Chanting “USA” at Sporting Events is Now Considered Offensive

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Patriotism is now surely dead.

At least, that’s the way it seems out in California, where administrators at Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom have decided to warn students away from the oh-so-offensive practice of chanting “USA!” at sporting events. Worried that students might accidentally hurt the feelings of…well, who knows?…Folsom area educators have sent out a decree that such chants should not be started at local games.

“To practice empathy, to practice kindness, and to practice patriotism,” said local official Daniel Thigpen. “You can do both.”

Surely that is true, but it becomes a lot less true when over-ambitious school officials are censoring your right to take pride in your country.

According to a local CBS affiliate, the trouble began when the California Interscholastic Federation – a body that oversees high school sports – took up the issue with several school districts.

“There’s a time and a place to yell that and cheer that,” CIF Commissioner Mike Garrison told CBS 13.

In a message to students and an email to families this week, school officials recommended such times: After the Pledge or, if you’re feeling so inclined, after singing the national anthem. But certainly NOT at a sporting event, because…reasons.

On the one hand, we can probably guess what the school district is getting at. They don’t want students from a predominately white school chanting “USA” when their team is playing the mostly-Hispanic team from across town. Fair enough. You could make an argument that such chants should be discouraged, since this isn’t supposed to be WWF wrestling with the American hero taking on the Iranian no-gooder with the curly boots.

But maybe there’s a better way to go about it. A way that doesn’t penalize students for showing pride in their country. A way that teaches them that whites, Hispanics, blacks, and citizens of all races and creeds are Americans, and that chants of “USA” should include any and all of them in that spirit.

But in order to teach that lesson…well, some things need to change. And one of those things is that we need to stop pretending as though illegal immigrants have just as much right to be in this country as citizens, natural-born or naturalized. Because they don’t. And this ludicrous insistence otherwise is exactly what’s blurring the line between patriotism and something much darker.