a listeners’ subjective response, and they are certainly not conditioned on a listeners’ willingness to break the law. Otherwise, free speech means nothing — bullies would be empowered to shut down speech whenever and wherever they wish."

    and

    "The dissent, by Judge O’Scannlain, gets these concepts exactly right: The freedom of speech guaranteed by our Constitution is in greatest peril when the government may suppress speech simply because it is unpopular. For that reason, it is a foundational tenet of First Amendment law that the government cannot silence a speaker because of how an audience might react to the speech."

    and

    "But the case went beyond a heckler’s veto (as bad as that is) and veered into outright viewpoint discrimination. By banning the American flag displays while permitting other flag displays, the Court didn’t just censor one view, it privileged others."

    The article concludes by pointing out that the 9th Circuit's decision in this case is at odds with the 7th and 11th circuits.

    SCOTUS rejected cert on this particular case, but this state of affairs will not be permitted to continue indefinitely. Conflicting decisions between different circuits eventually end up before SCOTUS.
     
  14. SStarr33

    SStarr33 Inactive

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    Those posts were from 2010
     
  15. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    That figures. I we don't all agree, but I've found the discussions of the last couple of days--despite deeply felt passions--to be rather civil.

    sonjay, I think an argument can be made that wearing the American flag on Cinco de Mayo, under the conditions reasonably to be expected at the school, falls into "fighting words" exception. Of course the exception must be narrowly construed and nobody is saying that U.S. iconography is per se an "incitement to violence". Nor is it a question of whether the flag-wear is "unpopular". (In fact, as one Mexican-American student told a reporter, he wears the same images himself on the 4th of July.)
     
  16. sonjay

    sonjay Well-Known Member

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    No, there's no way wearing the American flag on CdM would be considered "fighting words." Here's a pretty good explanation of the fighting words exception:
    Source: http://www.vox.com/2015/5/6/8561707/chaplinsky-free-speech

    That rule came from a Supreme Court decision called Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire — the one Cuomo cited on Twitter. In that case, a Jehovah's Witness named Walter Chaplinsky was arrested for calling a city marshal a "God-damned racketeer" and a "damned fascist," and saying that "the whole government of Rochester are fascists or agents of fascists." The Supreme Court said Chaplinsky's arrest and prosecution were constitutional, because his statements to the marshal were "fighting words" that weren't protected by the First Amendment.

    But it's important to understand that the rule doesn't include all speech that is offensive enough to provoke a strong or even violent reaction. Other Supreme Court cases have made that very clear. For instance, in 1971 the court held that lettering on a jacket that said "**** the draft" didn't count as fighting words because the jacket's statement wasn't directed at any particular individual.

    And, importantly for Cuomo's argument, in 1992 the Court invalidated a St. Paul law that prohibited some types of hate speech. The key issue in that decision was that the law focused on the content of the speech, forbidding statements likely to arouse "anger, alarm or resentment in others on the basis of race, color, creed, religion or gender."


    The court held that choosing just one subcategory of fighting words based on their content — in this case, words that targeted characteristics like race or religion — was not constitutional.

    Merely wearing a national flag, or the colors of the flag, comes nowhere near the "fighting words" exception. A flag, by itself, is not vulgar or abusive, and it's not not directed at any particular individual. Additionally, banning flag-wearing would specifically violate the court's decree with respect to the St. Paul law that it invalidated — namely, that banning one category of fighting words based on their content (such as those targeting race or religion) is not constitutional.

    The Cinco de Mayo flag-wearing case was upheld on the basis that it might cause disruption in the school, not under the fighting words exception.

    Here's an excerpt from another article about the case (BBM):
    During the discovery phase of the lawsuit, the evidence overwhelmingly showed that school officials intentionally restricted the students’ speech on May 5, 2010, because they believed that the pro-America message conveyed by the students’ patriotic clothing would offend some Mexican students since it was Cinco de Mayo—“their day,” as one school official testified. School officials enforced the clothing restriction even though they had no objective evidence that the students were causing any disruption—let alone a material and substantial one—to the operation of the school by wearing the American flag shirts.
    Source: http://www.americanfreedomlawcenter...ican-flag-shirts-in-a-california-high-school/

    Essentially, they banned the American flag because they thought some Mexican students might be offended. That, IMO, is not right, and it's not constitutional.
     
