Gap Snatches ‘Manifest Destiny’ Tee From Shelves

The Manifest Destiny T-shirt was supposed to represent the collaboration between the Gap and GQ. The designer Mark McNairy pictured here in the center wearing a white t-shirt is at the GQ party of the 2012 Best New Menswear Designers in America bringing the best fashions to The Gap from both sides of men's fashion.

There might be a little bitty problem with education and the executives of today.  They used to say when we were in grade school that we were the future of the country, but we never really took it to heart.  Now we have an example of how our miseducation or lack of education might come up in our decisions during our career…if you’re lucky enough to get into one.

The Gap and their designer Mark McNairy are under fire for designing a tee for the company with “Manifest Destiny” printed on the front, according to Yahoo! News.  While McNairy didn’t mean for the public to take this as a racially charged sentiment, it is, well except at the junior high school he attended, immediately associated with the disregard for Native Americans and/or people of color during white men’s supposedly Providence ordained expansion into the West during the mid-nineteenth century in a still up and coming United States.

The T-shirt was a part of a campaign representing the collaboration between GQ and The Gap coming together to find the best in fashion design.  McNairy admitted during his “semi-apology” that he was educated with a different association to this term:

“Unfortunately, the meaning of my ‘Manifest Destiny’ T shirt has been misconstrued and the sentiment behind it grossly misunderstood,” McNairy posted on Twitter on Tuesday, blatantly disregarding his “survival of the fittest” quip. “I first learned of Manifest Destiny in American History in Junior High School. To me it has always meant that one could set goals, work hard, and achieve their dreams. Having the opportunity to design for the Gap was the realization of one of my dreams. This phrase and they way I used it was in no way meant to be offensive or hurtful, and I apologize to those who might have interpreted it in that manner.”

According to a statement from The Gap, they’ve already snatched all of the tees from stores and online.  Minor mistake, maybe.  Major fail, yes.

Read more here.

2 thoughts on “Gap Snatches ‘Manifest Destiny’ Tee From Shelves”

  1. Neo-nazi group The Axis offer pirated McNairy & Gap “Manifest Destiny” t-shirts online! McNairy has created the ultimate neo-nazi casual wear for all racists worldwide, and still no proper apology from him or Gap. Shame! Boycot Gap.

    “Manifest Destiny”

    ” The number of Indians who died because of what we called Manifest Destiny has always been a subject of debate among scholars, but I believe that the majority of informed historians and anthropologists now agree that between seven million and eighteen million indigenous people were living in what is today the continental United States when Columbus arrived in the New World. By 1924 there were fewer than 240,000 left; their ancestors had been victimized by centuries of disease, starvation and systematic slaughter…

    To my mind the killing of Indians was an even larger crime against humanity than the Holocaust; not only did it take more lives, but it was a crime committed over centuries that continues in some ways to this day… 

    But we refuse to think of ourselves as a nation that committed genocide.”

    Marlon Brando, 
    “Songs My Mother Taught Me”, 1994.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *