First it was a clothing store in India named Hitler that had everyone up in arms. Today, Native Americans are rightfully outraged by a sartorial-genocidal gaffe here in the U.S.: The Gap, you see, which not incidentally is largely thought of and parodied as a place for white people to buy dress slacks, was until very recently selling a T-shirt that featured the words ‘Manifest Destiny’ and nothing in the way of illuminative context regarding that powder keg of a term.
The item has been taken down, thanks in part to an online petition. Links to the product page now simply read: “We’re sorry, but the product, outfit, or department you selected is unavailable at this time.” No kidding! Sounds like an executive over there finally had it explained to them that “manifest destiny” would be 19th-century pioneer-speak for “Our God says we white settlers get all this nice Injun land, so go on, git.” This tautology was more often than not backed up with various firearms.
How the hell did this slogan make it onto a graphic tee at the blandest clothes retailer known to man? Going to guess that someprovocative young designer thought it would be edgy and whoever signed off on it just thought it sounded big and bold. Because really, without its baggage, it sounds like a self-help mantra. That’s right: manifest your own destiny! You are in charge of your fate! Especially when it comes to religiously sanctified mass murder.
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