I’m sure it will soon be illegal to show the American flag upside down in the universal display mode for “Danger” so I’m doing it now because today it is still legal, as far as I know. No secret or public court has made it something we can’t do yet. But the day is not over.
I’ve been told that I often see things differently from the way most people see things. I had a recent classmate of whom I thought that was also true and I would like to share with you something he wrote and at the same time shine some light on how and what we are being told to think: GOOD FLAG, BAD FLAG By Baba Brother-D Nubyahn, 7/27/2015
As I pondered what to call this piece, the analogy of good-cop/bad-cop came to mind. Recall the shows in which these rolls are acted out: someone being held and questioned by a pair of cops; one friendly and the other mean. The friendly one urges cooperation while pretending to protect the prisoner from the other cop’s open hostility. Oh say can you see some similarity in the deceitful distraction starring the Confederate flag?
Didn’t the American flag wave over all of this country’s slavery since its independence from the British Empire (which would formally end its slavery over 3 decades sooner?) During the Civil War, were there not certain northern states in which slavery was still legal? Also, didn’t the Confederacy exist for only 4 of the 89 years before this government legally ended chattel slavery? Doesn’t the American flag have a far more historically substantial connection to the enslavement of African People than the Confederate flag? Of course it does!
Politicians pledging allegiance to that banner spangled with stars sold-out southern Black folks in the sudden ending of Reconstruction. America’s flag flew over Jim Crow for nearly a century.
It is prominently displayed in every prison with its highly disproportionate number of Black inmates. And it is so often a feature on uniforms worn by law enforcers who brutalize us with impunity.
This American flag was flown by troops trampling over Native Peoples in US territorial expansion. It’s the flag representing literally hundreds of military interventions and covert regime changes. It’s the flag of the planet’s chief enforcer of genocidal corporate agendas.
But some will say the Confederate flag is embraced by blatant racists. Perhaps you prefer your racists to be a bit more benevolent sounding. Like good-cop/bad-cop. It’s just 2 sides of the same coin. Whatever works for their agendas.
Be clear! I’m not saying “they” all have the same goal. “We” certainly don’t. And too many of us are so intent on being accepted and included by the mainstream in this society that we embrace any apparent distancing White folks make from outright racial hatred. But just as in Civil War times, the northern based elite of these United States were far more interested in their profits than in our well-being. The same held true a hundred years later during the Civil Rights era, as it may be the case today – at least for the moment. But if and when it is deemed to be to their benefit, they will sell us out as they did in Reconstruction, even cut our throats as readily as any Confederate flag waving conservative.
Choosing a path should not be limited to the good cop saving us from the vicious bad cop. We must work to get out from under their system entirely. Not doing so continues to be very highly hazardous to the health of Black folks collectively. And Confederate flag removal is just one more dangerous distraction.
So! Do you still think the Confederate flag is the flag of the slaver? It was a Battle Flag only flown by traitors for 4 years. Confederate traitors were given their civil rights and their guns back after ceremoniously giving them up only briefly. They were back in power before they knew what happened. Now we are told that if we don’t kiss the stars & stripes that has flown over us in this country since day one, or if we take a knee in protest to being shot down by police while being unarmed and having committed no crime, then there is something wrong with us. But we are not the traitors. We are not the one who are actively selling our country out to the Russians or brown nosing anyone who can hack into a computer. One final note: I am a Viet Nam era Veteran. No-one who is too afraid to serve on active duty in the military can tell me how I should react to the American flag.