This Columbus Day, at Swarthmore College, the Swarthmore Indigenous Students Association (SISA) celebrated by burning the American flag and then proceeded to issue a series of demands to the university, which included the removal of the American flag from that University. The association claimed that some Indiginous students felt uncomfortable with flag – in fact, some members event went to far as to disrupt a music event just because an American flag was displayed on the building’s exterior. Other demands made by the group included calling for more affirmative actions a free flight home from school for indigenous students.
In a statement SISA explained, “we burn it (the flag) for our indigenous siblings across the globe and for all of the people across the globe exploited by the United States and other Western imperialist states, caught in between their wars.”
Swarthmore student Matthew Stein witnessed the flag-burning and described how he saw the students wearing black to commemorate what they call an “ongoing genocide against the Native American population.”
It’s sad because the Indigenous Students Association could have used their resources to help bridge the gap and educate other students about the issues currently facing indigenous communities. Instead, members of the group chose to burn the flag of their own country.