Thursday, July 2, 2015

Are Cowards Doing America’s Thinking?

Photo credit:  Jon Campbell/Village Voice
On Wednesday evening in New York City’s Fort Greene Park, anarchists gathered to burn the American flag near the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument.  The monument is a memorial to the more than 11,500 American prisoners who died in captivity aboard British prison ships of disease and malnutrition during the Revolutionary War.

The group, Disarm NYPD, was expecting 300 protesters to participate in their rally.  When criticism began to mount against them they issued the following statement:

“…many people are rather offended by our decision to burn the American flag. We find it a sign of the times that people can care so much about a piece of cloth, while at the same time be so quiet about black churches being burned all over the country. Perhaps this is the great difference between us and the so-called ‘patriots’. While they express their loyalty to symbols, we express our loyalty to the lives of the oppressed.

We do not believe the ideals of America are anything to be revered. We are building something that will be much better than America…We dream of what real freedom looks like:  freedom from paramilitaries occupying our communities, beating and killing our sons and daughters; freedom from our communities being destroyed by the speculative capital of gentrification; freedom from mass surveillance; and freedom from systemic racism.

So, we will burn the American flag, a symbol of oppression and genocide, and in the same action, dismantle our stunted, cynical expectations of what is possible in the world…We, the dreamers, are the true realists. We know things can’t continue this way, so we commit to building a better world. A world better than America.”

When the dozen or so activists began burning the flag, a group of counter-protesters approached them and they scattered like scalded dogs.  One man, John Carroll, a resident of Ridgewood, Queens rescued the flag and challenged the little pricks calling them cowards.  Watching the video warmed my heart.

 JOHN CARROLL   Photo credit:  Andy Katz/Demotix
Betrayals come easily.

On Wednesday, June 24, 2015 “Calypso Louie” Farrakhan told congregants at the Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, DC, “I don’t know what the hell the fight is about over the Confederate flag!  We need to put the American flag down because we’ve caught as much hell under that as the Confederate flag!  Who are we fighting today? It’s the people that carry the American flag.  What flag do the police have?  What flag flies over the non-Justice Department?  What flag flies over the White House?”

This quote from Daniel Greenfield seems particularly germane:
“The left will destroy the things you care about, because you care about them. It will destroy them because that gives them power over you. It will destroy them because these things stand in the way of its power. It will destroy them because a good deal of its militant activists need things to destroy and if they can't attack you, they'll turn on the left in a frenzy of ideologically incestuous purges.”

These are the people who find the Confederate Battle Flag offensive.
Photo credit:  Lee Vanden Brink

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