“The America is not a place you live in, it is a video game you survive. I’m not only an American I’m an Americanist. I survive America in spite of what it wants to do to people like me.” – Henry Rollins
On Saturday, 7/18, I took part in a Black Lives Matter rally. We started off at the Utah state capital and then moved on to march to the Governor’s mansion. Walking up to the capital, I was wondering how long it would take for me to be harassed. You see, I am a leftist but I carry the American flag to almost every protest I go to.
‘Now Josh, didn’t you know only racists use the American flag?’ you may have as a canned response. I fully reject that idea. While it may be true that the average person with a raised truck and an American flag on it is not someone who typically appreciates the human condition of others, the American flag is arguably our most powerful symbol in American iconography.
The flag itself is devoid of any meaning (outside of the 50 states and 13 colonies), that is to say: any meaning you feel for the flag is meaning you have now projected into it. And boy do we. When I showed up I saw two other people holding flags but they were the thin blue line flag. To say that blue lives matter.
Whether or not you believe “blue” lives matter, where the only blue-skinned people I’ve ever seen were products of incest, I wonder what their response would have been if I said: “blue lives don’t matter. All lives matter!” Do you think they would have taken kindly to that?
Because these two people were there before me, it was set from the jump that anyone with an American flag is arguably a raving lunatic. Not because they support cops. Because they showed up to a rally, where people are effectively crying out that they don’t want to get murdered by the police, and they’re saying some approximation of “but what about the cops”?
I even had a conversation with one of them who claimed that George. W. Bush was a liberal and she is embarrassed that she voted for him. Her evidence is that he is anti-Trump. Anyone not pro-Trump is some liberal that is anathema to them and their way of thinking.
After the march to the Governor’s mansion, we were there for 10 maybe 15 minutes and one of the staff went to the flag, which flying at half-mast due to John Lewis passing, and raised the flag to full mast. I really can’t think of anything more disrespectful. It was almost as if the Governor, who has fully endorsed Spencer Cox, was saying that black lives don’t matter. I really can’t think of any other reason to raise the flag in the face of this BLM rally.
Is it any wonder that my fellow Americans, but those of pigment, feel under attack? Let’s consider how gross this is from honoring the flag perspective. The flag, lowered to half-mast, was in a position to show respect to former Rep. Lewis and was robbed of the full opportunity to do so. Just so the Governor could thumb his nose at people who feel they should be able to live in America, while black, and not be extra-judiciously murdered by police during routine stops.
Is this what we call leadership? Is this what we pass off as Christian generosity and welcomeness in Utah? What does Spencer Cox have to say about this? Gary Herbert said that Cox is the most experienced for the job. Is this the type of experience we should be expecting? Someone who can’t be bothered with silly things like citizens upset about vigilante cops that take the law into their own hands?
I don’t know about you, but unless he addresses his stance on such large issues, he sure won’t be getting my vote.