It is now been close to a week since a video taken by Adolfo Hurtado showed cousin Ever López wearing a Mexican flag and getting stopped by a teacher during the Asheboro High School graduation. The Internet and countless outlets have reported on the now-viral story, continuing into this week, when Lopez was finally given his diploma.
There have been several takes about how the Asheboro school system handled (or better yet, mishandled) the situation. However, one angle that few are discussing is how so many in our own community are lambasting Ever for showing the pride in his roots.
We didn’t have the resources to fully cover this story because our newsroom was closed this past weekend for summer hours, but even when we shared reporting from other outlets on our Facebook page, the ugly side of seeing Latinos going after Latinos was front and center.
Here are just a few of the comments from actual Latinos:
“His parents should have taught him to follow the rules.”
“Whole lot of nada to be honest. Pick your battles. You put wearing a flag as a higher priority than getting your diploma – you’re already thinking wrong. Get your diploma and then you can wear whatever flag or sombrero or whatever you want to showcase your representation. Watch, next year someone is gonna wear the Confederate Flag – that’s the can of worms you opened up.”
“Should’ve booted him back to Mexico then. Smh”
“Let him go to Mexico and live if he’s so proud of the Mexican flag…. Ignorant people”
“The USA has a different culture than Mexico. Although there are specific rules for displaying the American flag, it is not considered sacred. It can be burned. It can be modified. It also can be used as a decoration on clothing. Mexico, however, has a very different attitude toward their flag. It cannot be used in the manner that this American kid used it. He can be as proud of his heritage as much as he wants, but he does not have the right to disrespect the Mexican flag. This is an age-old story of teenage rebellion. He was told that wearing flags of any kind was prohibited; he decided to show those adults who’s boss. No one was going to tell him what to do. He was disrespectful to his school and to Mexico. And to top it off, he’s not a Mexican. It’s not his flag to use as a weapon in his own private war against the land of his birth. The land to which his parents fled for opportunities that he would never have enjoyed if he were a Mexican. Oportunidades tal como su educación y su beca.”
And so on and so on. Granted, several commentators on our site offered some very pointed responses, but our point is a simple one here: if you ever need another example as to why the U.S. Latino community will never be united, it is because our community does a very good job in dragging each other down. It is why, in the end, some of the strongest enablers of white supremacy in the United States aren’t even white and Anglo. They are Latino. And instead of rallying to the defense of a high school kid who clearly believed in what he believed in, some will always take the time to divide.
Over the last few years, we have noticed more of an uptick in such a reaction. That pride can be exhibited. That Latinos can’t cause waves. That such “wokeness” is just some part of Democratic indoctrination. A lot of that type of thinking is now getting more and more amplification, especially in these political times.
At some point, speaking out for the community always needs to be the priority because this isn’t really about politics, but more about pride and respect.
That is just sad but these days, it no longer surprises us. The best thing is to just keep placing more attention to it and not staying silent.