By definition, protest is just a statement or action expressing disapproval. Nonviolent expression. But it is puzzling how offended a “protest” makes some. This is the action: kneeling, arms embraced, heads bowed … and this causes such a stir. With liberty and justice for “All”? Are black Americans not included in the “All”?
For anyone who doesn’t understand the protests displayed at public events, I will explain.
Racism is woven through the fabric of our society. For centuries, black Americans have unequally shared in the freedoms and opportunities of this country. Our living conditions, our educational institutions, our property and even our lives have been compromised, short-changed, stolen. America has done little to address inequality among its citizens.
Instead, our frustration is viewed as disrespectful somehow. The flag is used as a blanket to cloak the real issues. Black America does not show disrespect for the flag when we protest, although we know that symbol was created while we were in chains. Frankly, we don’t really care about Stars and Stripes when our people are suffering today. Does America care more for a symbol than its citizens? It appears that way.
We can’t depend on the President to address the issues of black Americans. So we protest. The protest is not to disrespect the flag – many of us have also died defending the freedoms it represents. We protest to shine a light on the inequities and mistreatment of black Americans. The flag has been used to mask the racial divide that splits our country apart.
With all due respect, let’s fold up our flag, military style, and have a conversation. Or do we continue to ruin this One Nation Under God?