Dream Homes, American Flags & Neighborhoods We Don’t Belong In

When I was a little girl, occasionally, my mom would take me on drives through nice neighborhoods.  I’ve adopted this same thing with Haley.  Recently, while driving through a new neighborhood in Winston, we found ourselves gawking, oohing and ahing at the beautiful homes, manicured lawns and extravagant layouts.  We were making a spectacle of ourselves but honestly, we had never seen homes so immaculately built in person.  We have begun to mentally design our dream home in the fashion of those homes and have told everyone we know about them whenever the topic of homebuying comes up in conversation. 

Recently, I started a new job at a predominately white church in a really nice neighborhood.  After recording live prayers this morning, I decided to drive around the surrounding neighborhood.  It’s an area that I’ve driven past quite frequently in my ten plus years of living on the west side of Greensboro.  As I crossed the street in my cute little Honda, I noticed a home with about 5-6 U.S. flags hanging off of the fence.  Next door to it was a home with two big U.S. flags.  I immediately felt uncomfortable.  I didn’t even want to look at the houses anymore.  Somehow, this patriotic display just didn’t sit well with me. 

It’s true that the U.S. flag has become an unsettling symbol these days.  I often wonder why people are so intent on raising a flag on their lawns in the midst of social unrest; When everything they say that flag stands for is actually not true.  And it really makes me think that the desire to raise the U.S. flag so prolifically is because they’re too ashamed to raise the confederate flag.  People are asserting that the way the United States is now is the way it should stay and that they are proud of it as is.  Everyone knows that the U.S. is in shambles.  Politically, we are a destitute land.  It’s so frustrating.  

And the neighborhoods with beautiful homes and extravagant landscaping are often full of flag wavers.  And quite frankly, I’ll never belong in those kinds of neighborhoods.  I’d rather go door to door asking people if they had a problem with my skin color or people of my race before moving into a neighborhood and becoming the victim of silent or covert racism, bias and prejudice.  

When will dream homes be built in dream neighborhoods?  Neighborhoods where Black people are treated equally not because of their ability to afford to live on the “good” side of town but simply because they are human beings.  Neighborhoods where brown people are valued.  Neighborhoods where the cops don’t get called on us because we look suspicious.  Neighborhoods where we don’t have to worry about what a random influx in raised flags actually means.  Neighborhoods where everyone is somebody.

When will dream homes be built in neighborhoods where I belong?

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