MSNBC Guest Compares Betsy Ross Flag to Swastika, Burning Cross

'Those symbols are symbols of hate'

• July 3, 2019 11:30 am


MSNBC guest Michael Eric Dyson compared the Betsy Ross American flag to the Nazi swastika and a burning Ku Klux Klan cross during an appearance Wednesday.

Nike canceled a release of shoes featuring the iconic flag with the 13 stars representing the original colonies, after former NFL quarterback and liberal activist Colin Kaepernick objected because it was "offensive."

Dyson, a Georgetown University professor who frequently comments on racial issues from a left-wing perspective, defended the cancellation, citing its connection to the revolutionary period and that it was "deeply embroiled in enslavement."

MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson asked Dyson to address the argument that Nike's decision to pull the shoes was "PC culture run amok."

"Words matter. Symbols matter, too," Dyson said. "Why don't we wear a swastika for July 4th? Because, I don't know, it makes a difference. The cross burning on somebody's lawn. Why don't we just have a Nike celebration of the cross—those symbols are symbols of hate. So we can take PC culture back."

At both of Barack Obama's inaugurations, the Betsy Ross flag was draped on the U.S. Capitol behind the president.

Dyson is no stranger to eyebrow-raising remarks concerning race. He compared Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to a traitorous Jew in 2013 when he voted down a provision of the Voting Rights Act.

"A symbolic Jew has invited a metaphoric Hitler to commit Holocaust and genocide upon his own people," he said, in a remark that drew a swift rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League.

Published under: MSNBC, Video