Jim Herron Zamora, San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate.com, Jul. 5
The Stars and Stripes flew everywhere on Sunday, but Old Glory had plenty of company in Fremont—the flags of Italy, Qatar, Mongolia and Ireland were among 25 nations represented in a parade that’s caused hurt feelings all around and raised the timeliest of questions: What does it mean to be an American?
Vice Mayor Steve Cho’s proposal to include flags of other nations started innocently enough two weeks ago, but angered residents who said America’s Independence Day would be diluted.
The controversy grew until a plan to have the Boy Scouts carry the foreign flags was jettisoned early last week. But the flagging flag vision was revived Friday when volunteers agreed to carry the symbols of 25 countries—along with American flags—along 10 blocks of Fremont Boulevard.
There were only a handful of “boos” from the crowd of about 8,000, and a police officer who accompanied the group said there no problems. But the gesture still riled some.
“This is our birthday—not theirs,” said Rob Murdy, 49, who’s lived in Fremont 22 years. “I’m all for diversity and letting people come here and keep their traditions. But this is July Fourth, and I think the American flag doesn’t need to share this day with the flag of any other country. It’s just not right.”
However, most people seemed to feel that the international tribute didn’t detract from the parade and was appropriate for a thriving city whose 210,000 residents have roots in about 120 different countries.
“The controversy over the flags was embarrassing,” said Doug Eike, 53, who wore a T-shirt with the words “These Colors Don’t Run: God Bless America” over an image of the Stars and Stripes. “I can’t believe that some of my neighbors are so narrow-minded that they feel threatened by the flags of other countries. . . I mean, there are people from all those countries living right here in Fremont, and we all get along. What is the big deal?”
Along with standard parade fixtures such as fire trucks, Boy Scouts, cheerleaders and high school bands, there were floats with Sikhs, Muslims and Falun Gong practitioners. There were dancers from China, Vietnam, Ireland and Mexico, and students in the traditional garb of three Filipino provinces.
One of the most dramatic floats was sponsored by the Federation of Indian Associations and included a woman in a sari holding a torch, representing the Statue of Liberty. Boys and girls in Indian apparel stood with signs saying “God Bless America” and “United We Stand.”
“That’s pure America—straight up,” said Refugio Martinez, a Fremont native who now lives in San Jose. “I love it. It shows how every American is from somewhere else if you go back far enough.”
While the truck that carried the float had several U.S. flags, it also carried the green, orange and white national flag of India. That was one too many for some people.
“That float is a fine example of our diversity, but I don’t think that (Indian) flag should be up there, too,” said Patrick Sa, 47, a lifelong resident of Fremont. “It’s not appropriate to fly the flags of other countries when we’re celebrating America’s independence.”
His wife, Sharon Sa, agreed: “It’s America’s day. I don’t want to see any other flags. I’m so tired of racial and religious division. People come here from all over, and that’s good. But we’re all under the same flag. That’s what makes America great. “
A few feet away, John Fisher shook his head and said: “It’s a festive occasion—a parade—why do people have to get so uptight?”
Fisher, 59, whose son is a U.S. Army Ranger serving in the Mideast, said opponents of the international flags missed the point: “America is about sharing freedom with the rest of the world. We’re a strong enough country that we can honor other nations at the same time as our own.”
Sital Jassal, a native of India who has lived in Fremont 25 years, said he enjoyed the international flags because it captures the America he loves so much.
“Even various groups from India all get along better here,” Jassal laughed.
A few feet away, Faisal Ahmed, 30, who immigrated to Fremont from Pakistan three years ago, held his two small children and noted with pride the symbolism of the flag of his native country flying in the parade near those of Afghanistan and India, which have been historic rivals.
“And our children will all grow up together here in Fremont and get along, ‘‘ Ahmed said.
A few residents were not upset with the international flags as a whole, but had problems with specific ones.
Norman Tam, 85, was mad because the parade included the flag of the People’s Republic of China, which he fled 50 years ago.
“I don’t want to see the Communist flag,” Tam said. “I want to burn that flag and spit on it.”
Meanwhile, some African Americans were angry about a Confederate flag on a float of a dozen historical flags from different eras of U.S. history.
“I’m happy to see all those flags from other countries, but that Confederate flag is a racist symbol,” said Doris Enright, 43, of Fremont, who used the opportunity to educate her 11-year-old son about slavery and the Ku Klux Klan. “It’s one thing to see it in a museum or something. But that should not be in a parade. It has been embraced by racist groups, and it is a sign of division.”
Art Bouldin, who rode on the float dressed as Uncle Sam, said the inclusion of the flag was not intended as an insult or endorsement of a political stance.
“It’s just a group of flags from Betsy Ross and ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ on up to today,” Bouldin said. “We did this exact same float last year and there was no controversy. It’s a shame that everyone is getting upset over flags—kind of takes the fun out of a great parade.”
Comments from Readers
This happened in my town as well a few years ago. For some reason the multi-cultists want to turn every holiday into “immigration day”. Thanksgiving? time to drag out every ethnic dish they can think of, Christmas? you mean kwanzaa/hanakah/Ramadon/festival of lights.
