Are You Jumping On the Bandwagon Too?

Written by admin   // June 25, 2010   // 0 Comments

Many Blacks think Latinos and African Americans have some kind of brotherhood thing or an alliance going on, says Gregory Kane

by Gregory Kane,

All things considered, the white boys got off easy.

That would be those five white guys who chose to leave a California high school rather than turn their T-shirts with an American flag emblem inside out.

Have you heard about that incident? It happened on May 5, which to most people is just May 5. For others, it’s Cinco de Mayo, a holiday widely celebrated by Mexican-Americans.

And that’s as it should be. Americans of all ethnic, racial and religious groups celebrate holidays of all kinds. For Jews, it’s Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, among others. Irish-Americans have Saint Patrick’s Day.

Italian-Americans celebrate Columbus Day, to the disgruntlement of some Native Americans. Muslims have Ramadan, and many blacks celebrate Juneteenth.

So there’s nothing wrong with Mexican-Americans celebrating Cinco de Mayo. But there’s something terribly wrong with suggesting that other Americans should stop being Americans on that day.

This past May 5, the five white guys who attended Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California decided to rock their American-ness. They wore T-shirts with an American flag emblem. An assistant vice principal demanded that they turn their shirts inside out.

He felt the display of the American flag might inspire violent attacks on the quintet from Mexican-American students.

By the way, that assistant vice-principal’s name is Miguel Rodriguez.

The students were given a choice of either complying with Rodriguez’s request or being sent home. They chose the latter.

Now, some in’s readership – specifically those misguided black folks who think Latinos and African-Americans have some kind of brotherhood thing or an alliance going on – will be quick to jump on the Mexican-American/Cinco de Mayo bandwagon. (I’ll repeat this for the umpteenth time: the African-American-Latino “brotherhood/alliance thing” applies to black folks and Puerto Ricans only. It might apply to black folks and Dominicans, but the black folks in question had better not be Haitian.)

Before you hop on that bandwagon, I urge you to Google the words “Los Angeles,” “black students,” “school” and “Cinco de Mayo.” Click on the You Tube item “thayoungboy22’s Channel.” Beneath that, you’ll see the words “Black/Brown conflict at Inglewood High School erupted after a Cinco de Mayo event near Los Angeles.”

The video is a news item about that black-brown conflict. It was a riot, complete with fisticuffs, bats and bottles that started after black students walked out of a Cinco de Mayo assembly at the school. In the video, black students said they simply reciprocated the gesture the brown students had made in February, when they walked of the Black History Month assembly.

According to the news clips, similar incidents occurred at two other Los Angeles high schools: Jordan and Manual Arts. What’s significant about the incidents are that they happened in 1990. In that 20-year span, things have gotten worse.

In 2005, California historian Roger D. McGrath wrote a piece for The American Conservative called “End of the Rainbow,” in which he quoted a black auto mechanic named Terry Anderson about the demographic change in what used to be black Los Angeles – and its impact.

“Today, teenagers can’t get after-school or entry-level jobs – something to put on a resume. When I was 16 or 17, I had jobs at McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box. Now these jobs in L.A. are held by 30- or 40-year-old immigrants – 100 percent Spanish-speaking and probably 90 percent from Mexico.

“We have schools here that used to be 80 percent to 90 percent black and now are 80 percent to 90 percent Latino. As this trend spreads, blacks either can move to other neighborhoods or watch their children stuck in schools listening to Spanish all day.

Yet nobody speaks up for our children the way pro-immigrant organizations do for immigrant children. As a result, our children are getting the equivalent of half a day of school. Why should our children be deprived?”

Why should they have to go through what one black girl described in McGrath’s article – that she’d just been “jumped by a bunch of (bleeping) Mexicans”? Because black folks have been asleep at the switch on this one.

Some of us follow Tavis Smiley’s lead. Smiley can’t say the word “black” these days without sticking “and Latino” behind it.

Others of us are concerned about mean, old, white, racist Republicans. The blacker-than-thou crowd is too obsessed with its mission to ferret out Uncle Toms, house Negroes and sellouts to so much as grunt a syllable of protest about what’s happening in Los Angeles, and still others are fretting about Willie Lynch.

Why do the words of some white man who never existed cause us more concern than the very real danger of brown-on-black violence and racism in Los Angeles, which, as McGrath pointed out, is the result of unchecked illegal immigration?

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