As I drove by the many car dealerships lining the interstate the day after the Dallas shooting, I saw all their giant American flags at half mast and I was really bothered by it.
Now let’s stop for a moment. What happened in Dallas was horrific and our flags were rightly lowered. Just to be clear.
What bothered my conscience was the question of how we come to decide when our flags are lowered. What’s the threshold of tragic and unjust death that must precipitate the decision to lower our flags? I understand that the president calls for it when something has happened on a national level… but still… my morality and ethic of life was pricked with a collective twang of guilt at having to decide that now is the time for national mourning and other times… not.
My idealist self is in mourning for the guilt on humanity’s conscience, the bigotry of ethnicity, gender, orientation, religion, etc., ad nauseam… Perhaps our flag should remain at half mast.
BUT! When we come to that day… when no person is murdered on our streets, in our women’s clinics, on our death row injection beds, or on foreign shores, that’s the day I want to see our flag flown high. That would be our first independence day. Our long-awaited freedom from the tyranny of violence and power.
Oh great day, come. Until then, we must continue to wage a war of love, justice and peace within ourselves, across communities and around the world.