By Scott Costen
With neither pomp nor circumstance, a banner was raised in Liverpool today to mark African Heritage Month.
No elected officials were in attendance.
No members of the Black community were invited.
No bands played, no choirs sang and no passages were read aloud for all to hear.
An official with Region of Queens Municipality could not tell me exactly when the Pan-African flag went up along the Liverpool waterfront. It was raised by public works employees sometime “between the rain,” she said.
While it’s great to see the flag flying in accordance with the region’s new operational policy, it’s disappointing to see it go up without any sense of occasion.
The proclamations battle has been lost (for now, at least.) But the absence of municipal proclamations doesn’t prevent us from holding a respectful and inclusive flag-raising ceremony on special occasions like African Heritage Month.
A simple Facebook or Twitter post isn’t enough to mark such events. We can and must do more. Otherwise, we give the impression that we don’t really care, that we’re just going through the motions.
Curiously, the official told me our municipal masters are not responsible for deciding whether to hold a flag-raising event. “None of our flags go up with ceremony unless someone asks,” she said.
You, dear reader, are “someone”.
It’s up to you to care.
It’s up to you to ask.