Our nation used to be a nation that looked forward to new opportunities. We looked West for expansion, we looked up into space and put men on the moon. We looked deep into cells to find life and cures. We used to look forward and see what could be and then set out to accomplish great dreams.
Now our nation spends more time looking back in time than we do looking forward. Many folks dwell on the injustices of the past instead of learning the lessons of past wrongs and taking those lessons into the future. What we can do is learn our whole history and move into our future with the lessons from the past.
Those who do not know our whole history, work feverishly to change, reword, or discard books, remove statues, rename parks, military bases, holidays - none of these “change” our history. These only exacerbate the racial tension already present in our nation.
Singer Macy Gray recently wrote in a recent editorial that the American flag is “tattered, dated, divisive…” and that the American flag, “no longer represents All of us” and “It’s not fair to be forced to honor it. It’s time for a new flag.”
I wonder if Ms. Gray knows that Black Americans fought under and for this flag in every war (Including the American Revolution and our Civil War) our nation has been involved in? Does she know this flag represents freedom and opportunity for people of every color, tribe, nationality, faith, and gender in the world? Does she know this flag represents the freedom she enjoys now and that thousands upon thousands died under that flag to assure her of these rights? I wonder if Ms. Gray knows this American Flag history.
Ms. Gray is an example of someone dwelling in the past. Many are those who assault individuals of the past, accuse others of being racist, (Simply disagreeing with one another does not make one or the other racist) and destroy the heritage of some people to make themselves feel better. Instead of looking to the many opportunities and blessings this nation provides, many choose to live in past injustices.
A better future cannot come by dwelling in the past. The history of our great nation has some terrible events, but those are in the past. I believe we need to objectively examine our past. Learn the lessons history teaches to ensure we do not repeat the injustice of the past and to make our future better.
Changing our flag? Never. Change our history? Never. Instead, know how our flag came to be, what it represented then, now, and the meaning it can have in the future. Knowing our history is to know the good, the bad and the ugly. Doing away with any of these is to destroy our nation and that, unfortunately, is what many want to accomplish.