The Stupidity Of Nike, Kaepernick And The Betsy Ross Flag Runs Deep. (A Follow-up.)

As we wrote about the other day, Nike pulled shoes from the market after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick claimed the “Betsy Ross flag” on the shoes were “racist.”

Reality came crashing down on Nike and Kaepernick when Daily Mail political editor David Martosko tweeted this:

Ruh roh.

Obama must be a “racist” too, huh?

Here’s another picture from Obama’s first inauguration.

The US Capitol is seen before the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th US president in Washington on January 20, 2009. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

You can’t make this stuff up.

Kaepernick tried doubling down on why he is opposed to the flag and even the celebration of the 4th of July quoting Frederick Douglas:

“What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.”
– Frederick Douglass

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 4, 2019

Senator Ted Cruz hopped on that faster than a Texan saying “yes” to an offer of BBQ and a beer:

You quote a mighty and historic speech by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but, without context, many modern readers will misunderstand. Two critical points:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2019

(1) This speech was given in 1852, before the Civil War, when the abomination of slavery still existed. Thanks to Douglass and so many other heroes, we ended that grotesque evil and have made enormous strides to protecting the civil rights of everybody.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2019

(2) Douglass was not anti-American; he was, rightly and passionately, anti-slavery. Indeed, he concluded the speech as follows:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2019

“Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2019

“There are forces in operation, which must inevitably, work the downfall of slavery. ‘The arm of the Lord is not shortened,’ and the doom of slavery is certain.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2019

“I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from ‘the Declaration of Independence,’ the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.”
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2019

Let me encourage everyone, READ THE ENTIRE SPEECH; it is powerful, inspirational, and historically important in bending the arc of history towards justice:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2019

We once had a pastor who when leading studies would always remind us that “a text without context is a pretext.”

The same is true here. Kaepernick quoted Douglass out of context to make a point that Douglas himself refuted.

Not only did Cruz beat down Kaepernick like a rug with quotes from the speech, he gave a link to the Douglass speech and encouraged people to read it.

(EDITORS NOTE: We wrote everything outside of these lines on Friday morning and then put the post “to bed” for publication on Saturday. We didn’t expect more to this story on Friday, but we are often surprised. We can’t figure out where to put the “new” information, so we are sticking it between these lines. We apologize for any confusion it may cause readers.)

This story took an even odder turn when Maya Gay, a writer who writes for the New York Times editorial staff tweeted this gem aimed at Ted Cruz:

We are dumbfounded.

A member of the New York Times editorial staff – a staff that determines the direction and reporting of the New York Times told a sitting United States Congressman the day after July 4th – Independence Day – what he could and could not say.

Think about that for a moment.

Cruz, of course, responded:

Gay responded, and on the surface, it sounds rather nice:

We said “on the surface,” because Gay doesn’t take responsibility for her tweet, saying only that she “felt Douglass’ powerful words were being used to diminish an American who has tried to make the country fairer for all”

In her world – the world of the New York Times Editorial staff – taking something out of context as Kaepernick did instead of encouraging people to read the whole Douglass speech was acceptable. She was more worried about Kaepernick’s “feelings” and “reputation” than the Douglass speech and what it meant.

The lesson here is that when some people say “we want to have a conversation,” what they mean is “we talk – you shut up.”

That’s what Gay was saying.

To us, there is a huge difference between Kaepernick’s tweet of a quote without a link to the speech and Cruz’s tweets not only showing the folly of what Kaepernick was saying, but essentially saying “don’t believe me. Read the speech for yourself.”

On July 4th, as we always do, we put our American flag with 50 stars on it out in the breeze to celebrate the founding of this country.

The more we looked at it waving in the breeze, the angrier we got about the Nike / Kaepernick / white supremacists mess.

We began to think about that flag.

We remember during the bicentennial, that flag was everywhere as it helped mark the beginning of the country.

It was the flag that flew over the encampment at Valley Forge. It was the flag the troops took with them on the Trenton Christmas raid. It was the flag at Saratoga, at Guilford Courthouse, at Cowpens and at Yorktown.

For all the buttwipes that want to try and steal the meaning of the flag from real patriots that camped, marched, fought and died under it, here’s a message for you morons: YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT FLAG.

For all the buttwipes who think they can steal the meaning of the flag and say that flying it is some sort of form of “racism,” here’s the same message for you: YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT FLAG.

Y’all weren’t an itch in your daddy’s pants when the the Betsy Ross flag was made. The men and women who stood underneath of it knew what it meant. They knew the real risks of flying the flag – of standing under it, of fighting for it.

Those who seek to change the meaning or denigrate it don’t have a clue.

We are seriously thinking of buying a Betsy Ross flag to replace our 50 star flag or to fly beside it.

Some may be offended by that, but we no longer care.

We are not going to back down from the morons and ignorant people in this country.

“Betsy Ross Flag” is a photograph by Steven Michael November 20th, 2011

2 Responses to “The Stupidity Of Nike, Kaepernick And The Betsy Ross Flag Runs Deep. (A Follow-up.)”

  1. brian says:

    You said, “We are seriously thinking of buying a Betsy Ross flag to replace our 50 star flag or to fly beside it.
    Some may be offended by that, but we no longer care.
    We are not going to back down from the morons and ignorant people in this country”. That is exactly what the agitators want you to do. Divide and conquer, we are doomed.

    • AAfterwit says:


      Thanks for the comment.

      We are only doomed if we stand in a corner and stay silent. We are only doomed if we don’t stand for what is right and against what is wrong. We are only doomed if we turn away from the “agitators” and say “go ahead, doesn’t matter to me.”

      Though gradually, though no one remembers exactly how it happened, the unthinkable becomes tolerable. And then acceptable. And then legal. And then applaudable.

      – Joni Eareckson Tada

      A. Afterwit.