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I Support Black Lives Matter, But Not BLM

July 8, 2021

BLM Utah was in the news this week. BLM put up a post on their website saying,

“. . .the American flag is now a hate symbol. . .I feel like the person fling it is racist. . .I feel as if I should avoid that person because they may be dangerous.”

Naturally, people were outraged. The BLM Utah chapter explained that they were trying to make people uncomfortable. It was for our own benefit.

I won’t argue the merits of the organization’s statement. I’m not a member of BLM, but I absolutely think black lives matter. How could I not? My family has more black people in it than white people. OF COURSE, black lives matter. Last year my lovely wife made a homemade black lives matter flag and placed it on our porch.

Is it possible to care about black lives but not BLM? Of course. BLM Utah doesn’t represent me, and I’m certain they don’t represent my black kids. But, can you separate the two?

I grew up supporting the Boy Scouts of America. I was a scout. I became an Eagle Scout. I became a scoutmaster. I was supportive of BSA. That’s the new name. It’s not the Boy Scouts anymore. It’s Scouts BSA. Are Boy Scouts of America and Scouts BSA the same thing? Not at all. One came from the other, but Scouts BSA allows girls. And Boy Scouts of America doesn’t really exist anymore.

You’ve probably heard of the NAACP. It’s a wonderful organization that supports the black community. But, did you know it has an antiquated name? It uses a phrase that hasn’t been acceptable for decades. The name of the organization is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. But, you would NEVER consider using the term “colored” to describe a black person. But, NAACP is NOT the same as AN organization of “colored people.” The the name is not just the collection of words. Juan as supporting BLM and supporting black lives are not the same thing.

There are even IT examples. Microsoft once released a version of Windows called NT. Originally, the NT was supposed to mean “new technology.” By the time the oft-delayed product shipped, Microsoft kept the name, but dropped the words. Their official policy was that “NT” never stood for anything. It was just two letters that happened to be next to each other. On the other hand, Windows XP did stand for Windows eXPerience.

My dad’s name was Lloyd V Bliss. V was not his middle initial. It was his middle name. There literally was nothing else. His middle name was V.

Federal Express was a popular shipping company. But, people kept shortening their name to FedEx. Two syllables instead of five. Eventually, the company decided that they would officially change their name. FedEx is not an abbreviation for Federal Express. FedEx is it.

My lovely wife’s first name is Annie. It’s not short for Annabelle, or a nickname for Anne. Her legal name is Annie. I have a daughter named Angie. Again, not short for Angela. Her legal name is Angie.

Miley Cyrus is an international pop star. But, her name wasn’t Miley. It was Destiny. But, people called her Miley. Eventually she changed her name officially.

My point with all these examples is that names are not always the same as the sum of their words. So, can I support black lives? Can I proudly say that I support black lives matter but I’m not supportive of BLM?

Of course.

Oh, and I can fly a flag without being a racist too. Just in case that wasn’t clear.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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