Jessica Chasmar, Washington Times, September 28, 2017
A Chicago-area school member says she isn’t backing down from comments she made on Facebook equating the American flag with toilet paper, saying the flag is a meaningless piece of cloth and “a false symbol of hope” for black people.
In a post on her personal Facebook page supporting NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, School District U46 board member Traci O’Neal Ellis wrote, “That flag means nothing more than toilet paper to me,” The Chicago Tribune reported.
Ms. Ellis said she has the “deepest respect” for American men and women in the armed forces.
“I will not allow you to attempt to strip my free speech rights and the right to speak authentically to my lived experiences in this country,” she continued. “And don’t bother trying to tell me to leave if I don’t like it. MY PEOPLE BUILT this country and died and suffered doing so. I’m not going anywhere.
“The freedoms you enjoy and the flag you profess to love so much do not extend to me as a black woman,” she wrote. “They are not my birthright. Yet I demand them anyway, and that demand includes the right to not feel any patriotism towards a piece of cloth and a pledge of allegiance to a country that does not love me back. Forced allegiance is not patriotism. It is fascism. And I will not bow to that.”