Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Loyalty Has its Benefits - Reward American Pride

Loyalty Has its Benefits – Reward American Pride
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 19, 2011

If the sight an American flag is a distraction causing you to lose your appetite, pack your bags and get the hell out of the United States. The pervasive anti-American attitude by American businesses and in American schools must be thwarted immediately.

Not once again, but thrice again, political correctness rears its vile and unsavory head. Within the span of a week three incidents in three southern states have occurred that should make the hair of any patriot stand up on end. If they don’t, then perhaps you are not paying attention to the fast track down the road to hell this country is traversing.

An Olive Garden in Oxford, AL denied a local Kiwanis club’s attempt to hang an American flag in the restaurant prior to their banquet. Darden, the parent company of Olive Garden claimed the lack of a private dining room led to the anti-American decision.

“To be fair to everyone and avoid disrupting the dining experience for all other guests, they’re unable to accommodate flags or banners of any type in the dining room,” said a statement from a nameless official from the corporate offices in Orlando, FL.

Darden is also the parent company of Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, The Capitol Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. For their patently anti-American attitude and the disrespect shown to a meaningful civic organization as Kiwanis, I will certainly not “disrupt” a single Darden restaurant with my business or economic support.

Quite frankly listening to a half dozen waiters and waitresses butchering “Happy Birthday” so badly that Simon Cowell would lose his lunch is disrupting to me.

I strenuously implore the over 275,000 Kiwanis International members to do likewise and not give another dollar or euro to any Darden restaurant in their cadre. They can live up to their motto of “Serving the Children of the World,” and set an example for others.

Unfortunately, the Kiwanis did not respond with their wallets in this instance by taking their business elsewhere. Instead, Marti Warren, 80, of Anniston, AL told the banquet attendees to imagine the flag while they recited the pledge.

Another flag flap occurred with the firing of Sean May, 26, a now former employee of Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, FL for wearing an American flag on his jacket lapel. And while the employee handbook bars the donning of any and all pins, buttons, etc., a mega-sized American flag hangs high and majestically above the posh hotel.

May, a two-year employee of Casa Monica said he has worn the flag every day on the job and is often complimented for it by patrons. Ironically, Casa Monica has had a change in management and has been quoted as wanting to revamp its image. Firing a loyal employee for demonstrating pride in his country will tarnish, not enhance, the image of a hotel where May, a front desk supervisor was the first line of welcome to out of town guests.

We live in an era when pride in one’s country is waning due to an abominable so-called leader who spends his time on his apology tour around the globe as thousands of capricious, spoiled malcontents make irresponsible and unconscionable demands of the government and the banking system. May ought to be applauded for doing his job well and with aplomb while clearly having a positive impact on guests who management should hope would return to enjoy the amenities the property has to offer.

Casa Monica is one of 10 upscale lodging properties owned by The Kessler Enterprise, Inc., and whose CEO is Richard Kessler. In addition to Florida, Kessler Enterprises hotels are also located in Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico and North Carolina. I urge anyone with a reservation at one of the Kessler properties to cancel with support of May as the reason and suggest future reservations be made at non-Kessler hotels.

While the Casa Monica and any privately owned business has the right to set its dress code, code of conduct and policies for its employees, to fire someone for demonstrating pride in his country with a simple lapel pin is outrageous. Perhaps that particular rule ought to be amended. Some hotels have not just the names of their employees on their name tags, but their country of origin as well. I have front desk hotel experience and also adorned my jacket with an American flag lapel pin.

In addition to the flag friction, there is an even more insidious situation of political correctness that must be addresses.

In a McAllen, TX high school, the Spanish class of sophomore Brenda Brinsdon, 15, has been forced to not only memorize, but sing the Mexican national anthem as well as recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance. This too is unconscionable and fostering not just loyalty toward a foreign nation, but disloyalty to the United States. After all, these are still impressionable students, many of whom go along to get along without questioning.

Bravo to young Miss Brinsdon for video recording the activities in her class, bringing the to the attention of her father, who equally outraged, and rightfully so, complained to the school district administrators. The response the father received was support of the teacher by the district, comparing the lesson to the teaching of Shakespeare or poetry.

In seven years of Spanish at the junior high school, high school and college levels there was no memorization of any foreign anthem or pledge required. Learning the alphabet, verb tenses, vocabulary, cultures of Spanish speaking nations, conversational Spanish, ordering from menus and the like was the order of the day in Spanish class, not an attempt at indoctrination of impressionable youths.

There is little enough loyalty toward this country, encouraging loyalty to another is just another example of the dangers of political correctness run amok. Between the schools and the businesses too afraid to demonstrate national pride, apparently a refresher in Being a Proud American 101 should be mandatory course in today’s America.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living  in Westfield, IN.

Olive Garden: 401 Oxford Exchange Boulevard, Oxford, AL 36203 #256-831-4911

Darden Concepts, Inc.: 1000 Darden Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32837 #407-245-4000

Casa Monica Hotel: 95 Cordova Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084 #904-827-1888

The Kessler Enterprise, Inc.: Richard Kessler, CEO: 4901 Vineland Road, Suite 650, Orlando, FL 32811 #407-996-9999

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