Anyway, I wrote a letter to the editor complaining about how it was disrepectful to wave a foreign flag on a day honoring America’s birthday. I got a reaction for the parade organizers who wrung their hands over my “mean-spiriredness”. But I also got a few reaction letters backing me up.
I haven’t seen any foriegn flags in the parade since. I like to think I had something to do with it.
Like I said before, we are not a melting pot, we are a conglomeration of nations. I will tolerate other people coming over here and celebrating their own customs (at a very minimal extent, that is), but coming over here and displaying the flags of their native countries should never be tolerated, ever. I could never imagine walking down the streets of even the most liberal european countries, waving an american flag. It’s sad that we have come to the point where this even has to be an issue. What if Iraqi and Afghan flags were being waved at the parade? Then what?
“What does it mean to be an American?”
About as much as it means to be a guest at a Holiday Inn, insofar as being considered part of a cohesive community composed of all guests.
Watching the various 4th of July fireworks shows on TV, I was struck by the the overwhelming majority of white faces in the audience. The small number of non-whites showing up to celebrate this most patriotic of American holidays could not have been lost on the television hosts, but of course, no mention could be made of this uncomfortable fact, even though such absence has impossible-to-miss implications for the future of the United States. My impression was that the (mostly white) audience was participating in a nostalgic observance, not unlike the WWII generation fondly remembering the no longer heard music of their youth.
America is similar to a victim in the early stages of an incurable disease — still looking and feeling relatively well — and refusing to face the terminal stage that awaits, short of a miraculous and cure.
From: Sissy White
One can ponder what would happen if on the Cinquo de Manya (or whatever they call it/spell it)which the mestizos celebtate in Mexico and in the U.S., if there was an American Flag displayed with their own…or better yet the Israeli Flag…Jews as Christ-Killers has always been a popular theme with Hispanics but doesn get a whole lot of publicity in the American Press…then again the Israelis and the Irish too would be happy and proud to parade with the American and their own Flag…but as Americans we should have only American and American/style (Armed Services Flags, Boy Scouts,etc.) for July 4th.
I’m having a hard time with the idea of flying flags of different nationalities during the Fourth of July celebration. Our declaration of independence is a unique occurence in the history of this world. It seems that this would be the appropriate time for people of other countries that have come here, to show their appreciation for a country that enables them to live in freedom. Instead, they want to show the flags of countries they have fled from. It seems like a most ungrateful and un-American display.
Someone needs to ask these brainwashed, treasonous fools how many times Old Glory flies during parades in New Delhi, Karachi, or best of all..Beijing??
If these third world parasites really wanted freedom, they would have had the courage to stay and shed their blood to EARN IT!
Hey courtney do you hate people that are not white?
From: Humpty Dumpty
If the old country is so grand, why not return?
From: Bunkered Down on the East Coast
Anyone who’s traveled overseas can attest to the fact that U.S. citizens receive no multi-cultural blessings when in a foreign country. Speak the language, obey the laws, and observe the customs or you’re going to end up in a jam. Why must we be such ambassadors of foolishness on the day of our Nation’s Independence?
“That Confederate flag is a racist symbol” ?? But China’s national flag (of Tiannamen Square fame, a true hallmark of tolerance if is there is one) is okay. Is it possible for the political correctness disease to go any farther off the deep end than this?
From: Bob Janeda
As our own “western europeon” citizens fall for the divisive lies that diversity will make us stronger, I wonder if they ever realize that all of the third worlders being forced on us come from failed societies!And if we recieve enough of them,our society will fail also.
Lee, You’ve got to be kidding me. Are you serious, or are you just being sarcastic? Where did you get that idea from? I’m racist because I don’t think that people of other nationalities who have come here to become AMERICANS, should fly the flags of their native lands? People coming over here and becoming americans, and then flying the flags of their native countries is downright TREASON. There is no other word for it. If their land is so wonderful, then why don’t they return to it? Like I said in my previous post, I could never imagine even just VISITING a LIBERAL european country and waving an american flag in public. It is downright rude! But that’s just if I was VISITING a country. Now if I were to actually become a CITIZEN of another country and behave that way, then I would probably become a likely candidate for deportation. But you seem to think that sort of behavior is okay in America. Why? And the fact that you came to the conclusion that I “hate people who are not white” just because I don’t think that that sort of behavior is acceptable makes me really wonder about you. First of all, HATE is a very powerful word, and you should never accuse someone of HATE unless you really know what you are talking about. This is exactly the way so many whites lose their jobs because of mythical racism. No, I don’t HATE anybody, mainly because of my Christian upbringing. I just feel that certain acts are considered downright treacherous and unpatriotic whether they are commited by nonwhites or whites alike. Does that answer your question?
Can you distinguish between “hate” and a healthy love of one’s people?
From: John P. M.
Hey Lee, do you hate people who are white?
“‘I don’t want to see the Communist flag,’ Tam said. ‘I want to burn that flag and spit on it.'”
Amen to that!
