“When we Black Americans see this flag,” the July 4th Facebook post read, “we know the person flying it is not safe to be around.”
A Facebook post group called Black Lives Matter Utah Chapter is drawing heat from conservatives in the Beehive state and across the nation after sharing a brief July 4th Facebook post in which they called the American flag a symbol of hate.
The Independence Day post began: “When we Black Americans see this flag we know the person flying it is not safe to be around. When we see this flag we know the person flying it is a racist.”
“When we see this flag,” it continued, “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.”
The post was shared hundreds of times, catching the eyes of state Republicans and attentive media outlets.
Lee Scott, a Black woman who manages the page, did an interview Wednesday with Fox News Channel in which she said her group posted the sentiments to highlight how hate groups can seemingly “co-opt” the American flag without any pushback.
”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.”
Utah Republican Chairman Carson Jorgensen wrote a response email to The Salt Lake Tribune, declaring, “The American flag is a symbol of freedom and opportunity to the world. We are the shining city on the hill. We are not perfect, but we will never cease to improve.”
Another Republican, Utah Sen. Todd Weiler told the newspaper the “vast majority of Utahns, regardless of their race or politics, continue to look to the U.S. flag as a symbol of unity and perseverance for our nation’s past — and hope for our nation’s future.”
“There have always been those who try to divide us,” said Weiler. “I am grateful to live in a county that allows dissenting voices to be expressed.”
On Tuesday, in a subsequent Facebook post, Scott wrote, “Now I have started a huge controversy. The media now has a hold of it. the controversy stems from me calling the American flag a symbol of hate. I stand by my words.”
“I want you to step outside of yourself for a minute,” she contended. “I want you to walk in my shoes for a second. 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.”
Scott then shares: “I run over 50 Facebook groups. We receive hate messages daily. When you click on the profiles of the people sending these messages their profiles are filled with American flags.”
“When the Klan holds a rally,” she noted, “they carry American Flags.”
“The white supremacist group Patriot Front also carried American Flags in their protest last week when they descended upon Philly. The Proud Boys are always wearing and holding American flags when they protest us. The failed insurrectionists climbed the capitol and beat a police officer with that flag,” Scott wrote.
“If you see that every person that hates you is carrying an American flag, how would you feel about that flag? If every message of hate that you receive comes from a person flying that flag, how would you feel when you see that flag.”
Scott writes, “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.”
“We said that the American flag is a symbol of hate and people who fly it are probably racists and then people proved our point,” she asserted. “The people who fly that flag came to us and spread hate.”
According to Scott, the post prompted members of the group to ask for it to be taken down. The writer said her piece explained to the reader “change is not achieved easily. Allyship is not real unless you are uncomfortable and you have something to lose. It is so easy to throw that Black Lives Matter sign up in your yard and throw on a Black Lives Matter shirt and to claim that you are an ally.”
“That,” she asserts, “is not allyship.”
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