My country, right or wrong, doesn’t have to be necessarily true. Not always, anyhow. There’s a world of difference between patriotism and nationalism.
But: for a person who was elected to represent the public in her country’s public education system to denigrate the country, and get away with it, that is worse than insanity.
This has happened in California the other day: AnaMarie Avila Farias, a third-generation Contra Costa County resident and member of the county’s board of education, asked her Facebook so-called friends and followers to boycott her country’s independence anniversary.
AnaMarie Avila Farias’s June 28 post on Facebook showed a fading blue and white image of the United States flag, along with the words “BOYCOTT 4TH OF JULY.”
If she was a private person, she would have deserved a shrug and a muttered “it takes all kinds,” but she is not a private person: she sits on an elected chair, helping to oversee her country’s youth’s education.
You didn’t mean THAT?
Reactions on Facebook didn’t favour her: maybe your mother should have aborted you was one of the least polite of them.
AnaMarie Avila Farias called this reply typical for President Donald J. Trump supporters, without providing a hint of proof that she knew the respondent’s political views. That’s called “labelling,” a stupidly inefficient (but effective) tactic that usually drags any debate to exchange of insults instead of legitimate thoughts and ideas.
In this case, AnaMarie Avila Farias replied with a fiery rebuttal of her own on the site known as Medium.com, counting all kinds of injustices that she claims have befallen America and Americans.
As mentioned, the elected official’s stance on the federal holiday prompted a mixed bag of reactions on her private page, some agreeing with her while others were critical.
Many were quite patient after they’d read (verbatim): “I haven’t celebrated 4th of July since 2016 and I don’t think it’s a holiday to celebrate. What do you think?”
A sample of the patiently polite replies: “Why boycott the 4th of July? Without what our forefathers did, we as Americans would not have the freedoms that we have today.”
Another asked: “Why? The holiday celebrates declaring independence from Britain’s tyrant King George III. You wish we were still subjects of Britain?”
AnaMarie Avila Farias’s reply: “I am not feeling particularly patriotic.”
She would enhance her reply thus: “Lastly, last Friday women’s reproductive rights were taken away. We are not in a place of progress or celebration when human rights are being taken away.”
A minor mistake of major import: that U.S. Supreme Court Wade vs. Roe ruling changed the original (1973) decision by stating that abortion was not a constitutional right. That’s all, folks.
Previously, abortion had been permitted in specific circumstances. Some charged, with some reason, that the original 1973 ruling changed abortion into a surgical form of contraception, taking the entire idea from the field of legislation to a heated battle between ideologically charged emotions.
The online debate sunk even lower. Someone replied: “Maybe have a funeral and bury the Constitution and the Flag?”
Avila Farias replied: “Please invite me!”
Not really original
Dana P. Saxon – founder of Ancestors unKnown, a self-described group promoting “curriculum and special programming for schools and youth orgs” – published (in 2020, and on that same Medium.com) a rant titled “9 Reasons Why I Don’t Celebrate the 4th of July.”
It’s filled with a number of either straight inaccurate or perfectly misleading statements such as: “After 1776, it took nearly another 100 years before my ancestors technically gained their freedom in 1865. And a whole heap of pain, trauma, and oppression maintained during those years when only white Americans were liberated from someone else’s rule.”
One of those who have conveniently forgotten that the U.S. was one of the first countries to fight against slavery. Also, one of those who have never heard of putting historical facts into the context of their times.
Ms. Saxon moved to the Netherlands in 2011, where she’d gained a Sociology Master’s degree from University of Amsterdam.
Still: Ms. Saxon published her scream as a private person. She only proved that academic degrees these days aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.
AnaMarie Avila Farias is yet another proof that democracy is in mortal danger because this noble system has no defences: to silence the “third-generation Latina,” as she describes herself, would be undemocratic.
On the other hand, to permit such politically charged illiterates to run education programs spells suicide for democracy.