I remember the comments you wrote about how when you see a beautiful blonde kissing a black guy it makes you want to go throw up in a toilet. And how you said “We sneakily live in our predominately white neighborhoods to get away from these people” sometimes I wonder if you have connections with members of skinheads and Ku-klux-klan. You have a right to your opinion but that’s just strange how you claim you’re not a racist but that at the same advocating hatred. (I hope your not gearing up for the extermination of non-whites).
And the whole racism is free-speech thing here’s an excerpt from the “Fourteenth Amendment” and it’s important you guys know this because this is the answer on why those pro-white Nationalist organizations get destroyed.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of libe, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within it’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Now that laws allows no discrimination.
Get used to it you spineless cowards.
If we don’t fight and put and end to this madness right now, it will only get worse.
We need a viable third party to take this message to the people.
The longer that we wait, the more painful it will be. If we wait too long, we will lose the country.
If we wait even longer, we won’t even be able to win, and we will become slaves. Affirmative action times 100.
That amendment is completely meaningless. Affirmative action, a policy that has been discriminating against whites for well over 20 years was enacted despite the assurances of freedom in this amendment.
And why is someone a Nazi if they are nauseated by interracial dating? One has little control over what turns their stomach.
And where does this hysterical comment come from:
“(I hope your not gearing up for the extermination of non-whites).”
It’s totally random. Hey, I hope you’re not thinking of exterminating whites. Find one comment on any of the previous comment board posted by one of the regular commentators that suggests someone is gearing up for the extermination of non-whites. This is why honest discussions of race has become near impossible: as soon as it occurs some nut gets in a lather about how genocide invariably follows all honest exchanges. Meanwhile, people have spoken openly about race for thousands of years (prior to the last 50 or so) and the only people whites have exterminated with any real consistency are each other.
There has been a lot of dissention on the Amren site recently, though none of it terribly intelligent, I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve fallen prey to some class project. O well, we can only hope they learn something.
Please explain how anything on this site deprives anyone of life, liberty, or property. In fact, it’s civil rights legislation from Brown v. Board onward that is violating the 14th amendment because it denies people the right to choose who their children go to school with, who they live around, and whom they hire. When the state denies whites the right to institute all-white neighborhoods, schools, or companies, isn’t it depriving them of their liberty?
“I love it. It shows how every American is from somewhere else if you go back far enough.”
This absurdity deserves contradiction. A large number of Americans were, of course, from Britain. Should those Americans therefore wave the Union Jack on July 4 instead of Old Glory? Limited nostalgia for the Old Country should be separate from the the Citizen’s dutiful display of Old Glory on the Republic’s Birthday.
“There has been a lot of dissention on the Amren site recently, though none of it terribly intelligent, I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve fallen prey to some class project.”
Indeed; I often detect the house style of some silly campus “anti-racist” club in these logic and grammar-free remarks.
Sigurd, Thank you for your support. I have been busy all day, and have not had time to come to this board soon enough to defend myself against this horrible and delusional stuff that Lee is saying about me.
Lee, I have said nothing in any of my posts that suggests that I want to be a Nazi. No one has ever called me one before, and it really hurts to hear it from someone. Like I said before, think before you accuse someone of something like this. This is how whites lose their jobs left and right because they get accused of something that someone supposes is racism and really isn’t. Saying I have connections to the KKK and am planning on exterminating nonwhites is a very horrible thing to do. So it disgusts me to see a blonde kissing a black guy? So what? Maybe I don’t find black guys attractive. Does that mean I want to exterminate them? As for the comment about us staying in our own neighborhoods, yes I fully believe in separation under certain circumstances. Again, that does not mean I believe in extermination. Please, Lee, calm down before you open your mouth and cause a white person to lose their job.
From: John P. M.
Regarding your comments to Lee, great job!!!
While you stoled a bit of my thunder, so what the early bird gets the worm. What kills me about the Lees of the world, is they seem to just show up and spew nonsense. The old KKK and Nazi charges? Boring! If they bothered to read AR back issues and (as you point out) regular posts, they might just grasp that genocide is what we are out to prevent, namely our own!
The other absurdity, is the utter inability to see that the PC Multicult, is a form of merged Nazi/Marxist totalitarianism, with that very genocide as its goal. Jared Taylor’s AR article “The Racial Revolution”(May 1999, vol 10, no.5) clearly details this. The section, “The Final Solution, pg.6” points this out. “Of course, reducing whites to a minority is only a good first step; whites might be made to disappear completely. It has therefore become increasingly common to propose miscegenation as the final solution to the race problem.” It is wretchedly odd and galling, that we are demanded to accept our own slow extermination, while at the same time be accused of plotting it for others.
Well, as Mr. Taylor points out in the same article, “…whites are supposed to believe that race is an empty category, but if they are to have one explicitly racial sentiment about themselves, it is shame”(pg.5.) Perhaps, this is what is so frustrating to the Lees who come to this site. We can not be shamed out of being proud to be white!
Best wishes to you Sigurd and again good show,
People are growing tired of the whine and the smear in lieu of argument. Ultimately, avoiding/ignoring our arguments are the only way to rebut them. However, sooner or later our arguments will see the light of day. When this happens: watch out-we might have meaningful politics again.