Commentary

Legacy greater than flag removal

stockvault-american-flag100765Nobody asked me, but I find the flap over the Confederate flag disappointing on a number of levels.

How is it that people who think of themselves as more American than me or President Obama can fly the flag of this nation’s last, large scale domestic terrorist enemy, and call it cultural pride. Muslims have pride in their culture. What would happen to a building flying a Muslim flag? Somewhere in southeast Wisconsin, we had the answer.

If the only result of this unspeakable, and all too common tragedy is that flags cease to fly over southern capitols, nine more brothers and sisters will have died in vain. If Gov. Nikki Haley really cares about healing wounds, she should equalize education spending across the state. The children in the families of Mother AME’s fallen attend decrepit schools with peeling paint, out of date texts and “labs” in name only. Let the upgrading of the schools Black South Carolinians attend be these nine’s legacy. Let Sunday voter registration and early voting be their legacy. That flag is merely a symbol. A hated and hateful symbol, to be sure, but just a symbol. Every Black child college ready is not a symbol. Full, Black employment is not a symbol. Quality healthcare is not a symbol.

If Black Lives Matter to us, let’s not clamor for cloth symbols to be lowered and packed away so that white southerners can posture til the next news cycle starts and then go back to business as usual.

Indeed, if the children are well educated, their parents are well employed and the elders well cared for; I wouldn’t care if white southerners pledged allegiance to the Confederate flag. If they’d stop shooting us down in the street, they could sing their anthem … if there is one … at sporting events just like the Canadian anthem is sung, after ours, when Canadian pro teams play here.

The Book says “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto these, the least of my children, ye have done it unto me.” So, let us mourn and pray. But, let’s be sure to demand meaningful change. That flag doesn’t make folk racist. Racists made the flag. Rallying around the lowering of a flag is like being the bull chasing the red cape at a bull fight.

Please, let’s make these Black Lives Matter.

July 20, 2015
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