College students never cease to amaze me. The causes they champion often are legitimate, but sometimes they back some real head-scratchers.

I’ve tried to label many of these, from the sheer silliness of the Student Secular Alliance to the failed eco-radical movement.

Taking their place with those underachievers are protesters angry at a handful of flags being disallowed from participation in George Mason University’s International Week.

The melodramatic image of a student blindfolding and gagging himself in Broadside last week would have been comical if it had not been so over the top.

There are people all over the world who are denied free speech, free elections, freedom of religion and other basic human rights.

But these students feel discriminated against because they can’t submit their flag to some school-sponsored I-Week?

Trust me, there are more fruitful battles to fight.

Considering the brutal and oppressive history which the Kurds (the main proponent of these protests) have had to endure, one would think they would understand this more than most people.

The audacity to label this an “equality issue” is overzealous and bizarre.

This isn’t a discrimination issue and these students don’t appear to even know the meaning of the word.

If not having your flag raised during Mason’s I-Week is the biggest injustice in your life then consider yourself lucky. Sadly for them, when they get to the real world, they’re in for a rude awakening.

Frankly, I think college students just have too much time on their hands.

Some students aren’t stimulated enough and feel the need to protest anything just for the heck of it.

Judging by the smiles and laughter of the protestors at this event, I doubt they are really taking it all that seriously, proving my point that this protest was conceived more out of boredom than outrage.

If I start a club dedicated to the heritage of Petoria, should I be allowed to fly a flag with a picture of Peter Griffin emblazoned on the front?

Although I generally disagree with the school on many issues, on this one they made a choice that seems logical.
And, furthermore, you can’t cave to some half-assed protests by a dozen students or so.

Doing so would set a dangerous precedent where any enthusiastic student with a bullhorn and poster bearing some slogan written in Magic Marker could make devastating policy changes.

The accompanying conspiracy theory behind this flag exclusion centers on the Chinese government pressuring Mason officials due to their professed hatred of the people of East Turkestan.

While I wouldn’t put it past the Chinese government to be so petty, I sincerely doubt they even know about Mason’s I-Week, let alone care about any of the planned activities.

They’ve got enough problems and don’t have the time to be concerned with such a trivial matter.

And how would flying or not flying a flag during this week make any difference to them?

Would the people of East Turkestan, so emboldened by this act of civil disobedience, rise up and conquer their oppressors in Beijing? I think not.

This whole situation is indeed inconsequential but it does showcase a larger issue: College students are often so detached from reality they insist on fighting the most pointless battles.

The world is bigger than Mason and students have their whole lives ahead of them to witness true pain and suffering all over the world if that’s of their choosing.

In the meantime, hang your flag outside your dorm room to show your national pride and move on.

Life is too short to waste time being so enraged and taking on such meaningless endeavors.



  1. Isay Truth says:

    you, Alan Moore, have with this article proven to be a very uneducated person. I happen to know all of the people that organized the protest, and the kind of shit they’ve been through under people like Saddam Hussein, you wouldn’t have even seen on tv because you’re parents probably censored your innocent little eyes from the reality which you claim these students are unaware of. You sir are an idiot. The issue with the Chinese is a legitimate one, can be verified by OIPS. I’ve personally seen letters from director of oips stating this, and i’ve attended meetings with large groups of chinese students to discuss the issue. Furthermore , the protest led to the student Senate, which represents the entire student body at gmu, writing and unanimously passing resolution21 (in support of the Kurdish flag). Your pea sized brain was only able to come up with such a comparison as “Petoria”? You seriously compared fighting for the flag of 40 million people, an internationally recognized flag of a free and sovereign government of the northern region of Iraq known as Kurdistan, to that of Family Guy’s Peter Griffin? I am not sorry to say that anyone who actually agrees with your opinion, is probably just as stupid/ uneducated and ignorant.

  2. Anonymous says:

    First of all, I would like to ask a question, is it ethical to state an opinion based on assumptions that are offensive to others? If statements based on your opinion and your right to free speech is offensive to me than that my friend with all due respect is unconstitutional. If you are going to label people and make fun of them I suggest that you do some research and gain some knowledge beforehand.

    If you suggest that we don’t know the meaning of the word “discrimination” than let me enlighten you by what it means to me so you can get a better understanding of what it means. If we are members of an organization recognized by GMU that is active in every aspect of the I-week and we are not able to raise our flag during that I-week, that means we are not favored enough to have our flag up. To me my friend with all due respect that is pure discrimination. If GMU praises its I-week to be about diversity and ethnicities, than why aren’t all the flags raised? Why are certain people excluded? You don’t think this is choosing favorites? You don’t think it’s about funding? In this world there are only interests, no unions nor friends and GMU has made that loud and clear.

    We are not angry and we did not protest out of anger and that’s probably why you saw us smiling. Maybe you should search and find out ways people protest, because there is such a thing such as a peaceful protest. Our aim was not to offend anyone or state any radicalism but to make noise as to what is going on and why. To point at a remark you made about this being the only injustice to happen to us as Kurds, no this is not the only injustice. We of all know the meaning of being oppressed, and all of us at the protest are those who have escaped violence, inequality, and repression. If anything, people like you who state opinions based on arrogance are those who have never seen a day of inequality in your life. If you want me to state the things I as a Kurd have been through, I could write you a book and maybe that would enlighten you to make better choices as far as stating opinions.

    Lastly, if you want to compare our flag to a picture of Peter Griffin, than I am sorry to say but that pity is nothing but lack of education and I have never been offended this much in this land they so call “ the land of freedom”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Alan, your opinion sucks. You have no education about the middle east or Kurdistan. All the kurds at Mason who are students are refugees. So dont tell them that they have a fruitless protest. We have known the meaning of discrimination since we were born. You are the epitome of stupidity.