Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
SAN FRANCISCO The GAP is a major clothing and accessories retailer that reportedly had company wide sales of $14.5 billion in 2011.
The Gap Promotes "Manifest Destiny"
to a New Generation
Recently the GAP introduced a new line. The company's online webpage advertizes the new merchandise as "an exclusive menswear collection with GQ's best new designers." Included in this new line are some clothing items by Mark McNairy.
One of his new creations is a navy t-shirt with the words "Manifest Destiny" on it with white lettering.
To American Indians, the term "Manifest Destiny" is equated with genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. In other words, it was an open excuse to kill American Indians and take the land.
The t-shirt has drawn attention to American Indians who are appalled at the GAP's usage of the term. The level of ire is apparent on social media sites such as Facebook. Many have posted on the GAP's Facebook page.
The reaction from the GAP? The anti-Manifest Destiny t-shirts have been deleted.
The designer responded to criticism on his Twitter account over the weekend with:
"MANIFEST DESTINY: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST." It has since been removed, but an image of the tweet was captured prior to the deletion. He has not responded to inquiries made by the Native News Network.
Screen Capture of Designer Mark McNairy's Twitter Account
“The larger issue here is that every American that buys this T-shirt is either as ignorant as those who designed and sold it, or even worse as racist in their attitudes toward Native People if that was their intention. We need to "Manifest Truth" and we want every last person living in this country to acknowledge that "Manifest Destiny" was just a convenient mental lie to cover up massive murders of innocent Native People,”
commented Lynn Salt, Choctaw filmmaker of "A Good Day to Die" documentary, to the Native News Network.
Here is the text on a petition with a headline that reads:
GAP: Discontinue the "MANIFEST DESTINY" t-shirt and issue a formal apology.
GAP is selling a black shirt with the words "MANIFEST DESTINY" written on it. This article of clothing promotes a belief that has resulted in the mass genocide of indigenous people, and it serves to normalize oppression. This shirt is marketed to teens and young adults, and it gives no context for the racism and inequality that persists in our society, to this day, as a result of this doctrine. We are asking that this shirt be discontinued, and that an apology be issued.
Petition Authors Seek a formal Apology from the GAP for the
Promotion of the "Manifest Destiny" t-shirt
Until this is done, we are asking that followers of this petition also consider other means of contacting GAP. This includes:
updated 8:55 pm edt; posted October 15, 2012 11:10 am edt