The protesters in the streets of Ferguson are righteously angry at an incredible injustice perpetrated by the state and are trying peacefully to change their world for the better.
The protesters at the Bundy Ranch are un-righteously angry at something that is not actually an injustice perpetrated by the state and are trying to get their way through threats of imminent violence.
The multilayered irony would keep me laughing for years to come if the actual and threatened loss of life were not so heartbreakingly tragic. But there is another aspect of this that I think both groups are getting equally wrong, and that is that the group most likely to be seen waving the American Flag is the bunch of idiots at the Bundy Ranch.
I love America. I love it's people, it's land, it's ideals and it's history. I love it maturely without rose colored glasses or flickering candlelight hiding its wrinkles and flaws. America is not perfect. But it causes me physical pain to see the American Flag waved by some Nugent-styled nut bag or pinned to the lapel of an ignorant GOP politician. My blood boils when I see it sewn onto the white sheets of a KKK jackass. They are wrong about what it stands for and they are destroying what it is meant to be.
And I am equally distraught when I see groups that embody the promise of America avoid waving the flag. The protesters in Ferguson should be dressed in red, white and blue and everyone of them should be waving that flag in the face of those that oppress them. There is nothing more American than perceiving an injustice and peacefully taking steps to remedy it. To do anything else is to stupidly accept the conservative definition of what America stands for. They are wrong. We are right.
I understand that there are many diarists here that spend a great deal of time agreeing with the conservative definition of America and that is unfortunate. They have mistakenly generalized the mistakes and injustices of the past onto the whole of what America is striving to be. I also understand how easy that can be if the institutions of the state have been used so explicitly to exclude a particular group from basic justice. I simply think that America is not the sum of its mistakes - it is the promise that it's mistakes can be corrected. To think otherwise is to buy into what conservatives think America is and to become what they think we are instead of what we think we are. It also makes a mockery of the work that I do for progressive change in this country. I am working for a better and more inclusive America and I can love it while I do so.
Conservatives have figured out how to hate the government while still loving America. They use the flag as a propaganda device and a tool of coercion. Well, they can go fuck themselves. They are wrong about what it stands for. The most American people that I have seen in the past year are those that have taken peacefully to the streets in search of justice. And sadly, they are the least likely to be seen holding the flag.