Mara Gay has held a prominent role in media. Her presence on the editorial board of the New York Times provides her with a lot of power that is not always recognized. She has also made appearances on news programs. One of these recent appearances was on the Morning Joe Show on MSNBC. On it, she made the observation that she had been seeing the flying of a lot of American flags on the back of pickup trucks in Long Island. The reason for this statement, regarding the observation, was due to a response that Gay felt she needed to make. Prior to her statement, Mike Brzezinski was talking about how more investigation needed to be done regarding the storming of the US capital by Trump supporters. Gay’s observation reminds us that Trump supporters did not go anywhere and that continually probing into the event may create a stronger sense of unification within the group.
She went on to explain how she felt “disturbed” by all the American Flags she saw on the back of trucks. It came across as a rallying cry or calling card for individuals that are feeling threatened by non-white citizens. Making it feel that it is not a country for everyone. Gay recognizes that there is sentiment in this country held by people who voted for Donald Trump that focuses on separateness. Gay referenced “sharing democracy” as a point of contention for these individuals. They feel that they are in danger because of this and that their rights are being violated from this “Sharing”. Beyond the American Flags, many of the trucks had stickers on them that were referencing Biden with expletives, and there were also Trump flags in the mix as well. Even though Gay felt “Disturbed” by what she saw. She did offer a solution or at least a change in perspective that needs to occur. Gay said that “Whiteness”, and “Americanness” can no longer be synonymous with each other. Something that political leaders need to work on.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 8, 2021
Initially, on the Morning Joe Show, Gay’s comments were well received and did not garner any critical feedback. However, later on social media, people began to criticize her for her comments about the need for inclusivity and for her comments about what flying the American flag represents. Some people felt that Gay and the rest of the individuals on the show were making an issue about race that wasn’t really connected to race at all. That it was putting people into groups and making it about white people versus others. Some on social media felt that her comments about flying the American flag were out of line. They disagreed that flying the American flag was connected with hate. Many greeted her with sarcasm towards her perspective on a negative tone that flying the American flag implies.