Well, this has gotten conservatives fired up, regardless of whether it’s true or not: You can’t ban students from wearing red, white and blue to a high school football game! This is America, darn it, and we have rights!
Here’s how it started. The Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) High student newspaper ran a since-deleted op-ed piece claiming the student section’s “USA” theme for its rivalry football game against nearby Marcos de Niza High had been changed to “Orange Out” by administrators “to avoid any possible offensive connotations the theme would have.”
The Internet being the Internet, Twitter user @MikeMack grabbed a series of five screen grabs to keep the story alive.
Conservative news outlets like Breitbart News, The Daily Caller and Fox & Friends jumped on the story faster than Donald Trump on a Rosie O’Donnell insult, taking issue with the student newspaper’s claim: “It is the unfortunate truth that if you wear red, white or blue to the game you will not be admitted to the stadium. This is a fact.”
@CdSSunrise how is #MakeAmericaGreatAgain racist/offensive? Sounds like Corona del Sol HS STAFF R racist/offensive! pic.twitter.com/0gQAsaL92c
— Jerry Morton (@JerryMorton) October 23, 2015
Then, a since-deleted tweet from the student newspaper’s account answering a follower’s question — “What qualifies as inappropriate dress?” — really got right-leaning folks tossed into a tizzy. @CdSSunrise’s response: “Anything perceived to be offensive/racist: green, USA, flags, Trump, etc. It’s not the clothing, but the intent behind it.”
Hey @CdSSunrise , can you explain why “USA, flags,Trump, etc” are deemed racist and offensive? pic.twitter.com/2NDqkVHJCb
— Mike Mack (@MikeMacck) October 22, 2015
Trump? Racist? Blasphemy!
Of course, one look at the statistics for the two schools reveals that Hispanics represent the largest demographic at Marcos de Niza (nearly 40 percent), while that figures is significantly lower at Corona del Sol, where almost two-thirds of the student body is white. So, if CdS students were planning on sporting something like a “Make America Great Again” hat, you could see how an administrator might draw a line between that and “possible offensive connotations,” especially considering Trump was fired from NBC for “derogatory statements” against immigrants.
You might also understand how an administrator could be sensitive to this issue, since police required pepper spray to quell what authorities said was a group of 400 Corona del Sol and Marcos de Niza students “getting ready to fight” outside a basketball game in February 2013, and the two schools haven’t met on the gridiron since 2006.
Except, according to a statement from the district where both schools reside, there is no ban on red, white or blue.
Media reports of a ban of colors or flags @ tonight’s Corona del Sol vs. Marcos de Niza fball game are FALSE. NO ban. All colors are welcome — TUHSD Communications (@TUHSD_News) October 23, 2015
What was portrayed as an attack on America is instead an apparent pro-orange misrepresentation of an administration’s approach to patriotism. Guess that’s what happens when you rely on student newspapers for news.