  17. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    BBM. I disagree. From the article I posted yesterday: Fearing violence at the school with a 40 percent Latino student body, officials told the boys to change or hide their red-white-and-blue clothing by turning them inside out.
    Lawsuits ensued and finally in March the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a lower court decision in favor of the school officials.
    In the lower court decisions, the judges cited the fact that Live Oak High School officials had documented at least 30 fights on campus during a six-year span between gangs and "between Caucasian and Hispanic" students.
    The judges said the school administration had good reason to fear a violent reaction and to tell the boys not to wear the T-shirts on a Mexican holiday.

    Legally maybe it isn't "fighting words" to wear the flag, but obviously to the Hispanic population at this school to wear it on Cinco De Mayo it was. It's like rubbing their faces in it, my culture is better than yours/you're not an American. I'll bet these same boys don't wear those tshirts to school on other days. I think it was a good decision to make them turn their shirts inside out! Schools are allowed to have dress codes, especially when it comes to provocative clothing. I think wearing the flag on this day was provocative, same as the drawing the Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest.
     
  18. sonjay

    sonjay Well-Known Member

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    BBM. I agree. I think it was provocative.

    However, I disagree in that I believe provocative speech is protected speech in the United States. It's a long-standing tradition, upheld by many many court cases over many decades, that free speech may not be restricted, prohibited or suppressed because some people find it offensive or provocative.

    There was a time that speech advocating equal rights for people of color, or even mere freedom from slavery for people of color, was considered offensive and provocative by many. Under your standard, that speech could legally have been prohibited.

    There was a time that speech advocating equal rights for gay people was considered offensive and provocative. Under your standard, that speech could legally have been prohibited.

    I'm pretty sure that lots of men found speech by Susan B. Anthony to be offensive and provocative. If offensive and provocative is the standard for prohibiting speech, women would still not have the vote.

    In this country, it is not supposed to be acceptable to censor or prohibit speech because some people find it offensive and provocative. In this country, it has long been the tradition, upheld by the Constitution, to ensure that offensive and provocative speech is protected. That tradition should continue, IMO.
     
  19. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    None of those examples would have provoked violence. Now granted I don't think violence is the answer when you don't like what's being said, it's also extremely stupid to go poking a proverbial beehive/wasps nest with a stick. Pam Gellar hired her own security because she knew the risk she was taking. In this case, it would have been a gang war.

    I did just find this, hope it gets laughed out of court:
    [h=1]This Woman Is Suing All Gay People On Earth On God's Behalf. Yes, Really.[/h] The Huffington Post | By Curtis M. Wong Posted: 05/06/2015 1:34 pm EDT
    Identifying herself as an ambassador for God and Jesus Christ, a Nebraska woman has filed a federal lawsuit against all homosexual people on the planet for breaking “religious and moral laws.”
    Sylvia Ann Driskell of Auburn argues in a seven-page, handwritten petition delivered to the U.S. District Court of Omaha that “homosexuality is a sin and that the homosexuals know it is a sin to live a life of homosexuality,” according to the Lincoln Journal Star. “Why else would they have been hiding in the closet(?)”
    The 66-year-old, who is representing herself in the lawsuit, cites Webster’s Dictionary as well as a series of Bible passages in her letter, which is riddled with spelling and punctuation errors, the Omaha World Herald reports. She challenges U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard to not “judge God to be a lier (sp),” and slams gay people as “liers (sp), deceivers and thieves” in the case, filed simply as Driskell v. Homosexuals. more at link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/...it-_n_7223876.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000050




    [h=1][/h]
     
  20. sonjay

    sonjay Well-Known Member

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    So.... if I understand your position correctly.... if racists are willing to resort to violence to keep black people from being heard, then it would be okay to silence black voices? If homophobic bigots are willing to resort to violence to keep gay people in the closet, then it would be okay to silence gay voices?

    Am I missing something here? Maybe you can clarify what you mean, because I can't believe you mean it the way it sounds.
     

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