A local Boy Scouts troop in Milwaukee, WI is under fire for an "unauthorized" patch it's been using depicting fleeing immigrants.
Troop 11 has been using the patch for the last 10 years as a symbol of one of its patrols (each troop is divided into patrols). The name selected for the troop? The Border Patrol.
But while that may strike some as odd, especially for a troop that includes Latinos, one of the scout's leaders explained that it was actually former troops who came up with it.
"The patch is used to symbolize that a scout is part of the 'border' patrol," Assistant Scoutmaster Bradley Schultz told the blog Latino Rebels, which has dubbed the patch "racist" and has been leading the charge against it. "The image was chosen by the patrol as a whole, but a scout of Mexican decent, who was visiting family in Texas when he saw the iconic signs, is the who originally thought of the idea to use the image. We knew we wanted to be named Border, but we wanted an image to go with it."
The blog has also posted an alleged email from Ryan Antczak, another assistant scoutmaster for Troop 11, explaining that the troop is made up largely of minorities who do not want to be associated with illegal immigration:
This had nothing to do with US BORDER PATROL. This was the name of the patrol the boys picked out that they wanted. The majority of the troop &the patrol are Mexican. They wanted this because they didnt wanna be associated with those that come to our country illegally. This has been part of our troop for almost 10 years. We are located in a very diverse area were the majority of Latin decent. No one has been offended till this day. We are not embarrassed by a branch of our government that serve this country proudly who put their lives on the line. [Errors are original]
The Boy Scouts' National Council has weighed in and told the Huffington Post, "Neither the United States Border Patrol or the Boy Scouts of America were involved in the naming of the patrol, or the production or distribution of the patch."
It's also apparently told the troop there must be a change.
"We have been told by our council that if we don't change the NAME of the patrol the troop will be disbanded as a whole," Schultz told HuffPo.