“When we Black Americans see this flag we know the person flying it is not safe to be around,” the post reads. “When we see this flag we know the person flying it is a racist. When we see this flag we know that the person flying it lives in a different America than we do. When we see this flag, we question your intelligence. We know to avoid you. It is a symbol of hatred.”
Chapter founder Lex Scott confirmed to Fox News Wednesday that her group had made the post to highlight how hate groups can allegedly “co-opt” the American flag without prompting similar blowback.
“Ever since we put up the post, our page has been flooded with hatred from people who fly the flag,” she said. “And we want to thank those people for proving our point.”
When asked how she would respond to people who say the American flag is for all Americans, she said that those who are offended by her group’s statement should take it up with hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, which she said proudly wave Old Glory at their rallies.
“I would ask those people if they ever showed outrage when the Ku Klux Klan marched down the street holding that flag, if they ever showed outrage last week when Patriot Front, a White supremacist group, was marching through Philadelphia holding that flag, if they feel outraged that the Three Percenters have co-opted their flag, that the Proud Boys have co-opted their flag,” she said. “If they have never shown outrage when hate groups use their symbol for hatred, then they need to not come to us – they need to go directly to those groups. When you allow a hate group to fly that flag in the name of hatred, and you say nothing, and you do nothing, you send a message to us that you agree with their messaging. You agree with that hate, and you condone it.”
Philadelphia media reported Monday that the Patriot Front marchers, none of whom were from the city, retreated from their demonstration after clashes with local residents.
“They started engaging with citizens of Philadelphia, who were none too happy about what they were saying,” Philadelphia Police Officer Michael Crum told the city’s ABC affiliate WPVI. “These males felt threatened, and, at one point, somebody in their crowd threw a type of smoke bomb to cover their retreat, and they literally ran away from the people of Philadelphia.”
A lengthy follow-up post on the BLM Utah chapter’s Facebook page, which Scott said she had written, goes into the group’s argument in greater detail.
People who care about the flag should defend it not just from her criticism, but also from hate groups that try to take advantage of it, she argued.
“I want you to walk in my shoes for a second,” she wrote. “I want you to picture this. You show up for a protest, and hundreds of armed White men show up. They have guns, they yell racial slurs at you, they are carrying and wearing American flags.”
She said she receives hate messages via Facebook on a daily basis and many of the senders have American flags on their profiles.
“If you see that every person that hates you is carrying an American flag how would you feel about that flag?” she continued. “I feel fear. That is not up for debate. I feel like the person flying it is racist, because every racist that I have come in contact with is either wearing that flag or flying that flag. I feel as if I should avoid that person because they may be dangerous.”
Scott has said in the past that Black Lives Matter Utah is an independent chapter and is not affiliated with the national BLM organization, and the group has promoted a pragmatic approach to criminal justice reform in the past.
“In our chapter, we work with Republicans and Democrats for police reforms,” she said last summer. She had also appeared on “Fox News @ Night” to discuss such issues with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.
The group’s proposals have included officer de-escalation training rather than defunding the police.
The BLM Utah post echoes controversial remarks from New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, who said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last month that she was “disturbed” to see pickup trucks carrying the flag in a New York City suburb.
“I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a really dear friend, and I was really disturbed” she said. “I saw dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with expletives against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing. Essentially the message was clear: This is my country. This is not your country. I own this.” – Via Fox News