On MSNBC Wednesday, Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson equated the American flag to Nazi swastikas and Klu Klux Klan cross-burning.
“Those symbols are symbols of hate,” Dyson said.
MSNBC host Hallie Jackson interviewed Dyson in light of the controversy ignited by Nike’s terminated shoe design featuring the American Betsy Ross flag in response to protests by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Addressing the argument that Nike’s decision was “PC [political correctness] culture run amok,” Jackson asked Dyson to articulate why the American flag is so offensive to some.
“Why don’t we wear a swastika for July 4th?” Dyson said. “Because, I don’t know, it makes a difference. The cross burning on somebody’s lawn. Why don’t we just have a Nike celebration of the cross, those symbols are symbols of hate. So we can take PC culture back.”
Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University since 2007, said the flag hails from the Revolutionary period “which was deeply embroiled in enslavement,” citing George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as part of the offensive American lineage.
Because white supremacists and far-right groups prominently use the American flag, the left is responding appropriately by interpreting the situation, Dyson said.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey responded to Nike’s interpretation by canceling state tax giveaways to the company.
“Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike,” Ducey said. “We don’t need to such up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”
Yesterday was the Fourth of July, the day our country commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That document produced a nation committed to pursuing equality for all and the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The symbol of those pursuits is our nation’s flag.
The flag Betsy Ross designed for the original American union of 13 colonies bore 13 stars to represent them. Of course, it now bears 50. These 50 states house a plurality of ideologies, faiths, and values that should be celebrated, but also united.
Our flag should, and must, unite us all under the beliefs our Founding Fathers fought for. So, I suggest that all who believe in our country’s founding principles raise their stars and stripes and celebrate our nation.