This morning I was watching a video on social media that showed an Air Force veteran being arrested for attempting to protect an American flag that others were desecrating. First of all as a fellow veteran I would like to personally thank her for trying to protect a symbol that others gave their last full measure of devotion to defend in the first place. At this point you probably think I’m going to continue on with a commentary about things like free speech and who was right or wrong, should she have been arrested, etc. Well, you’d be wrong.
There was something in that video that caught my attention even more so than what was happening to the flag that most people probably completely ignored. At one point in the video there was a Black man attempting to explain why they were desecrating the flag and he used the term “you enslaved our people”. This caught my attention because it goes to a much deeper problem that we are currently facing today than some idiot stomping on a flag. It goes to how we are educating our children about history and how that education has screwed up our current society.
The flag, or more importantly the history behind it, isn’t what enslaved the “our people” he’s referring to. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Now I’m not trying to claim we never had slavery in this country. That would be delusional. What I’m saying is that if you understand even a little bit about history that flag is actually what ended slavery.
What most people tend to forget is that during the time when our melting pot of a nation was founded slavery was pretty much the norm, not just here, but throughout the world.
We get reminded all the time about our past sin of slavery. However, what always tend to be glossed over by those wishing to exploit that sin are the roughly 600,000 Union casualties that paid the price to expel that particular demon. The truth is that of all the people that were in the crowd that day if the man who made that statement would have understood even a little bit about our history he should have placed himself side-by-side with the woman trying to protect the flag for it has already served him twice yet he doesn’t even realize it. It served him once by creating a nation that gave him the right to protest, but it also served him a second time by providing him with the freedom to do so as well. It’s that important second part that tends to get left out of our modern education.
It’s easy to point out our faults because as a nation we are no more perfect than the people that make up our nation as a whole. However, if someone wants to point out only the bad things in life nothing will ever look good. As I’ve said many times before, I prefer to be an optimist. When it comes to trying to define who we REALLY are as a nation I prefer to look at those who have righted wrongs more so t than those who have created them. I prefer to look at those who have defended our freedoms rather than those who wish to enslave. I prefer to protect the symbols of our sacrifice rather than sacrifice the symbols of our past.