Heléne wrote this 5 years ago regarding Michael Brown, Colin Kaepernick and others.

PC: AP News

The Math of a Flag

Under the flag you salute today,

I was once a fraction.

And the nation is still divided

On whether 50 Stars and 13 Stripes

Represents all 330 million people.

Placement is key in the equation

Hand on heart; patriot

Fist in air; knees on ground, traitor.

We cannot use the flag to add a cause

But they can use it to subtract a life

By impaling us with their “love of the country”

That gives multiple outcomes

From the same equation

Old Glory Red will spill from wounds

As Old Glory Blue cordons off the scene

But our patriotic colors will not be mentioned

On tonight’s news which begins with

“An unarmed black man…”

And this problem is destined to repeat itself

Unless forces multiply and variables change

And there will be no solution

Until all the outcomes are equal

But the math of a flag is so complicated

The calculus of ignorance and the geometry of racism

Silence the statistics of violence

Woven in patterns

Within the tapestry of our history

Each stitch in a neat row

Like those fields of cotton

Picked by fractions

Who dreamed of a better future

Only to be failed by the linear algebra of privilege

That circumvents the curve

Of the arc of justice

 

-H. Douglas

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