Let me make several things clear:
1.) I was born in Romania, and immigrated with my family to the U. S. in 1982, during Ceausescu's regime.
2.) My parents had many trials receiving their American citizenship, which included the Communist Romanian government disallowing them to hold employment during the three-year application process.
3.) I spoke no English when I started first grade a few months after arriving in Houston; by second grade, I was fluent in English not because I was smart, but because to function and assimilate in America, I had to try my best to learn to communicate with other students and teachers.
4.) My parents have instilled in me a sense of responsibility and respect for the U. S. because this country has allowed our family to succeed, to further our education, and to build a solid foundation for future family members.
All in all, I am an American, and I am embarrassed that other immigrants who come to this country do not feel the same sense of patriotism for America that they do for their motherland. When I heard about what happened to the students who wore the American flag on Cinco de Mayo last week, I was livid.
I'm so tired of people who come to this country to use resources and enjoy freedoms, yet refuse to assimilate into American society, to improve and to build American culture with respect and responsibility. I'm annoyed at people who hate America, for whatever reason, but still reside here. I'm sick of people who have no clue how long and arduous legal immigration can be, and take living in this country for granted because they have never had to fight to be able to enjoy the rights and freedoms that come with being a citizen of this nation.
Yet, what really chaps my hide is the fact that the students at Live Oak High School who protested against their peers wearing American flags on Cinco de Mayo don't understand what America is about. The free speech double-standard Live Oak administration supported only propagates further abuse of the five founding American ideals: equality, rights, liberty, opportunity, and democracy.
When was the last time America cried no to outside flags, cultures, or religions? When did America last say, "You can't wear that because it disrespects my beliefs?" Why is wearing a symbol of freedom, justice, perseverance, and bravery misjudged as a symbol of racism, inequality, or discrimination? These students have no idea what they are protesting, or how their indignant behavior is affecting immigrants like me. I feel no sympathy towards these students; do they even know why they are celebrating Cinco de Mayo?
Obviously, we have not done an honorable enough job of teaching students what American patriotism means, and what it does not mean. It's time to remind Americans, because that's what you are when you live and breathe here, what this nation was built on: unity towards a better life.