Letter to the Editor: The meaning of the flag

Som Sin, Quinnipiac Student

The American flag, for the majority, simply means freedom and opportunity. It means you can do whatever you wish in life. For us, however, the flag represents something much more harrowing. It is not quite a symbol of freedom and opportunity, so much as it is a reminder that such freedom and opportunity belong not to you but to those on the other side of the “veil.”

It is dread, not freedom, that comes across the mind of the young person of color when they glance at the flag. A reminder that, try as they might, they will always be seen as trespassers in this land, one built for those beyond the veil. A reminder that they must, against all want and will, view the world through two perspectives, that of the American and that of the other. We are the other, pledging ourselves to a flag that was never intended for us to stand under.

We ask, how truly free are we? When our mothers must lecture their children about the proper way to behave around the police, lest their baby be gunned down in broad daylight, is that freedom?

A white man brandishes an assault rifle openly with no repercussions, citing his right to bear arms. It is his right, and he does it in the name of peace. Elsewhere, a Black child is shot and killed for daring to play with a toy gun. He was acting suspicious. He must be a delinquent. The Black mother spends her first night without her child, tears in her eyes, mourning the loss of her innocent soul.

What nation is this, staining the pavement with innocent blood? The white man, however, dozes off to sleep, flag flying proudly on his porch, gun firmly by his side. Freedom indeed.