Leatherballs XV: It’s come to this

Better sit down for this one, people. I promise you ain’t gonna like it.

DENAIR – 13-year-old Cody Alicea rides with an American flag on the back of his bike. He says he does this to be patriotic and to honor veterans, like his own grandfather, Robert. He’s had the flag on his bike for two months but Monday, was told to take it down.

A school official at Denair Middle School told Cody some students had been complaining about the flag and it was no longer allowed on school property.

“In this country we’re supposed to be free,” said Cody. “And I should be able to wave my flag wherever I want to. And they’re telling me I can’t.” Cody had to take the flag off his bike and put it in his backpack, where he kept it all week.

Cody’s grandfather says the school was concerned about racial tensions or uprisings because of the flag.

“Racial tensions?” “UPRISINGS?” Any “race” upset enough about flying our nation’s flag—IN OUR OWN GODDAMNED NATION, ferchrissakes—to foment some sort of “uprising” over it ought to damned well be one hell of a lot more worried about an “uprising” directed at them in return. Ah, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg with this pitiful story. Denair (it’s in California, naturally) School District Superintendent Ed Parraz said that the school supervisor who instructed Cody to take down his flag—as if it were something shameful or inherently offensive, akin to having a moist, steaming turd or small, half-rotted dead animal flying from the back of his bike—claimed to have information that Cody’s “safety” would be jeopardized if he continued flying the flag. So rather than doing the right thing to defuse any potential incident of violence against this kid, who had done absolutely nothing whatsoever even remotely interpretable as wrong, by confronting the worthless little shits who had threatened him, decided instead to stomp on Cody’s right to civil expression of his honorable patriotism by making him remove the flag. Saith the wormy bureaucrat Parraz:

The last thing we wanted was to deny Cody his rights.

It might be “the last thing” he wanted to do, but it was the first thing he actually, y’know, DID.

How the hell did we get here, anyway? A few douchebag malcontents get their pink panties in a wad over the awful, oppressive sight of the symbol of our nation, threaten the kid flying it, and whine to the school bureau-rats about it…and the bureau-rats’ immediate response is not to straighten said douchebags out by telling them in no uncertain terms to go piss up a rope, explaining along the way the consequences of their threats against a kid that, as I said, had done nothing whatsoever wrong. Alternately, they could have been firmly instructed to take their complaining and their threats and their all-around offensive douchebaggery back to wherever the hell they came from, being sure not to let the Rio Grande hit them in the ass on the way out. But no, the powers that be knuckle under and kowtow to the “people” making the threats, and jump all over the kid who was the victim of said douchebaggery instead—potentially violent douchebaggery, at that. Outright thuggery is what it in fact was. And these dickless yahoos, whose job it’s supposed to be to protect kids from such outlandish nonsense, decide that the right thing to do is to abdicate their responsibility and cower before these brazen thugs in hopes that they’ll eventually dry up and go away.

Somebody ought to dig up Neville Chamberlain and ask him how well that peace-in-our-time appeasement business worked out for him with Hitler back in 1938. His name is now synonymous with cowardice and self-delusion for a very good reason, you know.

What the everlovin’ blue-eyed fuck is going on here, anyway?

Thankfully, you can rely on good old, solid, American bikers to stand up and come through like men when some bunch of drooling ignoramuses are attempting to drag Old Glory through the mud, and a passel of squeaking, trembling administrators is busily grabbing their dainty ankles and letting them do it: a group called the American Legion Fallen Riders organized a run to support Cody on November 15th, and a couple hundred bikers showed up, their bikes bedecked with American flags, and escorted him to school.

Threaten them, douchebags. Go on, I dare ya.

And after bikers stepped in and blazed the trail back to common sense, self-respect, and love of country, others joined in. A woman in Texas started up a project called “A Million Flags” with the intention of having people from all over the country send American flags to the school. A vet at Beale Air Force Base arranged for a pilot to deliver a flag and mission patches to Cody—in a U2 spy plane, no less. Newly elected Congressman Jeff Denham, an Air Force veteram himself, invited Cody to Washington to attend his swearing in ceremony in January, saying, “This is an outrage. It’s ridiculous to think that displaying the U.S. flag somehow creates ‘racial tension.’ This is America! Many American men and women have given their lives to defend our right to fly the Flag. Cody should have that right, too.”

