July 4th, 1776.
I see that date and it feels like an imposter. It doesn't feel like it belongs to me.
I go to the Red, White, & Blue parade every year with good intentions. I just get frustrated and can't wait till it is over.
I have issues with the American flag. I can't help but see the blood of the innocent and the persecuted dripping from it's hem.
I have to think about Crispus Attucks when I sing the National Anthem. Otherwise, what's the point.
I think about my grandparents growing up in Alabama. Sharecropping. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance yet going to segregated schools. Fighting in a war for this country but living segregated bunkers. Working in their houses and raising their children but not being able to use their bathrooms.
I remember being in college and in a race & minority relations class. A conversation about affirmative action turned into viral attack. I was called a nigger and he spat at me.
I remember the feeling of searing anger I felt when I was told the white male who was recently hired made more than I & did not have the level of education nor work experience I had. I smiled, nodded, and thanked God for the raise.
But I still think about it.
It's hard to forgive, but I can forgive.
I just can't forget.