Newsflash: Flag flying's not a crime
Tressy Capps doesn’t understand why everyone is so angry. The Fontana, Calif., City Council candidate posted a YouTube video of her yelling at a homeowner in the neighboring city of Ontario for flying a Mexican flag in an area where 60 percent of residents identify as Mexican American.
The video — which starts out with the text, “NEWSFLASH this is AMERICA USA" — is a minute of Capps filming from Ontario resident Maria Banuelos’s front lawn, speaking to her through the window of her house.
“You know we live in America, right,” Capps asked after panning from a shot of the flag.
Capps suggested that Banuelos take down the flag and move to Mexico. Banuelos smiled and told Capps in Spanish that the family flies the American flag, too, gesturing to their doorway. Capps didn’t understand Banuelos and continued to confront her. The video ended with the text, “City of Ontario code enforcement will be warning them of the code violation. They will be fined if they fail to remove it.”
Flying a Mexican flag is completely legal in Ontario.
Banuelos’ husband, Sigifredo, told local station KCAL9 that he didn’t understand why Capps found the flag offensive. The U.S. and Mexican flag fly at their home, he said, to celebrate the family’s dual heritage.
Capps said that she lost her day job as backlash for video that she willingly recorded, uploaded and shared. She also said that she has been receiving death threats and fears for her family's life.
“I don’t understand what all the hatred is about. Why everyone is labeling me these names. Racist? I don’t understand why everyone is so angry,” Capps told KCAL9.
If every Mexican American resident took Capps' suggestion and left Ontario, the city’s population of 164,000 would dwindle to 50,000 residents. Fontana, where Capps is running for city council, is 66 percent Latino and 57 percent Mexican American.