RESPECTING THE FLAG

Trump’s Failure to Recognize Human Pain

I love America. Even with all our flaws and family fights, we are united under not so much colors and cloth, but an attitude and culture. Our assertiveness does turn off people from other countries, but when that happens, I just laugh and shake my head at someone who believes speaking loudly to a non-English speaker will make them understand.

I grew up in the sixties and there were some rather radical hippies who decided to burn the American flag in protest of the Vietnam War. I never felt comfortable with that move, but I understood the symbolism.

According to BusinessInsider.com, there’s someone else who thought it was legal to burn the stars and stripes. “The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stressed that flag burning is protected by the Constitution — even if he doesn’t think it should be.

In 1989, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Texas v. Johnson, which found a man named Gregory Lee Johnson had a Constitutional right to burn the American flag during the Republican National Convention.” And I’m sure he could have done it at a Democratic National Convention, by the way.

The confusing message from Donald Trump is that the US flag is so sacred, that anyone who disrespects it, in his mind, is a turncoat. WOW! If the red, white and blue is so important to America, why is Trump protecting Confederate monuments and thus, the “stars and bars” of the flag of the Confederate States of America? That wasn’t AMERICA! Those who decided to leave the Union were “legally” traitors. Monuments, by their very nature, celebrate heroes and great leaders.

Now, I know all the rebels out there will say it’s “part of our history and heritage” and while that contains some inverted logic, you should ask yourself this question, “Would you build a monument with a slave owner standing over a black man whipping him into submission?” Of course not, but if you were wondering what the result looks like, click here. Sorry, but I wanted you to see it. That is true human pain. Remember, what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis was worse, he died.

When President Donald Trump brags and boasts he will stand against taking down status of Confederate Generals and famous slave owners, he’s on the wrong side of history. This lack of awareness of the African American experience is shameful. His antithetical response is diabolical coming from the leader of the free world. Honestly, I don’t think he will ever understand what black people have endured and continue to experience. Perhaps we should take a vote of confidence, NOW!

It’s disingenuous for people like Attorney General William Barr to state that bias and prejudice exists in society, then declare with certainty that law enforcement is NOT systemically racist. It’s like what happened in baseball until 1947. African Americans were not allowed to play the national pastime, period. But even when Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, racism didn’t just go away. The man received death threats every year of his career.

Police Departments hire black men and women every day in America, but that doesn’t change the way many go after citizens of color. The one bad apple theory has denial at its core. The best question asked by one of the pundits on TV, why are we using violence against people who the police are accusing of violence? That’s like the father who says, “Stop slapping your sister!” as he is slapping the kid. Hopefully when those kids grow up, they won’t do the same.

When I wrote my book, Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs, we weren’t facing a global pandemic or a racial relations awakening, but there are some essays in the collection that examine areas and policies of American we can improve.

In the chapter titled, American Symbolic Graffiti I wrote, “We have turned our American highway system into a maniacal wall of symbolic graffiti. As you drive from Florida to New York, you will see some people displaying giant Confederate flags. Those jerks are in some confederate mental retardation phase and I wish they would save us all from their racist-driven need to celebrate that dark part of our history. If you want to be clear and honest, why not wave a large flag that says, “BRING BACK SLAVERY!” Sorry, is it too soon?

The “Star and Bars” those folks want to wave is anti-American. They may argue it’s their right, and I can’t make them take it down, but I would like to challenge their little pea brains. Don’t you realize that symbol makes 7,144,530 people or, 12.1%, or more of the US population, feel very uncomfortable? Why would you spend that much money to make people feel awful in their own country? What if someone put up a flag saying, ALL WHITE PEOPLE GO BACK TO EUROPE! How would you feel?”

Brandon, Florida

This matter will not be solved by one blog from one American. I do understand what “white privilege” means and over my 71 years on the planet, I’ve seen some bad moments and heard some terrible words spoken. I was born in the north, but I’ve spent almost half my life in the south — Virginia, Georgia and Florida. When I moved to Florida three years ago and drove down US I75 through a town called Brandon, I saw a giant Confederate flag on the side of the highway. I am sure it’s on someone’s private property, but it’s a disgrace to the town of Brandon and our country.

Here is my message to the citizens of this great country, RESPECT THE FLAG! And the first thing you can do to respect the stars and stripes of the United States of America is to take down all the graven and craven images of the past. It’s not your “heritage and history” as much as disrespect for all those who died protecting this country. Yes, you are showing contempt for the 360,222 men and one brave REPUBLICAN President who lost their lives keeping America, well, American!

I’ve never really understood NASCAR as a sport, but I am extremely proud of the organization and especially driver Bubba Wallace. He stood up and was counted with the millions of Americans who believe we should stop celebrating hate, racism and division. NASCAR banned the display of the Confederate flag, WOW! That is change!

The strange thing about Bubba, my new favorite driver, is that I never knew he was African American. I guess I just assumed that a man wearing a NASCAR uniform would not be black. My bad. I guess we all have a lot to learn. God bless America.

If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs If you only read one chapter of this book, it’s called, Take a Knee for America and thought about this never-ending conflict between minorities and the police. It’s not really taking a stand I’m asking you to do, but having a real frank conversation about why some people think they way they do would be productive right now. It’s a book for the moment and starts the conservation of peace. And if you are worried about social media, check out the chapter called Social Media Menace.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

One thought on “RESPECTING THE FLAG

  1. There is a “lest we forget,” element to some of the Confederate statuary, but certainly not as they sit on elaborate pedestals inscribed with stirring words of service and dedication. If they have historic value as a reminder of what division costs a nation, put them in war museums, but let the plaques that explain them reflect what their “noble cause” strived to preserve and the cost in blood and treasure of that pursuit. Ever visit Gettysburg? The lesson there isn’t glory. It’s the cost in lives when misdirected pride is allowed free rein. Thanks foryour insights!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *