By Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN
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SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) — This is where we’ve arrived in this country: You have the constitutional right to burn an American flag, but you can get into trouble for simply flying a foreign one.
At least you can in the 30,000-person town of Pahrump, Nevada, which is close to Las Vegas and even closer to stepping over the line with an idiotic, intolerant and insulting ban on foreign (read: Mexican) flags. The town council voted last week, 3-2, to approve an ordinance that makes it illegal to display a foreign flag — unless an American flag is flown above it. Scofflaws face a $50 fine and 30 hours of community service.
Pahrump resident Michael Miraglia proposed the ban because, he said, he got upset when he saw immigrant activists marching through U.S. cities last spring, waving Mexican flags. Mr. Miraglia told USA Today that he was especially miffed that “we had Mexican restaurants closed that day.”
So that’s what started all this — the fact that some guy who’s addicted to Mexican food couldn’t get his burrito fix. It’s our cultural schizophrenia. Americans love Mexican food, even if they don’t always love Mexicans. They never ask themselves: If they succeed in getting rid of all the Mexicans — as some would, no doubt, like to do — who’s going to make the food?
I look forward to the lawsuit and reading about the town of Pahrump smacked down hard in the courts.