New York Times / MSNBC’s Mara Gay fumes after seeing ‘dozens’ of American Flags displayed on trucks in Long Island

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – The New York Times is circling the wagons around a member of its editorial board after she said that she was triggered by trucks displaying the American Flag.

Board member Mara Gay, who is also an MSNBC contributor, sparked fierce backlash on social media Tuesday after saying she was ‘disturbed’ to see American flags flown on pickup trucks in a recent trip to Long Island.

She made the comments during a conversation on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday after host Mika Brzezinski called for an investigation into the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

Gay said she was distressed by the expletives she saw on trucks against President Joe Biden, some trucks had pro-Trump flags, and others just had American Flags.

She said the sight of the American flags “distressed” her because the people flying the flags were alluding to the notion that “This is my country … not your country. I own this”:

“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 that as long as they see Americanness as the same as one with whiteness, this is 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 explicatives (sic) against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing … Essentially the message was clear: This is my country. This is not your country. I own this.”

She added that a solution, ‘to get every American a place at the table,’ needed to involve separating ‘whiteness’ from ‘Americanness”:

“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.

“I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a dear friend, and I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, dozens  and dozens of pickup trucks with expletives against Joe Biden, Trump flags, and in some cases, just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing.”

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Her comments were attacked and condemned on social media, with posts describing her comments as  “Hateful” and “disturbing.” User Chris Barnett took to Twitter to attack the notion that the American Flag does not represent everyone:

“So… who’s the threat? This is disturbing! American Flags relate to whiteness?  The American flag represents any color or creed of person who legally lives here!”

Another user said her comments made during the news segment were the “scariest” he ever heard:

“This is one of the scariest segments I’ve seen.  ‘We have to separate American-ness from whiteness.’ I don’t know where to begin on that statement. Also, if an American flag disturbs you, you are welcome to live somewhere else.”

Yet another user pointed out that the flags were seen by Gay during Memorial Day weekend when patriotism should be on full display:

“On Memorial Day Weekend, she is disturbed to see Patriotic Americans displaying the American Flag to celebrate and remember those who fought for our freedoms? My question to her is, why wasn’t she? Did she just come to LI for the beaches and BBQ to enjoy her long weekend?”

User Matt Haubrich tweeted that race did not have a place in the discussion:

“Why is skin color even being brought into this discussion? This narrative is disgusting, and they keep peddling it, and Joe’s panel says nothing. I find people who group everyone in boxes very disturbing.”

The New York Times issued a statement defending the editorial board member, saying her comments were taken out of context:

New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay’s comments on MSNBC have been irresponsibly taken out of context.

“Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag. The attacks on her today are ill-informed and grounded in bad-faith.”

Former Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly replied to The New York Times’ explanation:

“Spin away – we heard her loud and clear.”

Gay noticed the backlash to her comments, saying she was being “trolled” as a black journalist:

“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.”

Predictably, the tweet received similar backlash. One user replied:

“You are a part of a disturbing amount of people that live in this country who hate this country. Please leave and go anywhere else. There’s a lot of people around the world who would die to live here. We’re not perfect, but damn I’m proud to live in our great country.”

Another user replied by posting a photograph of a flag flying in her garden, and commented about her war veteran husband who voted for President Biden:

“My husband didn’t risk his life in Vietnam or at Ground Zero so some journalist could make assumptions about why he hangs the flag. Flag of United States”

 

 

 

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