This is further proof of the importance of education. Otherwise, ignorance seeps in and can lead to all kinds of attitudinal issues.
The simple, dark-blue T-shirt with “MANIFEST DESTINY” printed on it in stark white letters was part of the “Gap x GQ” collection, a joint effort between Gap and GQ Magazine to showcase America’s best new designers.
Uh, did the GAP or the designer have any clue what the phrase means? Apparently not.
Here is what the designer said once people who do remember their history made a stink:
Unfortunately, the meaning of my ‘Manifest Destiny’ T shirt has been misconstrued and the sentiment behind it grossly misunderstood,” McNairy posted on Twitter on Tuesday, blatantly disregarding his “survival of the fittest” quip. “I first learned of Manifest Destiny in American History in Junior High School. To me it has always meant that one could set goals, work hard, and achieve their dreams. Having the opportunity to design for the Gap was the realization of one of my dreams. This phrase and they way I used it was in no way meant to be offensive or hurtful, and I apologize to those who might have interpreted it in that manner.
But as an article on Yahoo noted for those who don’t know the meaning behind the ugly concept of manifest destiny:
“Manifest Destiny” actually refers to the mid-19th century mindset that white Americans had a divine obligation to claim as much of the continent as possible for themselves, slaughtering and oppressing native people in the process.
The term was coined in 1845 by John O’Sullivan, a newspaper editor at the Democratic Review, who wrote that the United states should annex Texas and claim the Oregon Country because “that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.” It also was used to justify the idea that people with darker skin were “heathen,” “backwards,” and otherwise less than human.
Geez, I wish people had paid more attention in history class. But then again, many of our schools might not have even taught the concept since our system is Eurocentric. Ignorance is how bad concepts and beliefs get carried forward. At least the GAP pulled the shirts once the error of their ways was pointed out to them. Makes you wonder if any minorities were in the room when the shirt was approved in the first place. Diversity is such a good thing.