In our era of campus speech codes in which freedom seems under siege, civil libertarians and their college counterparts have fought for — and in some cases, achieved — what are called “free speech zones.”
In essence, this means that there are certain areas established by the college administration for the exercise of the First Amendment.
More often than not, it is patriotic student groups who flock to these zones.
However, outside the campus, in the public sphere, there are very few places the citizenry can express their patriotism.
The quickest way to activate the American Civil Liberties Union is for someone to display the American flag or voice patriotic sentiments in a public place, especially if someone, anyone, is offended.
But thankfully patriotism can be expressed in the Christian-owned Chick-fil-A, the restaurant equivalent of a free speech zone.
It was here that a Chick-fil-A employee named Dontarious Jamel Young belted out Lee Greenwood’s “Proud To Be An American,” which was greeted with thunderous applause.
The incident occurred in 2015, but Ryan Fournier, the founder of Students For Trump, posted it in July with the comment, “It is so beautiful to see proud Americans that love this country. Chick-fil-A is amazing. God Bless America!”
It is so beautiful to see proud Americans that love this country. Chick-fil-A is amazing. God Bless America! ?? pic.twitter.com/EKMBq0y3Dq
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) July 19, 2018
Others gushed as well. Cloyd Rivers, a self-described “male model,” praised both America and Chick-fil-A:
God bless America. God Bless Chick-fil-A. pic.twitter.com/rTdgVlWhnW
— Cloyd Rivers (@CloydRivers) August 12, 2018
This moment will not make a dent in the American liberal/left movements, especially its “limousine liberal” faction. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters, who were undoubtedly in evidence the day Young sang, are “deplorables,” as reported in Time Magazine. Saturday Night Live routinely insults places inhabited by conservative working-class Americans like Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrel, and in a segment mocking the new degree of George W. Bush, the University of Phoenix (which provides an affordable way for older students to get a degree).
But places like Chick-fil-A aren’t ruled by the dollar like the “progressive” Starbucks (in many ways the meeting place for leftist millenials), for the Christian-owned restaurants closes its doors on Sunday, the peak weekend restaurant day, so that the owners can attend church.
In the 1940s, socialist writer George Orwell attacked the kind of leftist elites that today scoff at moments like Young’s singing in Chick-fil-La.
To the pro-Communist British intellectuals of the World War II period, Orwell, the patriotic equivalent of a socialist, wrote:
“England is the perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution…It is a strange fact but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than stealing from a poor box.”
Thankfully, he wrote, their attempts to “chip away” at patriotic morale failed, and had they succeeded, the Nazis would have conquered England.
Luckily, as shown by the brave singer at Chick-fil-A, patriotic morale remains alive and well.
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