“Blue-Lives-Matter” Is Desecrating The American Flag: Racism, Ignorance or Both?
On Friday, May 29, 2020, after Minneapolis burned overnight, I dedicated this essay to the memory of Mr. George Floyd of Minneapolis, murdered at the hands of 4 professionals who were charged by our laws with “protecting and serving”…Systemic injustice, and a racist president, will kill America from within.
There’s a lot of trash-talk these days about a few football players kneeling in front of the American flag during the national anthem.
Let’s be clear.
I used to kneel before the cross when I’d go to Sunday mass.
I kneeled before my wife when I asked her to marry me over 16 years ago.
The knights of olden times kneeled before kings and queens.
Kneeling, to those educated in theology, in the rules of civility and in history is an honorable act of symbolism.
So, its a real far stretch to say that a few ball player quietly kneeling in front of the flag is desecrating or dishonoring the flag!
It seems clear to me that folks objecting to our football players kneeling before the flag to draw attention to the senseless murder of African-Americans by the “bad apples” amongst officers sworn to protecting the public, is inane — and, yes, in the vast majority of cases I think this distaste for the kneel is, actively or passively, racist.
Or maybe the opponents of the kneel are just pure ignorant of the plight of people who do not belong to white, middle class, mainstream America. They don’t see why an African-American ball player would express such dissent to draw attention to the plight of his people.
But, the hypocrisy of the people who object to the kneel is not lost on a vast swath of America — in love with liberty, justice and fully aware of America’s promise.
My thoughts on this issue were reinforced just the other day as I was driving behind a pick up truck with a giant, very literally desecrated, flag flapping in the wind. The flag looked like this — the symbol of the so-called “blue-lives-matter” campaign:
Now, to be very clear, I honor the service and sacrifice of the men and women in blue — and when an officer is killed in the line of duty, all of America must mourn the tragedy and move towards holding criminals to account.
of course, the lives of police officers and all law-enforcement agents are precious and must be protected mightily by our law-makers and citizens alike. But to invoke the slogan of “blue-live-matter” in response to the injustices the African-American community experiences at the hands of bad cops, is not only racist and morally defunct, it dishonors the integrity, which the vast majority of law enforcement officers bring to their sworn duties to protect all citizens of the United States.
But, really, is this black and white flag with a blue stripe down the middle anything like the bright banner created by Betsy Ross? Or is it some contorted version of it, designed to counter and diminish the magnitude of the catastrophic injustices some of our countrymen are experiencing at the hands of the few mentally and spiritually weak or deranged amongst the strong?
And, for the record, such disfigurement of our flag by “Blue Lives Matter” directly violates the United States Flag Code. You can review this here. And guess what? Respectfully kneeling before the flag during the national anthem DOES NOT!
In the end,the same people who object to the kneel as being an act of desecration, wield these contorted flags with the blue stripe — THAT, is desecration. THAT, is dishonoring our national symbol — not the kneel!
Mutating the flag in response to the kneel, or as a retort to those who are objecting to black-lives being unjustly taken, is a clear act of violence against America’s most fundamental symbol. But even more, it is an attempt at eradicating the most quintessential of American characters: DISSENT against systemic injustice!
So, be a patriot. Next time you see a football player quietly kneeling before the American flag and our national anthem, join him. You might just awaken the people around you to the plight of some of our countrymen. And, that, is patriotism — because dissent is the only way to awaken our countrymen from their slumber in the face of injustice in America.
Do you have the strength and humility to quietly kneel before the power the American flag has to defend the defenseless? Kneel, because it’s an honorable American act of dissent.
Or just stand in comfortable conformity, asleep — you just want to watch your football game and drink your beer, right?