After 9/11, it was commonplace to see banners and signs all over the nation, but especially in New York, expressing a firm resolve to stand up against those who would threaten our way of life here in America. One that was particularly impactful was a poster emblazoned with a photo of the American flag that bore the caption “These colors don’t run.”
Since that time, and especially since the rise to power of Barack Obama, a very different brand of sign has emerged that is the antithesis of the post-9/11 expressions of unity. Instead of emphasizing solidarity and patriotism, these latest signs are symbols of a broken and bitterly divided nation. The messages they carry — Black Lives Matter, for example — are of grievance and exclusivity.
On Thursday, presidential candidate Ben Carson tried his own hand at sign-making. In a photo posted to his Facebook page, he held aloft the four-word handwritten message. The post, which has since gone viral, amassing 70,000 shares and more than a half a million likes, appears below.
Carson’s message obviously is in reaction to the question posed by the shooter at Umpqua Community College in Oregon to each of his victims. It is meant to express togetherness, to communicate, much like the 9/11 signs that today, we are all Christians.
Unfortunately, despite its positive intentions, this message will viewed by some as combative.