The Red Flag

the red flag

It’s Hump Day, All!

Yes, yes . . . the middle of the week again. Do you ever get tired of “celebrating” each day? Now, when I say “celebrate”, I simply mean appreciate. We don’t need bells and whistles, balloons and party favors to celebrate. We can celebrate with an attitude of gratitude. For me, it goes a long way.

Historically, the “red flag” has taken on different meanings though the most common notion of seeing something red, even a flag, is to stop. The Communist Flag was red as well as the socialist flag. Here in America, when one approaches an intersection where one needs to stop, we have a red light and we have a red “stop sign.” Okay, where am I going with this?! Red normally nowadays means to stop … like STOP the Violence! In my own affairs, I often refer to the red flag as symbolizing a set of events, even one, that may raise some question as to whether I should continue moving in a particular direction. This could be with a job, with an event like a concert or group gathering, or even with a particular situation that may be presenting itself to me. We all know that moment well. Sometimes, when we think back, we realize that we should have NOT moved forward in a friendship or job or even attending a particular event or concert.

Another seventeen year old was killed in Northwest Miami Dade while sitting in a park watching her cousins play. Often, when something like this happens, news reporters look for some way to redeem the fallen youth by commenting that she was on a path to graduation from high school, thusly indicating that she was not in a gang or anything notorious where “drive bys” are somewhat commonly experienced. One of the girl’s friends commented afterwards that Keimouria Gardner sat on a bench in a park watching her younger cousins play when multiple popping sounds were suddenly heard. The friend asked Keimouria what she thought that was. Keimouria answered, “Oh, that’s just firecrackers!” Seconds later, the friend said that Keimouria fell from the bench to the ground and blood began to flow profusely from her fallen body . . . Peace be still.

It was just last month where there was a big rally held to “Stop the Violence” in Miami Gardens, FL, a place that is riddled very often with bullets, drive-bys, robberies and even innocent youth (and adults!) being murdered. So many community leaders, religious officials and even the superintendent of school in Miami Dade have spoken out against this senseless removal of “young life” … “one bullet at a time.” It seems that it is extremely difficult to turn the tide of this violence in areas like Miami-Dade and other larger cities across the United States of America. Still, for me, I cling to the concept of peace, the advocating of peace, and the search for living together in harmony. Perhaps, I am dreaming … perhaps, not. Yet, I choose non-violence today and strongly suggest that we continue to do all we can to “Stop the Violence” in our communities, our schools … and our nation … one soul at a time!


John I. Cook, Director

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