Here’s a question for you readers – do you consider yourself a nationalist or a globalist? When you think of the term “nationalism” does it have a positive or negative connotation?

Apparently, a professor at Marquette University said he feels “anxious” whenever he sees the American flag.

In an interview with Milwaukee’s WUWM 89.7 station, Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Grant Silva expressed his perception of how people of color feel toward the American flag.

“I also get a little bit anxious around the excessive imagery of the flag in part because, in my experience, patriotism quickly slips into nationalism.”

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According to Dr. Silva, a Mexican-American, the American flag signifies something different for people of color as he recalled traveling with his family and encountering a “more intense and brutal sense of patriotism.”

“Especially the simplistic version of patriotism, the flag waving, my country love it or leave it kind of attitude. That is just a hop, skip and a jump away from becoming nationalism,” he said.

“As much as I would like to see the flag displayed in a proud manner, it all too quickly takes on the stakes that, as a non-white person, can mean a lot, right? It can mean a sense of inclusion or exclusion” he said.

Teran Powell, the author of the article featuring Silva’s interview, also shared her experiences as a black woman.

Powell wrote: “I’m Black-American, and over the past few years, I’ve continued to analyze what the American Flag means to me. Especially considering the growth in extremism post-Trump-presidency and those extremists using the American Flag against people of color to say they’re the real Americans.” People of color “often have to assimilate and give up some part of their racial or ethnic heritage to be seen as true Americans.”

With these two professionals assuming that their experiences with the flag aligns with every other person of color, it seems that they also view the term “individualism” the same way they view nationalism – negatively.

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