NYT Editorial Board Member Objects To Cruz Even Uttering The Name Of Frederick Douglass

440px-Frederick_Douglass_(circa_1879)Mara Gay, a member of the New York Times editorial board, is under fire for her angry response to Sen. Ted Cruz quoting Frederick Douglass. Cruz was responding to a quote posted by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and posted a link to the whole speech from Douglass.  Rather than disagree with Cruz’ point that Douglass was not (as suggested by Kaepernick) against the Fourth of July, Gay lashed out to Cruz, a conservative Republican even uttering his name. Cruz declared the Civil War-era abolitionist’s “name has no business in your mouth.”Cruz and others responded that the attack epitomized what they saw as the bias at the New York Times.

It all began with the tweet from Kaepernick, who has been widely denounced for his role in the pulling of sneakers featuring an image of the Betsy Ross flag. Kaepernick saw the 18th century flag image and was deeply offended.  As I have written, I am one of those angered by Nike’s decision.  Many have vowed never to buy another Nike product.  Nike clearly would trash any symbol if it meant greater sales, but it may have miscalculated on this one.  It was one thing to embrace Kaepernick in its 2018 ad campaign.  This clearly put the company in line with his highly controversial and widely rejected views of the anthem and the flag.

Kaepernick proceeded to double down on the Fourth of July with a tweet of the quote from Douglass:

“‘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.”

Nike has succeeded in tying himself to Kaepernick’s rejection of not just the Betsy Ross flag but the Fourth.

Cruz tweeted a fair and reasoned response that the line was taken out of context. One can disagree with the view but it was a civil and substantive response:

“You quote a mighty and historic speech by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but, without context, many modern readers will misunderstand. Two critical points: 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.

Douglass was not anti-American; he was, rightly and passionately, anti-slavery. Indeed, he concluded the speech as follows: “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. 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. 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.”

Rather than respond to the substance of the criticism, Gay opted for a personal attack: “Frederick Douglass is an American hero, and his name has no business in your mouth.”

Cruz responded “You respond to any view you don’t like, not with facts or reason, but w/ ad hominem attack. And you seem dismayed that I linked to Douglass’s entire speech, so readers can judge for themselves. You represent your employer well.”

It is important to note that Gay is not a journalist but editorial writer.  I would not focus on this conflict if Cruz’ original tweet was not so civil or substantive.  Such rare exchanges should be welcomed in our increasingly poisonous and superficial discourse.  Instead, Gay suggested that, while Kaepernick could invoke Douglass, a conservative like Cruz could not even utter his name in response. Why is this an acceptable form of political or legal discourse?

70 thoughts on “NYT Editorial Board Member Objects To Cruz Even Uttering The Name Of Frederick Douglass”

  1. I read the article and then each comment. I have one comment: Three spots on the wall by Who Flung Foo.

  2. Notice that when the “Democrats ONLY give part of a person’s speeches, etc. They leave OUT some of it to fit their narrative.” That is what Ted Cruz did…read Douglass’s whole speech, and the editor who “tried to pull off HER point of view, GOT BUSTED!


  3. Still waiting for Colin K and the Left to address the data on black/black violent crimes

    All that kneeling ignores the real cause of soaring black homicides

    By Heather Mac Donald

    The FBI released its official crime tally for 2016 on Monday, and the data flies in the face of the rhetoric that professional athletes rehearsed in revived Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.

    Nearly 900 additional blacks were killed in 2016 compared with 2015, bringing the black homicide victim total to 7,881. Those 7,881 “black bodies,” in the parlance of Ta-Nehisi Coates, are 1,305 more than the number of white victims (which in this case includes most Hispanics) for the same period, though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population.

    The increase in black homicides last year comes on top of a previous 900-victim increase between 2014 and 2015.

    Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks.

    In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The paper categorized only 16 black male victims of police shootings as “unarmed.” That classification masks assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest.

    Contrary to the Black Lives Matter narrative, the police have much more to fear from black males than black males have to fear from the police. In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer.

    Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population. That 18.5 ratio undoubtedly worsened in 2016, in light of the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers — committed vastly and disproportionately by black males.

    Among all homicide suspects whose race was known, white killers of blacks numbered only 243.

    Violent crime has now risen by a significant amount for two consecutive years. The total number of violent crimes rose 4.1 percent in 2016, and estimated homicides rose 8.6 percent.

