Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay pronounced that she was “disturbed” when she saw numerous American flags on pick-up trucks, claiming the message was white people telling others, “This is my country. This is not your country. I won this.”
— NewsBusters (@newsbusters) June 8, 2021
Host Mika Brzezinski prompted Gay by surmising that a commission looking into the events of January 6 would be vital, then segued into calling former President Trump “a threat to our democracy to this moment.” She stated:
Post-Trump, there needs to be an investigation that looks into how we got here, and that’s why the January 6 commission would have been so important or looking into the events that led up to January 6, Mara Gay. Because I’m not just talking about the week before, I’m talking about the months before, and even the years before. And it may be that the one way that perhaps there can be an explanation to the American people who were hornswoggled or misled in any way by this man who is a threat to our democracy to this moment.
Gay responded, “I think this is another area where Democrats really need to get serious about talking about what this threat is. I think you said it really well, Joe, a minute ago, where you talked about the need to stop being surprised by all of this and start taking it seriously.”
Gay then posited that Democrats should simply ignore the GOP and proceed on their own: ‘“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.”
Then Gay turned to her position that many Americans refuse to “share the democracy with others” because they see “American-ness” as the same as “whiteness”:
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 simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others. I think that as long as they see “American-ness” 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 “American-ness,” America, from “whiteness.” Until we can confront that and talk about that, this is really going to continue.
Gay crescendoed to her feelings of being disturbed when she saw American flags:
I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a really dear friend. I was really disturbed; I saw dozens and dozens of pick-up 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, because essentially the message was clear. It was, “This is my country. This is not your country. I won 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 from 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 the Trump voters who are not going to get on board 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 really all in bad shape.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 8, 2021
In July 2019, Gay attacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) after he had referenced the legendary orator Frederick Douglass. In a Twitter thread, Cruz had corrected activist Colin Kaepernick over a misleading post about Douglass by the former quarterback on the 4th of July.
Gay responded on Twitter: “Frederick Douglass is an American hero, and his name has no business in your mouth.”
Cruz replied, “Let’s see. You’re on the editorial board of the NYT. You respond to any view you don’t like, not with facts or reason, but w/ ad hominem attack. And you seem dismayed that I linked to Douglass’s entire speech, so readers can judge for themselves. You represent your employer well.”
Let’s see. You’re on the editorial board of the NYT. You respond to any view you don’t like, not with facts or reason, but w/ ad hominem attack. And you seem dismayed that I linked to Douglass’s entire speech, so readers can judge for themselves. You represent your employer well. https://t.co/c8168yiCgY
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2019