Utah’s Black Lives Matter chapter has labeled everyone who flies an American flag “a racist” in a Facebook screed posted over the Independence Day holiday, reports noted on Thursday.
“When we Black Americans see this flag we know the person flying it is not safe to be around,” says the post. “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,” the post continued.
The post was confirmed to Fox News by chapter founder Lex Scott, who said her group used it as an opportunity to show how other groups that sow hate and division can allegedly “co-opt” the American flag without any adverse reaction.
“Ever since we put up the post, our page has been flooded with hatred from people who fly the flag,” she told Fox News. “And we want to thank those people for proving our point.”
Asked how to respond to Americans who say the flag represents everyone, Scott deflected by saying anyone offended by the group’s Facebook post ought to address their concerns to members of the Ku Klux Klan and similar hate groups that wave the flag at their rallies.
However, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the number of KKK groups and members “are actually continuing a long-term trend of decline” and no longer pose much of a threat.
“They remain a collection of mostly small, disjointed groups that continually change in name and leadership. Down slightly from a year ago, there are currently just over thirty active Klan groups in the United States, most of them very small,” the ADL notes further.
“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 added.
“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,” Scott continued.
“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.”
Local media in Philadelphia reported that Patriot Front members, all of whom were from out of town, ended their march after being confronted by residents.
“They started engaging with citizens of Philadelphia, who were none too happy about what they were saying,” city police officer Michael Crum told 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.”
Scott went into further detail in a subsequent Facebook post.
“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,” she wrote, adding she receives many hate messages on the platform from users with American flags in 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,” she added.
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