Friday, May 8, 2009

Salute a flag or join a gang?

Today we had an early celebration of Haitian Flag Day (it is May 18th but too many officials have conflicts that day) at City Hall Plaza, with beautiful grade school children singing and dancing. But when "we" sang our National Anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner," I was the only one singing. Many of the children did sing the Haitian anthem. Meanwhile in the upper levels of the sunny ampitheater, gang members mounted a recruiting drive, right under the noses of the Mayor, school teachers and administrators, local cable and yours truly. As a handsome junior high student read his essay about doing your homework and respecting teachers and parents, dudes in bandanas were jiving and high fiving. As the little ones sang, they yakked away, impressing girls and inspiring young boys to be too cool for homework and respect. How sad.