An Imperfect Symbol

They knelt in front of a flag they felt did not represent their so called freedom. They tried for decades to bring attention to their plight- the fact that our constitutional rights aren’t extended to people of color.

Our own president called them “sons of bitches”. I’m sure their mothers wept at that reference. As do so many mothers as they think about the terror their sons and daughters endure when they just want to take a walk, or a drive, or even bbq in their own yard.

The hypocrisy, the terror, the tyranny- the unpunished murder of people of color- is centuries deep within the legacy of our country’s history.

Here we are all with all these awful injustices in our nation’s history and we just can’t seem to figure out how to stop this from happening. Shame on us. It’s been going on far too long and it has actually escalated recently.

If we really did honor our Constitution, we wouldn’t be seeing mothers and fathers telling their young children to live in fear of a police officer. I could tell my children and grandchildren to look for a police officer if they are in trouble or lost. The parents of a child of color do not. They tell their children to avoid any contact with police whenever possible. They are told not to walk alone, especially at night. They are told to keep their hands out of their pockets and not to wear hoodies. They are told to keep their heads down and their eyes up. The awful list goes on. It is a discussion had far too often in homes across this country. What a horrible conversation to have with a child. But it is a necessary one. Why? Because right now in the American justice system, Black Lives Do Not Matter.

I’m not saying that all police are bad, corrupt, and racist. Far from it. I support and respect our brave police force. The problem is systemic. It is woven so deep in our society that it has permeated our justice system. And it will get worse if we don’t act now.

I’m afraid we will be fighting for equal justice on a broader scale soon, if Trump and the GOP Senate pushes through their choice for SCOTUS. A conservative majority Supreme Court could erase the equality women have fought so hard to gain. We haven’t even ratified the ERA yet. It is a slippery slope. LGBTQ rights hang in the balance. We could wind up taking several steps backward and further dishonoring all that our flag represents.

I know quite a few straight white men who have empathy for what is at stake. They try to imagine not having reproductive rights( it goes both ways ya know). They try to imagine

not being able to legally marry the person you love most in the world. They try to imagine living in fear every day they walk out their doors. If they get it, so can the rest of you who could truly be at risk, and whose children could be at risk, of all the dangers inequality poses in this country.

I get a lump in my throat whenever I hear the National Anthem and see our flag flying high. Always have. Now I openly weep at the knowledge that the sacrifices made so it can fly, are not truly being honored. I weep at the thought of all those who fought for our freedom, and equality under our flag, as written in our Constitution. I weep at the thought of all those who’ve suffered, all those who’ve died while protecting that Constitution.

I weep at the thought of all those who’ve died because we talked the talk, wrote it down, and sang the song, but we didn’t all walk the walk. The walk our flag is supposed to represent.

Look at our flag and honor all that it symbolizes-Freedom, Liberty, Integrity, Equality, Justice, Courage.

Educate yourself. Advocate for justice for all. Support the spirit of our Constitution, and Vote November 3rd, with an educated mind and an open heart.

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