Apparently, the shows of patriotism and support for former President Donald Trump witnessed by New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay on a weekend trip to Long Island were a little more than she could bear.
In a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Gay told host Mika Brzezinski and the rest of the panel that she was disturbed. “Really disturbed.”
The topic of the segment was a column by The Washington Post’s Max Boot headlined “Too many people are still underestimating the Trump threat.”
“You know, it’s really concerning to me that the Democrats haven’t just gone ahead at this point and said, ‘We’re doing this on our own,’ in terms of getting a commission together to explain to the American people how we allowed the insurrection to take place in the Capitol. I think that really needs to move forward swiftly,” Gay said.
“You know, the reality is here that we have a large percentage of the American population, I don’t know how big it is, but we have tens of millions of Trump voters who continue to believe that their rights as citizens are under threat by the simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others,” she said. “I think that as long as they see Americanness as the same as one with whiteness, this is going to continue.
“We have to figure out how to get every American a place at the table in this democracy, but how to separate Americanness, America, from whiteness. Until we can confront that and talk about that, this is really going to continue.”
That’s when Gay mentioned the patriotic display she had seen.
“I was on Long Island this weekend, visiting a really dear friend, and I was really disturbed,” she said. “I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with, you know, [expletives] against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which, you know, is also just disturbing, because essentially the message was clear, it was, ‘This is my country. This is not your country. I own this.'”
“That is the real concern,” Gay added. “Because, you know, the Trump voters who are not going to get onboard with democracy, they’re a minority. You can marginalize them, long-term.
“But if we don’t take the threat seriously, then I think we’re all in really bad shape.”
Brzezinski “totally” agreed.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 8, 2021
It’s understandable that a Biden supporter would find the sight of a large number of Trump flags upsetting. But the only reason seeing dozens of American flags could be seen as disturbing is if the person hates America.
It’s odd that Gay read so much into the sight of an American flag on a pickup truck. The message, Gay said, was clear: “This is my country. This is not your country. I own this.”
When many of us see a flag on a pickup truck, we think, “Oh, there’s a fellow patriot.” We smile and put up a hand. But when you hate America, apparently it’s a different story altogether.
Gay believes the solution to our country’s woes is that we must separate “Americanness” from “whiteness.” I don’t see “Americanness” in terms of whiteness or blackness or brownness. Do you?
If you find it difficult to relate to Gay’s comments, you’re in good company. You won’t be surprised to hear that her remarks elicited a fair amount of criticism and derision online.
But Gay was able to handle it.
I see I’m being trolled with the American flag this morning. Trolling a Black journalist with the American flag is not the own some people think it is.
— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) June 8, 2021
“I see I’m being trolled with the American flag this morning. Trolling a Black journalist with the American flag is not the own some people think it is,” she said, without elaboration.
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