Friday, March 13, 2015

Some Faculty Defend Anti-Flag Students at Irvine

Inside Higher Ed
March 13th, 2015

The push by some student government members at the University of California at Irvine to ban the U.S. flag from the student government office areas -- though unsuccessful -- has attracted widespread criticism. Many have noted that the flag symbolizes American ideas of equality and freedom of expression, and have objected to the views of those student government members that the flag is a sign of imperialism and hate. But much of the criticism of the students has also been of the "America -- love it or leave it" variety, and the students behind the measure have received rude e-mail and threats.
In response, some faculty members are circulating a petition expressing support for the students. "We write to support the six members who offered the resolution to remove national flags from the ASUCI lobby," the petition states. "The university ought to respect their political position and meet its obligation to protect and promote their safety. The resolution recognized that nationalism, including U.S. nationalism, often contributes to racism and xenophobia, and that the paraphernalia of nationalism is in fact often used to intimidate. This is a more or less uncontroversial scholarly point, and in practice the resolution has drawn admiration nationally from much of the academic community."

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