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So Macy Gray is the latest celebrity to step into our national debate about race, race relations, equity, discrimination, inclusion (or exclusion) and social justice. And, of course, Gray has a lot to say about Black and white.

In an op-ed column for Marketwatch.com, Gray, a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, wrote last week that it's time for the United States of America to abandon its flag because it's racist.

Of course it is. Everything is. Until nothing is.

She wrote: "President [Joe] Biden, Madame [Vice President Kamala] Harris and members of Congress: the American flag has been hijacked as code for a specific belief. God bless those believers, they can have it. Like the Confederate [flag], it is tattered, dated, divisive and incorrect. It no longer represents democracy and freedom. It no longer represents ALL of us. It's not fair to be forced to honor it. It's time for a new flag."

OK, deep breaths. The resounding meaning of the American flag has been very specific: Freedom.

A flag above all others. A flag respected, envied and even feared at times by the rest of the world. A flag defended by those who feel pride when seeing it waving on bridges, flying from porches, honored before ballgames and draped over the caskets of heroes who paid the ultimate price for everything that flag stands for.

Yeah, bet those who died and those who loved those who died — of all colors and religions — may disagree with Gray.

She also wrote: "The Confederate battle flag, which was crafted as a symbol of opposition to the abolishment of slavery, is just recently retired. We don't see it much anymore."

She does know that the American flag was flying when the Union defeated the Confederacy? That's a good thing, right? I mean, for the American flag?

Gray's point expanded to a faulty rationale that the Jan. 6 Capitol attack forever sullied the American flag: "When the stormers rained on the nation's most precious hut, waving Old Glory — the memo was received: the American flag is [the Confederate flag's] replacement."

The January attack was shocking. But because misguided, overzealous fanatics are toting a flag, we're going to replace our country's enduring symbol? Puh-lease.

I was unfamiliar with Gray's singing career, and I am far from her target demographic. This may explain, in part, her outrageous idea in the first place.

You see, Gray is releasing a new album, and what better way to find the talk-show circuit than to start peddling racism in new, unexplored directions? You can almost hear the marketing-team meeting now:

"Hey, let's say the Statue of Liberty is sexist."

"No, can't do that. It is a woman."

"Good point. We are already working on a Black national anthem."

"Right. Hey, I got it: The flag is racist — white, no Black."

"Perfect."

Among Gray's suggested changes were adding stars for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico and shifting the colors of the stars to varying degrees of skin tones/shades. The white stripes would be "off-white."

"It's time for a reset, a transformation. One that represents all states and all of us," she wrote.

Can someone explain to her why there are 50 stars? That's not an accident. And by definition, the flag does represent all of us and the promise of American values.

For all Americans of all colors and beliefs — whether we are dropping an album or not.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.

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Jay Greeson
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