On the 4th of July, a report appeared in TheHill. com that a Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter referred to the US flag as a symbol of hatred. A BLM spokesperson was quoted, “When we Black Americans see this flag, we know the person flying it is not safe to be around. When we see this flag, we know the person flying it is a racist”.
It is not by chance that such a viewpoint was made public on a day in which many Americans celebrate and revere our nation’s flag as a symbol of freedom and opportunity, of unity and perseverance.
My gut reaction was frustration and sadness that racism, like an ominous dark cloud shadowing our way of thinking, is so deeply rooted in our everyday life. How does this condition within our society affect our children and what they grow to believe?
I hold a view that American history taught by whites reflects a predisposition to represent this country as that “shining city on a hill”. I also believe there is value in reexamining the past to understand the objective breadth of what exactly happened - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I am concerned by Critical Race Theory and the lack of clarity in what is being taught to our youth when inherent elements seek shame by whites for past transgressions and seemingly foster a propensity of resentment in blacks toward whites.
There is no redeeming value in teaching white kids that “you’re the problem” and teaching black kids that “you’re a victim”. Rather, education should foster equality of opportunity and focus on character development by confirming the truth and goodness of each individual. Our youth should learn to judge people based on things over which they have dominion like liberty, justice and freedom.
Recalling words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”
Peter Wibell Rutledge