You shouldn’t have to explain yourself when you wear patriotic clothes. I’ve seen two stories one at WHO-TV and the other at KCCI-TV about how Des Moines North High School fans were offended by West Des Moines Valley High School students wearing Red, White and Blue instead of their school colors – black and orange.
Valley High School beat North High School 57 to 55 during their meeting on Wednesday night at the Boys High School State Basketball Tournament in Des Moines. North High School is a very diverse school and apparently have a number of refugees playing on their team. Valley High School is mostly white. Apparently, in the minds of North High School players, fans and coaching staff the USA clothing was meant to send a signal to North players.
Some North fans said the Valley crowd, decked out in red, white and blue in an America-inspired theme night — a trend among students to dress up at athletic activities — was meant to be a political statement aimed at mocking the more notably diverse North High School.
“A lot of people were very upset about it,” North sophomore DeNasja Spencer said. “Even if that was their theme for the game, I feel like they should have switched that because everyone knows North is a more diverse school.”
Tyreke Locure, a sophomore starting point guard for the boys basketball team, said he didn’t notice the tension among the crowds until after the game.
“Everybody on the North side had on North shirts, and to be dressed in American flags, that was just different for us,” Locure said. “Everybody from the Des Moines area (was) just tweeting crazy, and I can say I fell into the trap just because I was frustrated we lost.”
The Valley High School Student Council leadership responded saying the clothing was not directed at North’s players:
WHO-TV reported that Valley did the same thing for a football game against Dowling Catholic High School which isn’t even remotely as diverse as North High School.
First, U.S.A. apparel shouldn’t be deemed offensive. We are Americans. Patriotism should be encouraged and it shouldn’t be deemed a political statement.
Second, I’ve seen some comments on social media stating that some students were chanting “deport them.” If that is the case, and I haven’t seen that reported on, that is what any apology given should be focused on. It seems to me that was not the intent of the those who promoted the USA theme, but a few (if any at all). Those who were offended said they were offended by the clothing, not what the students were saying
Third, so they are offended, so what? Be offended. That is life, there will be things in life that offend you. Frankly the list of what offends people continues to grow at a ridiculous pace. With “triggers” and “micro-aggressions” it has become nearly impossible to not offend somebody in some way that before was never considered offensive. Being offended by (actual) racial slurs I understand, being offended by patriotic clothing though? Never in a million years would I have thought that U.S.A apparel would be deemed offensive (at least not wearing it in the United States).