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NYT’s Gay: Over the Weekend I Saw ‘Dozens of American Flags,’ Which Was ‘Disturbing’

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


New York Times editorial board Mara Gay is under heavy fire on Tuesday after she made a slew of bizarre comments about being triggered by the American flag.

During an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Gay said she was disturbed to see pickup trucks with “dozens of American flags” and Trump paraphernalia during a recent trip to Long Island, New York.

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“I was on Long Island this weekend,” she said. “And I was really disturbed.”

“I saw, you know, 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, which essentially the message was clear, this is my country. This is not your country. I own this.”

MARA GAY: 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 simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others. I think 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.

I was on Long Island this weekend, visiting a really dear friend and I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, 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, which essentially the message was clear, this is my country. This is not your country. I own this.

And so until we’re ready to have that conversation, this is going to continue. What really is concerning to me as well is, it’s not just Democrats in Congress. I think there’s a large percentage of Americans, even some of my colleagues in journalism, who are invested in some way in pretending that this isn’t the threat that it is. That is the real concern. 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.

WATCH:

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Gay is a well-known leftist.

Just last month she argued in favor of a “truth and reconciliation commission” so Americans can be less racist.

“You know, I’ve actually been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately, and I’m — I happened to be reading Desmond Tutu’s book, The Book of Forgiving right now, and Tutu talks about the power of forgiveness,” Gay said.

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“I was there in Charleston when those families were in the courtroom and said, we forgive you, they said to Dylann Roof. It was extraordinary. But I think we really need it to be seen not just as a heroic act but as something to emulate, and I think probably this is a country that needs a truth and reconciliation commission just like South Africa had but given, of course, the lack of consensus around the riot from January, I think we’re a ways off, unfortunately, from that,” she added.

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