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WATCH: MSNBC guest defends Nike, compares Betsy Ross flag to the swastika and burning crosses

'Right-wing white supremacists have used it as a rallying cry'

Michael Eric Dyson. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence)

An MSNBC contributor, defending Nike's decision to cancel the sale of American flag-themed shoes, compared the original "Betsy Ross" American flag to symbols like the Nazi swastika or a KKK burning cross.

Michael Eric Dyson, a regular on MSNBC and a professor at Georgetown University, agreed with Nike's decision not to sell shoes with the flag, a decision the company reportedly made at the request of Colin Kaepernick.

"Words matter, symbols matter too," Dyson said. "Why don't we wear a swastika for July 4? Because I don't know, it makes a difference. The cross burning on somebody's lawn, why don't we just have a Nike, you know, celebration of the cross? Well because those symbols are symbols of hate."

During the segment, Dyson further explained why some people find the flag, which features 13 stars representing the original 13 American colonies, so offensive. As transcribed by Mediaite:

"Well it hails from the Revolutionary period, of course, of this nation's founding, which was deeply embroiled in, you know, enslavement, of the owners of slaves, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the like," Dyson began. "But also it's the recent use of this flag that has been most opprobrious. Right-wing white supremacists have used it as a rallying cry for their own cause."

"And none of these flags are kind of set in stone, right?" said Dyson. "It's depending upon the culture in which you live, the moral ecology of the time."

"So right now, this flag has been used by people who want to pummel African Americans, Latinx, Jews and other people. Neo-nazis who want to claim they have the true copyright on American identity," he explained. "So why not choose a flag that is representative of everybody? The diversity of identities, ideologies, and people of color and mainstream people who happen to exist in this country?"

Michael Eric Dyson compares Betsy Ross flag to swastika youtu.be

(H/T The Daily Wire)

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