During a recent interview, a college professor from Milwaukee caused a stir by expressing his unease whenever he encountered someone openly showcasing the American flag. The professor, who specializes in political philosophy, Latin American philosophy, and the philosophy of race and ethnicity, admitted that the mere sight of the national emblem could evoke feelings of anxiety in him.
Dr. Grant Silva, an associate professor of philosophy at Marquette University, engaged in a conversation with Teran Powell on WUWM 89.7 FM, focusing on the emotions reported by individuals of color when they encounter the American flag. Powell, the host, recounted a personal experience during a road trip where she had to make a stop in an unfamiliar town to refuel her car.
She described feeling an unusual sense of fear when she came across extensive displays featuring the Stars and Stripes in the town’s streets. Upon reflecting on her reaction, Powell concluded that the representation of the flag created a racist atmosphere in the town, compelling her to leave as quickly as possible.
Silva empathized with Powell’s encounter and shared that he, too, had experienced similar emotions when stopping at a gas station. He agreed that an overwhelming display of the flag could elicit an emotional response in people of color, as it is often associated with a racially biased, predominantly white America. Silva explained that while the American flag can represent a sense of belonging and inclusivity, it can also symbolize exclusion for certain groups.
Both Powell and Silva hold the perspective that patriotism, according to the “woke” ideology, borders dangerously close to nationalism. According to NPR, an individual’s stance on this matter tends to align with their level of progressiveness or conservatism, with those on the far left more likely to associate negative connotations with it.