Do outraged emails over flag show underlying race relations? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Do outraged emails over flag show underlying race relations?

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Below are excerpts of emails we received into our station after the Chapala Express restaurant in Richland flew an American flag upside down. They claim it was a mistake, but the anger remains.

"I am so tired of walking on egg shells for fear of offending someone and being labeled a racist due to my disdain for a people that invade my country via the southern border, are extended so many benefits that my own fellow American citizens aren't even given, and have the audacity to protest the very nation and it's people whom have given them so much.

Enough is enough, my family and so many other true American families have paid for the right to be here through sacrifices of blood, sweat, and tears. It is hard to respect someone who kisses your [omitted], and we as a nation have been kissing a lot of [omitted] over the last 20 years! It needs to stop, today, right now! If this offends an ethnic minority, too bad! I have been offended by their behavior for years, and I have the right to be here, I am a true citizen of this nation. But does my government care about my feelings? Do the media care if we (white people) are offended? I feel that I am being discriminated because of my race daily, do you run any stories about that? I think it is time that you do!!!!

Sincerely, an offended white American.".

"We called the restaurant and they fessed up that the story is true.  She tried to make up excuses but we could tell that it was intentional.  Please pass this on to all your friends both personal and business."

"My fellow Americans, I am displeased to tell you that I have seen the American flag flown upside down at a Mexican restaurant, Chapala Express on Lee Blvd in Richland, Washington. My wife and I saw this upsetting sight the day after Thanksgiving, which everyone should be thankful for the brave men and women fighting for our freedom. Upon this we urge you not to eat at this Mexican place where they have no respect to live here."


Does the outrage speak to a larger rift between white and Latino communities? Mark Moreno, a Columbia Basin College Latin American history professor says there is tension, but there's no way to really measure it.

"An opportunity for that news incident at the [Chapala Express] that is an opportunity for people to express those feelings and talk about amongst their friends and family there's a reaction but it means it was out there there's some population that's out there," he says.


**Flying a flag upside down is traditionally considered a sign of distress**