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School Board Member Compares Flag To Toilet Paper    

  By: Katie Petrick
   Published : October 3, 2017

As the NFL’s television ratings and attendance frantically plummet down the drain, the American flag is not far behind it. This at least is the sentiment for one Illinois school board member who equated the American flag with toilet paper.

Traci O'Neal Ellis, member of the Board of Education of School District U-46 of Kane County, took to Facebook recently to express her opinion on many NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem. On her personal page O’Neal Ellis wrote “that flag means nothing more than toilet paper to me … And I promise you, I would take a knee at school board meetings if my doing so would not be disruptive to kids and a distraction to the work we need to do for them.”

O’Neal Ellis, currently in her second term on the board which serves nearly 40,000 schoolchildren, later wrote on her school board Facebook page. The second post was a direct response to fellow school board member Jeanette Ward, who called O’Neal Ellis’ post “despicable,” according to the Elgin Courier-News.

O’Neal Ellis, who is an attorney working as an executive director of human resources, said she supports the NFL players who take a knee and cited that the flag and anthem are symbols of justice and freedom, but this is a “blatant lie for black folks.”

“While I do not purport to speak for the entire black race, as a 55 year old [sic] black woman, I most certainly can offer a perspective on life in America through my eyes,” O’Neal Ellis said. “In fact, I am an expert on black life in America.”

In the post, she makes broad claims about slavery, segregation, and the civil rights movement to demonstrate that she knows “the righteous truth.” O’Neal Ellis goes on to say directly to Ward and others that the criticism she is receiving proves her point about the inequality in America.

“The freedoms you enjoy and the flag you profess to love so much do not extend to me as a black woman,” said O’Neal Ellis, whose term expires in 2019. “They are not my birthright. Yet I demand them anyway.”

Others are exercising their rights by circulating a petition to remove O’Neal Ellis from the school board.

The question remains whether she violated her oath of office which includes the statement, “I shall take no private action that might compromise the board or administration.” O’Neal Ellis used her board member Facebook page to pontificate and to cite direct criticism at a fellow board member.

The next board meeting will likely see a clear spike in attendance, which is in direct contrast to the NFL’s turnout as of late.

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