    In 2015, violent crime rose by nearly 4 percent and estimated homicides by nearly 11 percent. The last time violence rose two years in a row was 2005-06.

    The reason for the current increase is what I have called the Ferguson Effect. Cops are backing off of proactive policing in high-crime minority neighborhoods, and criminals are becoming emboldened.

    Having been told incessantly by politicians, the media and Black Lives Matter activists that they are bigoted for getting out of their cars and questioning someone loitering on a known drug corner at 2 a.m., many officers are instead just driving by.

    Such stops are discretionary; cops don’t have to make them. And when political elites demonize the police for just such proactive policing, we shouldn’t be surprised when cops get the message and do less of it.

    Seventy-two percent of the nation’s officers say that they and their colleagues are now less willing to stop and question suspicious persons, according to a Pew Research poll released in January 2017. The reason is the persistent anti-cop climate.

    Four studies came out in 2016 alone rebutting the charge that police shootings are racially biased. If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. That truth has not stopped the ongoing demonization of the police — including, now, by many of the country’s ignorant professional athletes.

    The toll will be felt, as always, in the inner city, by the thousands of law-abiding people there who desperately want more police protection.

    From City Journal, where Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor.


    1. Great post, Estovir.

      To stop the high rate of African American crime, the community needs to address it’s highest risk factor – single motherhood and absentee fathers.

      Clearly, the government is a poor substitute for a stable nuclear family.

      1. I would amend this to remark that single motherhood is on the rise among other ethnicities, too, although African Americans are still impacted the most. No matter the ethnicity, the resulting risk factors for crime and poverty among the progeny are the same.

        While I don’t condone the scarlet letter of shaming single mothers, our culture does need to stop promoting single motherhood as a viable, deliberate option. It’s 2019. People know how babies are made. You can get free condoms throughout the US. But until the cultural attitude towards single motherhood changes, and the Welfare system is reformed to no longer punish nuclear families, then we will continue to see this crime rate rise.

        This issue reminds me of the author, Pearl Cleague, who wrote, “I Wish I Had a Red Dress.” This is a topic that was part of the plot in her books. The main character struggled with convincing young black women to set the bar higher for themselves out of life.

        1. Thanks, Cindy. We had no damage. Earthquakes, fires, mudslides…it’s all fun times in CA.

          It’s the wildfires that scare me. Invasive non native grasses spread by human activity have choked the native chaparral. Old growth chaparral is very difficult to burn, but beastly to put out. The grass acts as tinder. Most of the fires are caused by humans – car accidents, power lines, homeless campfires, cigarettes, arson, etc. We’re all living in dry fuel out here, and there is no way to stop a human being from starting a fire, either on purpose or on accident.

          The natural fire cycle would often see a hundred years or more between fires, as the only natural cause is dry lightening. That’s a rare occurrence is a state without summer rain. Now we get multiple fires every year. Instead of buying a Super Scooper, and investing in fire science, our current and past governor decided we should spend $100 billion and counting on a vacation train to San Francisco.

    2. That article should be tattooed on the forehead of every idiot liberal politician in the country – And particularly the black ones, who more than anybody else have a good reason to bring this message home to their constituencies. That the Democrats have not addressed this issue makes them culpable in every black murder that happens.

      1. The left is insensitive to black deaths but very sensitive to black votes.

        1. Partisan Democrats and liberals in general have no interest in the welfare of blacks. What they care about is constructing and maintaining patron-client relations. What they want in regard to education is mo’ jobs for their clientele: administrators, unionized teachers, and college instructors in shizzy subjects. What they want in re welfare policy is mo’ jobs for social workers. Because the sort of client-bourgeoisie the Democratic Party feeds despise cops, law enforcement is off the table. In any case, liberals and partisan Democrats want to give people things, not enforce standards on them. The standards would be enforced by police officers, who are deplorables and lower status (in the liberal ‘mind’) than their mascot groups.

    3. @estovir

      Sir, you are guilty of citing “hate facts”!

      A “hate fact” is something that is objectively true but goes against the leftist narrative.


  4. Just one more cell of the leftist cancer that is overtaking America. How much longer before this breaks out into something much less pleasant than a nasty exchange of words?

