The RAINBOW flag of equality and inclusiveness expresses hope and potential for the United States of America better than any inherited flag. Let a RAINBOW flag become the symbol for this country.
As a child, I was asked to participate in one of the nation’s longest running traditional transfer of flag ceremonies. I still remember a part of my speech. “This flag, a symbol, unites the living and the heroic dead into one great cause – freedom and liberty….”
I pledged allegiance to the flag throughout my public school years, and to one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. In my early school years, we recited the lord’s prayer along with the pledge of allegiance. I did not understand the necessity to separate church and state. I did not understand that indivisible meant unable to be separated. I did not then understand that freedom included the freedom to not be irrevocably harmed. I did not understand that justice for all was supposed to literally mean equal justice for all, equal rights for all, equal protections for all, equal opportunity for all.
I did not understand what it meant to pledge allegiance to a flag – THE FLAG – and not to the principles of one nation offering liberty and justice for all. I did not understand that about half of the adults in America do not believe in one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I did not imagine that half of the US Supreme Court would not believe in one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
I did not believe that about half of this nation could vote for a Donald Trump, who expresses only allegiance to himself and to a toxic amalgam of beliefs that desecrate every citizen, soldier or visitor who has ever fought or suffered injustice, ignorance, poverty, tyranny, violence, oppression, inequality, fear and helplessness.
I did not then understand that most of my classmates faced challenges and visible identities that made them divisible from our allegiance to liberty and justice for all. They, we, I, were different from some athletic male white normative standard figment.
On bad days, I thought my school was some form of insane asylum – where nurture and equality and truth and systemic understandings were banned. On good days, like the escapees from the King of Hearts, I would find some whimsey, a bearable lightness of being, to distract me from reality.
A flag carries an identity. It is semiotic. But its fabric and form do not translate into principles or challenges or investments in what will be. Or what should be. The flag misdirects because it conveys the founding history, the skeleton, but not the meat and bones of essential principles. We are the translators and we need to learn the systemic language of Nurture, Equality Truth and Systems if the flag and the profound hope represented by its semiotic fabric are to be realized. The flag of hope and justice and equality and caring and human potential must reflect Nurture, Equality, Truth and Systems as the highest level fabric.
AT THIS MOMENT SCORES OF PEOPLE IN ORLANDO FLORIDA HAVE BEEN MURDERED BY A MAN FILLED WITH HATE, ENABLED BY A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND BY A NATION UNABLE AND UNWILLING TO ADDRESS THE MENTAL ILLNESS WE CALL HATE.
EVERY DAY IS FILLED WITH BRUTALITY AND INJUSTICE AND INEQUALITY AND CORRUPTION AND HARM AND LIES AND IGNORANCE FROM THE INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES OF THIS NATION. EVERY DAY DENIES THE CLEAR AND WISE PRINCIPLES OF THE US CONSTITUTION, THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AND AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION SUCH AS THE BILL OF RIGHTS.
OUR FOCUS MUST BE ON PRINCIPLES.
THE FACT THAT WE HAVE ALLOWED SLANT TO OVERWHELM AND IGNORE THESE PRINCIPLES MUST BE THE CLARION CALL FOR ALL ELECTIONS. LOOK FOR PRINCIPLES, MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES, CARING AND HONESTY. BUILD A NEW NATION, AN INCLUSIVE COLLECTIVE, AROUND THE FEW WHO HONOR NETS.
On flag day, I rewind and replay scores of the human initiated tragedies so that they become more deeply embedded in my daily conscious, subconscious and corporal being. The hate fueled mass murders of June 12, 2016 in Orlando are now seared into my being. Institutionally, I viscerally relive and share the story of a 16 year old New York City boy, a person of color, who was accused of stealing a backpack. He spent 3 years at Rikers Island, 2 years in solitary confinement, without a trial and without ever being found guilty of the misdemeanor crime. His life was stolen by the institutions (we are the institutions) hiding behind the flag. There are videos of him being beaten by guards, abused and assaulted by inmates, locked in a cell for 23 hours per day. There was not one ounce of nurture. Not one iota of equality. No instance of justice for him. No hint of justice against the system of perpetrators of the horrific crimes against him. He was systemically denied a speedy trial, he was denied constitutional protections, he was one of the untold numbers of people who experience catastrophic harms in a country that professes to protect him, everyone, from such abuses. When he was finally released, he struggled to find ways to nurture himself because he was so drained of hope. And when he hung himself by throwing himself out his apartment window, his story was finally picked up by the media and the public. Since the institutional murder of this boy, we continue to allow cities to be filled with murder, we continue to allow the massive extraction of the resources and wealth from the people to a few without redress, we continue enable the impoverishment of entire classes of people, we continue to empower haters to harm, we continue to vote for ignorant self-serving people instead of wise, inclusive, diverse and dedicated public servants, and we refuse to invest in the future of our society in ways that will enable all of us to prosper and prevent to looming collapse of the fragile flawed civilization we have constructed.
The old flag can not, does not, represent what we must become. The garbage of politics (lies) can not be tolerated. A government without thoughtful caring sunlit principles and objectives with rigorous citizen inclusiveness and oversight can not succeed. Stop playing politics. Talk Principles, Objectives and Inclusiveness. Only NETS.
The coming presidential election in the United States is where you either stand up for equality and justice, integrity and sharing, knowledge and the pursuit of truth – or not. If you do not vote, you will be guilty of a crime against humanity. If you vote for Donald Trump, your vote is to destroy the fraying fabric of unity, equality and constitutional integrity embodied in A RAINBOW flag.