Where one group's rights end and another's begins

America had been dubbed the "Great American Melting Pot" for ages. One of our greatest strengths is the diversity of cultures that exists throughout the country, including here in Portland. However, it would be untruthful not to admit that this diversity can also be used as a wedge.

When conflicts exist, it can sometimes elevate to dangerous levels. But it is important that all cultures be allowed to celebrate their uniqueness without threats of violence since it is our combined diversity that makes us the nation we are.

This is possibly a part of the reason an appeals court hearing a complex litigation case ruled that a northern California school was within its rights to order students to turn their clothing with the American flag inside out while attending a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the high school. The school has a history of violence between the white and Latino students. When the school initially ordered the clothing alteration, students at the school sued, stating their rights were being violated. When they lost that suit, they filed an appeal. Now that the original ruling has been upheld, the students plan to appeal once again.

Although it is fine for everyone to show pride in their country or heritage, if showing that pride has a possible underlying meaning that is less than positive or respectful, it can be construed as an attempt to discriminate or intimidate another group. This is a legal violation and anyone who feels they have faced discrimination of that type can seek the advice of a legal professional regarding what they can do to stop the discrimination.

Source: The Huffington Post, "School Can Ban American Flag Shirts Over Safety Concerns, Federal Court Rules" Paul Elias, Associated Press, Feb. 27, 2014

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