GAP ERROR 404 by vagabond ©

Alternatives To The Gap’s Manifest Destiny


ITEM FOUND SINCE 1840 by vagabond
ITEM FOUND SINCE 1840 by vagabond

“Never let your schooling interfere with your eduction”

“”I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.” – Mark Twain

“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.”
– Mark McNairy designer of the MANIFEST DESTINY T-shirt for the Gap

If you’re looking for evidence of how stupid and racist American imperialism can make you, look no further than the MANIFEST DESTINY T-shirt that was released by the Gap. The designer Mark McNairy thought he was taking a political ideology of imperial empowerment and reclaiming it as a personal improvement slogan. Don’t know what Manifest Destiny is? … Then consider this to be a teachable moment for you…  The question is, is it possible for white people to go all through their lives and not know that touting the benefits of Manifest Destiny is not a good thing? It would seem so… But when you analyze it further it sadly doesn’t seem that far-fetched. When i think  about on my own schooling i remember how American imperialism was buffed to a shine so that it became easy to gloss over, slavery, women’s suffrage, the labor struggles of the late 19th and early 20th century, and the civil rights era, just to name a few things that come to mind. So the fact that Mark McNairy came out of Junior High School thinking that Manifest Destiny was a positive ideology is not that far off.

GAP ERROR 404 by vagabond ©
GAP ERROR 404 by vagabond ©

However it’s not just Mark McNairy who isn’t aware that Manifest Destiny is an ideology of imperialism with its roots firmly planted in racism, but everyone at the Gap and at GQ Magazine which seems to have had a hand in the collaboration between Mr McNairy and the Gap. It seems that this design got past everyone at the Gap and GQ and made it all the way to being a product that they were selling online. That is of course until an online petition started by AIM Southern California (AIM = American Indian Movement) got together a few thousand signatures and shamed the Gap into removing it from their stores. What’s shocking is that no one, at the Gap or GQ or even Mark McNairy thought even for a moment to do even the slightest research on Manifest Destiny before charging forward with this offensive idea. Or maybe they did and didn’t give a damn anyway? Either way that kind of thinking comes with the territory when it comes to white privilege. In the eyes of whiteness the world is designed (pun intended) and shaped by white people for their benefit. Manifest Destiny as an imperialist ideology rooted in racism that justified the slaughter of millions of indigenous people in the Americas and the Caribbean, is just a sidebar to the new brand of ironic hipster racism.

The implications of this are so wide and so deep that it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where things went wrong… i’d like to throw the idea out there that things went wrong (and continue to go wrong) with the education system in this country. It’s a system that force feeds a warped white washed view of American history in order to indoctrinate the populace into pliability for the ongoing Manifest Destiny in Iraq and Afghanistan and the continued Manifest Destiny of American colonies like Puerto Rico. The problem with this kind of education is that it runs headlong into an opposing view outside of the classroom. In the real world Manifest Destiny is just as bad an ideology as Nazism. That however didn’t stop Mark McNairy from defending his MANIFEST DESTINY T-shirt design with this tweet as his initial response when the uproar began… MANIFEST DESTINY. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. The fittest, get it? The fittest…? As in T-shirt, as in fashion…? There seems to be no end to this ironic brand of hipster racism that comes from white people believing that the election of President Obama is the beginning of post-racism.

This won’t stop here, because American imperialism needs a compliant populace to support its imperialist adventures around the world and the seeds of that compliance are sown in the American education system. The recent naming of the mission to get Osama Bin Laden as Operation Geronimo is another example of the failure (or success, depending on your politics) of an American imperialist education. (Check out my thoughts on that in A Rejection of American Mythology Part I and Part II) The ongoing elevation and hero-worship of Columbus, who was the harbinger of the holocaust of indigenous people in the Caribbean and in the Americas. It’s an ongoing and never-ending assault. The saddest part to all of this, is not that this happened, but that it will happen again and again and again because what can be sown from imperialist seeds planted within the American educational system but the yielding of an imperialist crop…?

A few years ago i started a T-shirt company called RICANSTRUCTED dedicated to the independence of Puerto Rico from US colonial rule. i’ve done a few of my own designs that were created to created discussion and dialogue about some of these issues… If you’re looking for something for an alternative to the Gap’s Manifest Destiny and the rewritten version of America’s imperialist version of history, then look no further…

MANIFEST DESTINY RECORDS by vagabond

MANIFEST DESTINY RECORD COMPANY by vagabond for RICANSTRUCTED
MANIFEST DESTINY RECORD COMPANY by vagabond for RICANSTRUCTED

To get more info on the Manifest Destiny Record Company check out Record OF Empire…

ENJOY COLONIALISM 1493 by vagabond ©
ENJOY COLONIALISM 1493 by vagabond ©
Enjoy Colonialism 1493 by vagabond for RICANSTRUCTED
Enjoy Colonialism 1493 by vagabond for RICANSTRUCTED
DISFRUTA COLONIALISMO 1493 by vagabond ©
DISFRUTA COLONIALISMO 1493 by vagabond ©
Disfrute Colonialismo 1898 by vagabond for RICANSTRUCTED
Disfrute Colonialismo 1898 by vagabond for RICANSTRUCTED

For more info on this design check out Enjoy Colonialism…

To order any of the designs above and  check out more anti-imperialist designs check out RICANSTRUCTED

To check out some other designs of an anarcho nature check out AUDIO VISUAL TERRORISM

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-R2

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Alternatives To The Gap’s Manifest Destiny”

  1. “The fact that Mark … came out of junior high thinking that Manifest Destiny was a positive ideology is not that far off” – Uhh… yeah. it is way off. Just probably not for him because he is white Anglo. I heard
    the same cuentos in junior high school and I knew that crap was
    whack.

    How convenient that all he took away from the section on Manifest Destiny was “set goals, work hard, and achieve your dreams” :/

If you saw something, say something...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s