Friday, June 12, 2009

Flags of our fathers.

Oh, dear. Aren't we touchy??First, I want to stay…stop referring to the “Hispanic community” as a single entity. I am a member of the Hispanic community, however I am also a legal citizen and an active duty member of the armed forces. So don’t lump us all into the same category and then accuse all of us of disrespecting this nation that I defend, that my aunt defends, that my father and uncles and grandfather defended. As I said, I am a legal citizen, I have been since birth. My parents are legal citizens. My entire family, uncles and aunts and cousins and what have you, is made up of legal citizens of the United States. And we have no complaints.

Secondly, perhaps the business owner was not aware of the guidelines governing flags?? I mean, at least he was flying the US flag, which means he must be happy and proud to be living here. And obviously he was flying the Mexican flag to show where he originally came from. Yes, he was doing it wrong. He should not have either flag above the other, because the US and Mexico are two sovereign nations, neither bowing to the other. Really, would it have been so hard to knock on the guy’s door and say, “Uh, dude, you’re doing it wrong.” This “veteran” that tore down that Mexican flag?? I am ashamed to have to think of him as a fellow veteran. He’s an idiot. He does not represent what this country is about…diversity.

I just don’t understand why we all have to conform to this perfect, American mold. I don’t hang American flags outside my home, I don’t run around berating people for speaking their native tongues on American soil. I show my patriotism in other ways. I serve my country honorably. I vote. I never forget the sacrifices of those who came before us. And if I hang up a Puerto Rican flag, don’t criticize me. That flag, to me, is a representation of my ethnicity and its rich history and culture.

My dad got me a neat little car decal this past summer when we were in Puerto Rico. It’s still sitting in my wallet, because I’m saving it for when I have a nicer car. It’s a Puerto Rican flag…next to an American flag. Beneath it the words read, “Orgulloso del las dos.” In Enlish: “Proud of the both.” I don’t think that business owner meant anything malicious by flying the Mexican flag above the American flag. I think he was just flying the both to say to the world around him, “Orgulloso de las dos."

Coming to America, making this country your home, shouldn't mean that you have to wipe from your mind and your heart where you came from.

No comments: