"All Lives Matter" rebuttals have coalesced in response to the "Black Lives Matter" protests erupting across the globe. Yesterday, I saw a horrific video of a few white individuals re-enacting George Floyd's death while proclaiming that "Black lives matter to no one." Behind them was an all too familiar sight: an American flag proudly brandished alongside an Trump sign of equal size... And there it is...
The American flag = Trump.
Trump is America.
Trump is the answer.
Trump is America's hero.
Trump is America's only hope.
He has brainwashed a majority of us into believing this. The rest of us, he has shamed into feeling like we cannot fly an American flag or else we are supporting him. If things don't change, the sight of the American flag is going to be as inflammatory as the Confederate flag.
Red, White and Blue: white signifying purity and innocence, red, hardiness and valor, and blue, signifying vigilance, perseverance and justice. The flag flying is a beautiful sight. It represents the American spirit of independence, justice, and equality. Seeing a flag at half mast immediately provokes me to feel solidarity and pray. Seeing the flag flying, for me, used to evoke images of soldiers fighting for freedom and democracy in the world. When I see the flag displayed outside my neighbors' house (it has been there long before Trump), I know it is because he is a retired colonel who is proclaiming pride in the fact that he once served our country by putting his life on the line. But, if I didn't know them, I would just assume that they were staunch Trump supporters passively-aggressively yelling at me to become more American.
My youngest attends a very diverse school: Hispanic (37%), White (34.3%), and African American (20.5%). The thought has crossed my mind many times in the past couple of years that, as a white person, I would never wear anything with the American flag on it to pick up my daughter from school. If I did, I am afraid that the Hispanic and Black parents in the pick up area would assume that I supported Trump and, ipso facto, that I did not care for or support them or their children. Every time this thought crosses my mind, I am overwhelmed with fury!
I am so tired of being made to feel like I am un-American if I don't support Trump. In reality, he is about as un-American as they come. I thought this was supposed to be a land of opportunity and equality, of freedom of speech and religion, of acceptance no matter your race or creed. He has claimed America as his and declares those who do not adhere to his doctrine as "enemies" and "terrorists." I am am so tired of it.
This angst within me has been so bottled up that I've been protesting from within the confines of our house. My dominate decorating colors are red, white, and blue. If you visited me and saw my red and blue decor and red and blue plaid tablecloth (and didn't know me well) you would make assumptions about my political viewpoints - most of which would be incorrect. However, I have not been brave enough to fly the flag outside our house because I don't want to be viewed as standing in solidarity with Trump.
This has bothered me for quite some time and this morning I thought of a way to be able to fly the American flag while still communicating that I do not support Trump. I plan to purchase a Black Lives Matter Flag and American Flag and to fly them together.
I really don't want to lose our American flag, but if we don't change the political rhetoric associated with it, you will see calls to have it redesigned and people will begin fighting all over again.
I am suggesting that those of you, like me, who want to reclaim the American flag for all of America take a peaceful stand and start changing the imagery associated with it.
It will take a few weeks for me to receive a Black Lives Matters flag and get it flying alongside the American flag, but I will let you know how it goes. I'm a little scared of the backlash, but enough is enough. To quote one of the peaceful protesters, Gini Gerbasi, who was gassed for Trump's Bible propaganda shot, "I am now a force to be reckoned with."
I hope those of you who feel the same as I do will find ways to reclaim the American flag for all of America; and if you have any suggestions for how to do this, please share in the comments.
Here you will find my thoughts on life and religion. I pray this will be a space where you will not only be encouraged, but would become an active participant as well.