In 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. It was a federal mandate that all people be treated fairly (regardless of race or skin color) in situations such as hiring, housing, etc. It was a huge political and historical moment in time. Unfortunately, it didn’t (and couldn’t) mandate how people treat each other -- not to mention what people believe in their hearts.

People who want to display the confederate flag are celebrating a time when the South was defending their right to keep Black people in bondage. Though it was their battle flag, it had a connotation that did not represent Black people. Yes, it may be historical, but it is also divisive. When the South lost The Civil War, the Confederacy was no more. Confederate money no longer had value, and the Southern states became part of The United States. Flying the confederate flag is against all that this country stands for. And I contend that many of the flag flyers don’t truly understand what it means.

Black parents in this country are forced to teach their children about racism. We have to empower them with the truth -- including the ugly parts -- because we know that they will eventually encounter folks who judge them based on the color of their skin. We have to tell them that they must work twice as hard as their White counterparts in order to be recognized as capable or smart. Moreover, we don’t have the luxury of waiting until they’re teenagers, because we know that they won’t make it to high school without hearing a racial slur.

Unfortunately, while Black parents teach their kids, some White parents are teaching their kids (directly or indirectly) that a person’s value is somehow wrapped up in their skin color, and that brown people don’t have much value (I know this sounds overly simplified and not scientific). Of course, these ideas are not all encompassing. Some areas of our country are more progressive and tolerant, which can make a difference.

Civil Rights Laws are unique in that there’s a lot of emotion connected to the topic (which makes some confuse their right to their personal feelings with the rights of all to be treated fairly). We are all obligated to obey the law. We are not all required to think alike. That’s the wonderful part of being an American. To some, it's not as obvious to treat all people fairly (yielding the right of way to pedestrians etc). But, if we all do our civic duty and abide by the law, we’ll begin to create a strong foundation of fairness that can be built upon, and we will truly become “… One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Click to read more and watch the video