These are strange times for those of us who consider ourselves to be proud Americans. For as long as many of us have known, America has come to represent more than just a set of borders, or the history that comes with it.
America, to the world, has always come to represent freedom, and equality, and while we certainly have had our fair share of trials along the way (today is no exception) the American people have always been able to come together.
Sadly, many of today’s institutions of higher learning view America in a different light, and are succumbing to pressures by the student body, and outside forces. Students are encouraged to “express” themselves and in many instances this has led to, in what many view as, disrespectful actions.
Hampshire College, a private liberal arts school in Massachusetts, is just the latest college to fall into that category, as they had removed their American flag from campus citing tensions from the 2016 election. Does that make sense to any of you? A school thought that since some students were upset at the result, a solution would come from targeting the flag.
As expected, there has been an outcry from people who view this as an act of division, as opposed to an effort of “addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors,” as the school’s president claims. However, there are a lot of flaws in the logic of those students who oppose the flag, and seemingly what we as a nation stand for, or at least some hypocrisy.
One prominent figure willing to speak out (and has a lot as of late) is former “Dirty Jobs,” and all-around stand-up guy, Mike Rowe, who wrote some scathing remarks to President Jonathan Lash, questioning if he really understood the repercussions of his actions, seeing as nearly 85% of students qualified for “some form of federal aid”, meaning they are fine with taking America’s money, but the flag has to go.
Mike also talks about the instances of flag-burning that have become somewhat of the norm, and wonders why so many have become “fearful” of what many see as a symbol of freedom, and much more:
“Last night on the tee-vee, as I flicked back and forth between my most trusted sources of cable news, I saw a number a college students setting fire to the American flag. Some of the students said they were “angry.” Others said they were “disgusted.” But many others were anxious to explain why they had become “fearful” of the American Flag. Interesting.”
“At Hampshire College, The President, Jonathan Lash, has actually removed the flag from his campus, in response to students who expressed “fear and discomfort” when confronted by the sight of Old Glory. He offered this explanation: ‘Removing the flag from our campus will better enable us to focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors.'”
“As I dropped one of those giant round ice cubes into a tumbler of Whistle Pig, I couldn’t help but wonder if President Lash was unaware that billions of people around the world are routinely subjected to horrific levels of racism, misogyny, and bigotry that far exceed any injustice in modern-day America. Furthermore, I was curious to know if President Lash really believed that removing our flag is a better way to assuage the fears of his frightened students, than simply educating them about the undeniable fact that no country on the planet affords its citizens more liberty than this one? Finally, I found myself wondering as to why the President of Hampshire College would allow his students to pay for their tuition with federal dollars – federal dollars provided by the same government whose flag was no longer suitable to fly at his school.”
“Here’s the problem. Tuition at Hampshire College is about $60,000 a year. That’s not a problem because it’s expensive – it’s a problem because 85% of Hampshire students qualify for some form of federal financial aid. That means that We the People are enabling schools like Hampshire to sell a liberal arts degree for approximately $250,000. With $1.3 trillion dollars of student debt currently on the books, I found myself thinking how nice it would be to hear a more persuasive argument from those who will happily take money from a country whose flag they despise.”
“I turned the channel, and watched another group of students dance around another pile of burning flags at another expensive university. I couldn’t tell where they were, but occurred to me that wherever they were – it probably wasn’t a trade school. To my knowledge, no one has ever burned a flag at a trade school.”
“I wonder why that is? I have no idea, but the thought reminded me that I had yet to post Episode 11 of Hot Under the Blue Collar. It features a graduate from one of those schools – a guy named Scott. Scott studied to be an electrician, and his comments, though not nearly as expensive as Daniel’s, are far more… illuminating?
Carry on, and don’t play with matches. – Mike”
Mike is well respected by many as someone who is in touch with the average American, yet clearly is a cornucopia of wisdom. Thank you, Mike, for putting it far better than many of us ever could. While it would be easy to get angry, you approach it wondering “do people know WHY they are doing what they are doing,” and that allows us to have an actual discussion. Bravo, sir!