The New York Times released a statement via Twitter Tuesday evening claiming that the comments made by editorial board member Mara Gay, in which she said she was “disturbed” by the sight of the American flag, were “irresponsibly 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,” the publication wrote.
During an appearance on MSNBC Tuesday, Gay commented that she was “disturbed” to see “dozens of American flags” displayed behind the trucks of Donald Trump supporters during a weekend trip to Long Island, New York. Gay added during the interview that she was unsettled by profanities targeting President Biden spelled out on some of the trucks.
The newspaper’s response came after multiple outlets portrayed and slammed Gay rhetoric as seemingly anti-American.
“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,” Gay said.
As the conversation on MSNBC turned to the subject of race, Gay said, “I think that as long as they see Americanness as the same as one with whiteness, this is going to continue.” She noted that many Americans do not comprehend the real danger posted by whiteness.
“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,” Gay said.