‘Stop!’ MSNBC guest lashes out after he’s accused of comparing Betsy Ross flag to wearing a swastika

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The Betsy Ross flag has been used for centuries to celebrate America’s 13 original colonies. Yet during an appearance Wednesday on MSNBC, frequent contributor Michael Eric Dyson appeared to liken this patriotic, historical artifact to the Nazi swastika, and suggest that promoting this symbol would be equivalent to burning a cross on a black man’s lawn.

He issued the stunning suggestions while explaining to host Hallie Jackson why people such as disgraced former NFL star Colin Kaepernick take such great offense to the flag.


“Well it hails from the Revolutionary period, of course, of this nation’s founding, which was deeply embroiled in, you know, enslavement, of the owners of slaves, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the like,” his rant began.

In recent years the left has taken to demonizing the Founding Fathers over their ownership of slaves. This smearing seems to be predicated on the belief that even they should be held to the moral standards of contemporary America, never mind that they’d lived and breathed in an entirely different era.

“But also it’s the recent use of this flag that has been most opprobrious. Right-wing white supremacists have used it as a rallying cry for their own cause,” Dyson continued. “And none of these flags are kind of set in stone, right? It’s depending upon the culture in which you live, the moral ecology of the time.”

Ever since Nike dropped a patriotic, Betsy Ross-themed shoe because of complaints from Kaepernick, a rumor has been circulating that the flag has been adopted by white supremacists.

“So right now, this flag has been used by people who want to pummel African Americans, Latinx, Jews and other people, neo-Nazis who want to claim they have the true copyright on American identity,” Dyson said.

This raises the question of whether former President Barack Hussein Obama, a man Dyson adores with a roaring passion, was too a “neo-Nazi,” given as this same flag was featured prominently during his 2009 inauguration address:

“So why not choose a flag that is representative of everybody? The diversity of identities, ideologies, and people of color and mainstream people who happen to exist in this country?” Dyson added. “That’s the kind of blow-back against the use of this particular flag.”

It’s unclear what makes the Betsy Ross flag not representative of all Americans.


“What do you make of those who say, listen, why let those sort of right-wing white supremacists groups win? Why not reclaim will flag, if you will?” the host then asked.

Dyson responded by arguing that while “[t]hat would be beautiful,” he doesn’t hear anybody from the right trying to reclaim the flag. Of course, this raises the question of why any reclaiming would even be necessary, given as the flag’s meaning is already clear.

It was at this point in the discussion that Jackson pressed Dyson about the argument that the fuss over the Betsy Ross flag is an example of “PC culture run amok.”

Words matter, symbols matter too. Why don’t we wear a swastika for July Fourth? Because I don’t know, it makes a difference,” he replied.

The cross burning on somebody’s lawn, why don’t we just have Nike, you know, celebration of [that] — well because those symbols are symbols of hate.

These stunning suggestions earned him a mountain of criticism on social media:

In response, Dyson, who happens to be a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, turned around and accused them — accused his critics — of being racist.

“Please racists & white supremacists who are using patriotism as a cover: Stop!” he tweeted angrily Wednesday evening. “I did NOT compare the flag to a Swastika. I answered a question about PC culture & why symbols & words matter, & in THAT context I referenced it. Be just as angry about flag being hijacked by racists!”



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