I write on behalf of the patriotic values I hold dear, on behalf of the children growing up in our community, on behalf of the many service members living in our town who are African American, Latino, Asian-American and more.
I write with heartbreak, also. For a Confederate flag, a potent symbol of hatred and fear, was flown at our very own 4th of July parade.
For those who may have forgotten, this flag is a symbol of support for slavery and hatred. Nothing more, nothing less. It is flown at the Nazi rallies now occurring across the country. It is flown by those who advocate a return to African-American slavery and internment camps for all those seeking a better life here in the USA.
Its meaning is clear, and that meaning is abhorrent to our democratic values.
This is not who we are as a community. This is not what we stand for.
In a time of deep division and hatred being promulgated by the irresponsible person in the Oval Office, it’s more important than ever that local communities stand together, speak together and affirm together:
America is for everyone. Symbols of hatred do not belong in the parade celebrating the birth of our country, or anywhere in our community. We are still a democracy. Let’s act like one, with the respect and honor for each other that entails.
I sincerely hope that the Oak Harbor City Council and parade organizers take this as a wake-up call and ensure that it does not happen again.