California Rep. Adam Schiff faced heavy criticism on Wednesday after he condemned the incident at a San Fernando Valley elementary school where a Pride flag was burned in a possible hate crime.
“I am deeply distressed by the burning of the Pride Flag at a San Fernando Valley elementary school. Every child deserves safety and acceptance. We must fight against discrimination and create an inclusive environment for all. Hate has no place in our schools and communities,” he tweeted.
The incident in question occurred outside of a Saticoy Elementary School classroom. An LGBTQ+ flag was placed in a plant pot before being lit on fire and destroyed, according to LAPD.
A Pride Day assembly is scheduled for Friday, June 2, where the students of the school will be taught about LGBTQ+ identities during a book reading. A group of parents are objecting to the planned event.
The incident is being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, said Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton of the Valley Bureau. “The investigation is ongoing. It is a vandalism hate crime. The hate crime is still significant but it is a misdemeanor,” he said on May 27.
A number of people on social media chose to criticize Schiff for condemning the incident, insinuating that he was a hypocrite because he never spoke up when incidents involving the burning of American flags occurred.
Here are some of the reactions:
Independent reporter Ed Krassenstein pointed out that there was a difference between the incident that happened at the elementary school and someone burning a US flag.
“Burning any flag, whether it is an American flag, a Nazi flag, a Pride flag, a BLM flag, or a Trump flag is completely legal, as long as it is your flag that you are burning. Taking a flag that belongs to someone else and burning it for bigoted reasons, is a hate crime. You can’t walk up to a school and burn their American flag. You can’t walk into a church and burn their bibles. You can take a man’s bible and rip it to shreds. You can buy a Pride flag and burn it if you want to. You can buy a bible and burn it if you desire. You can’t take someone else’s flag and destroy it. It’s common sense… really!” he wrote in a tweet.