First the back story, as reported by Des Moines NBC affiliate WHO. Two high school basketball teams, Valley High and Des Moines North, faced off recently in the state tournament. The game is said to have been “one for the ages.”
But some in attendance were fixated more by a spectacle in the stands than what transpired on the hardwood:
Valley students had chosen to wear red, white and blue instead of their school colors black and orange. ‘Any normal person, any educated person can look at that and think what the hell are these kids thinking,’ said [Morgan] Wheat [assistant coach at Des Moines North].
The article goes on to explain that the Des Moines North “team is filled with players who come from refugee families” and took this as a slight.
I can see where the kids from Des Moines North and their supporters are coming from, whether this was intended was an affront or not. From where they stood, the Valley High fans were making a political statement that could be viewed as divisive.
But apparently not all political statements in Des Moines are equally objectionable — even when they are divisive. Here’s the lede from another news story, this one from The Des Moines Register dated Feb,. 14, 2017:
Dozens of Latino-owned businesses will close Thursday as hundreds plan a march to the Capitol, adding Iowa to a list of states hosting “Day without Immigrants” rallies this week.
Organizers of Des Moines’ [sic] event are asking immigrants refrain from going to work, sending their children to school, opening their business, shopping at any store or online, or going out to eat. It’s attempt to show how important immigrants are to the economy, said Juan Rodríguez, a Colombian immigrant and U.S. Citizen who will shut down his three businesses Thursday. [Emphasis added]
It is reasonable to assume that the students who were permitted to stay home from school had at least an inkling of why they were getting a day off.
It’s also worth noting that in January, Des Moines Public Schools made a blatantly political statement on its website in opposition to Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Does anyone find any of this the least bit hypocritical?