Ahh, but is there yet more to the story, you ask? Why, yes; yes, there is. To wit:

Parraz said national flags were banned from campus after a Cinco De Mayo incident when tensions escalated between students displaying the Mexican flag and those waving the Stars and Stripes. 

So there it is. Some Hispanic kids, who think they ought to have every right to fly the Mexican flag, got offended when Cody flew his—apparently enough so to issue threats against him for his offense against decency and Mexican sovereignty in the US.

You’ll have to pardon me when I say my sympathy for them is limited at best. As Congressman Denham said, this is America, to some degree yet, anyway. I don’t really give a damn who flies what when, but I also think the American flag has and of right out to have primacy of place. You want to fly a Mexican flag as your national emblem, you really need to be standing on Mexican soil when you do it. Violent advocates of revolution against the US government like La Raza and other Mexican nationalist groups might express their wish to retake California, New Mexico, and Ariziona for the greater Mexican empire—and they have—but they ain’t managed to get it done yet, and until they do, they owe some small allegiance to the country they actually live in, and its national symbol too.

The whole controversy had a happy ending of sorts, and it would seem there was indeed a lesson learned on the part of at least some of those who needed it:

“I think it would be irresponsible of us if we kind of shined it on and let him have the flag and he got jumped or something like that and got hurt,” said Parraz. But Alicea said, “I never feel threatened or unsafe while flying the flag.” 

He was greeted by a swarm of media outlets when he got out of school Friday. At home he did more interviews with print, radio and television reporters, including FOX News Channel.

He was a bit unnerved by all the attention, but his biggest concern was that Parraz was being villified. “I don’t want him to be fired. I know where he was coming from. I like him. He’s a nice guy,” said Alicea. 

Parraz says they have decided to focus on those students who are causing the problem, not the flag and Cody is now allowed to ride onto school campus with Old Glory on the back of his bike.

The key bit, of course, is where Parraz declares that they’re now focusing on the students who were causing the problems, which is what they should’ve been doing right from the start. But those of us who are dedicated to the biker life can remember with some pride that it was some of our California brothers who first started the pendulum swinging back towards sanity here.

Veterans groups, biker organizations of every stripe, and many others across the nation have stood up to be counted in support of Cody’s right to display the flag, and to rebut and shut down idiot-minded provocations from people who don’t have America’s best interests at heart, never have, and never will.

Too many recent immigrants are here to take advantage of the freedom and opportunity the flag represents, without ever evincing the slightest allegiance to it—or even, evidently, respect for it. Assimilation has come to seem like a quaint, outdated idea for some, but as long as we intend to maintain our national sovereignty and American ideals of independence and freedom, it mustn’t be so.

When you come here to seek your fortune and your destiny, you leave your former identity behind—which includes your former flag. And that’s the way it ought to be. Take pride in your heritage, certainly; there’s never any real harm in that, as long as it’s kept in proper perspective. But recognize too that you have a new flag now, and that’s by your own choice. If you can’t handle the consequences of that choice, then stay the hell home. Do all the complaining you want about how awful America is from someplace else. Insult our flag and issue your empty threats from there too, while you’re at it; I promise you we won’t care nearly as much as we do when you go to all the trouble and expense to get here and then bitch about it right in our faces. And that, too, is the way it ought to be.

Bikers took the lead here in restoring some respect for the Stars and Stripes, like they always have in cases like this, in part because so many bikers are veterans, and in the main because bikers live the true American dream not of material success and acquisition, but of freedom, individuality, and independence. We’re a lot closer to the bone than most when it comes to American ideals; when this country fails to live up to its promise of liberty, we’re always among the first to be affected by it. Likewise, we also know better than most the soul-sustaining joy of living the great American experiment to its maximum potential. Mavericks, outlaws, and rebels we may be, but we’re patriots too, and we don’t take insults to our nation and its flag lightly. We never did.

Try as you politically-correct assholes might, you ain’t licked us yet. And as long as there’s one biker left able to stand up and fight back against you, to raise a middle finger in defiance of your namby-pamby edicts, and who remembers what the free breeze in his face feels like as he twists the throttle and flies down the highway headed who knows where for who knows how long, you never will, either.

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