  5. OMG…….you just made me sympathetic and agree with Ted Cruz……This so called “left” is nothing more than psych ops as far s I can see.Im a lefty and the real left cares about the working class and wants to bring people together to fight for justice and equal rights.These poseurs do nothing but divide.

    1. Here’s what we all can see….the “real left” does NOT care MORE about the working class than President Donald J. Trump who has become the JOBS JOBS JOBS president. There is NO WAY the “real left” cares more about anyone than themselves and their radical self serving leftist agenda. Trump actually cares about this country and the working class. Prove me wrong.

    2. Emma, you are probably a modern day liberal rather than a Lefty.

      A Progressive believes in change through government fiat. The movement supports giving more power to a centralized government, authorizing it to intrude more into people’s lives. (The plastic straw ban is an example.) Liberals are now defined as those who believe in change through tax and spend. Massive social justice spending policies are Liberal. They tend to believe that the way to ensure people have better lives is to spend more money on them. A Classical Liberal believes in individual liberty, with government limited to a very narrowly defined set of powers. The government serves the people. A classical liberal would believe that it’s nobody’s beeswax what anyone’s sexual orientation is, and that a baker can decline to create a custom cake for a wedding his religious beliefs oppose. They believe in the freedom to do business with limited interference from government. That is why Gentile denounced Liberals. It wasn’t defined then, as it is now.

      A Leftist, by contrast, is an extreme form of both a Liberal and a Progressive. A Socialist or a Communist is a Leftist. Those who believe in segregating the genders, or identity politics evaluating worth based on race, are a Leftist.

      Dennis Prager still defines Liberal as more along the lines of Classical Liberalism. Here he explains his take on the difference.

  6. Anyone who believes that Kaepernick is just trying to make things more equal for everyone is just plain stupid. Kaepernick’s move to take a knee as a failing 3rd string QB was a publicity stunt to save his career. Completely self-serving stunt. And look at him now….a celebrated, awarded, honored, celebrity of Hollywood and Lefty’s everywhere. Make me puke. JUST SAY NO to NIKE.

  7. Understanding that the “Reconstruction Amendments” are illegitimate and invalid having been corruptly and improperly “ratified” at gunpoint and under the duress of violent, post-war military occupation by the successors of the criminally unconstitutional, tyrannical dictator, Abraham Lincoln, the prior law was and is in full force and effect, holding dominion, with the legal corollary being immediate deportation for illegal and undocumented non-citizens and their descendants who do not meet the criteria.

    To wit,

    Federal naturalization laws (1790, 1795, 1802).

    United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” (March 26, 1790).

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof…

  8. Why doesn’t Donald Trump ask his friend Frederick Douglas what he meant? Trump follows him closely. Maybe he can reach out?

    “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.” Donald Trump

    BTW, keeping someone’s name out of their mouth is a rather common phrase which doesn’t mean they literally don’t have the right to speak it but they’re not worthy. Of course, you can try to make the case that Ted Cruz is the example of civility you want your children to emulate.

    1. Why doesn’t Donald Trump ask his friend Frederick Douglas what he meant?

      Look squirrel!

      There’s a reason people don’t take you seriously.

    2. Is it not true that Frederick Douglass’s accomplishments are getting more recognition? There are high school graduates who cannot repeat a single Constitutional Amendment, or name the first President. His story should not be forgotten. There is no comparison between Frederick Douglass’ fight for freedom, as a former slave, and Kaepernick.

      I find it strange that you would mock the President for praising Douglass.

      It actually was inappropriate for a journalist to respond to a correction that Cruz should not speak Douglass’ name. It was pure bigotry and intolerance, and it failed to address the facts. Ad hominem is the typical response when trying to discuss facts with a Democrat too often nowadays.

      1. It’s probably true that Douglas enjoyed a Twitter moment when Trump revealed he didn’t even know Douglas was dead. Also demonstrating he knew nothing of his life. Generally though, it’s not true that Douglas is getting more recognition. School books, led by the State of Texas are reducing any discussion of slavery, suggesting it was less than it was therefore mitigating the need for abolotionists like Frederick Douglas. I wouldn’t mock the President for sincere praise of Douglas, he didn’t (and couldn’t) cite one actual accomplishment.

        As for the journalist, and I don’t know how familiar you are with the expression I view as quite common that someone has no business speaking anothers name. I view it as commenting that someone with Cruz’s history having no business bringing up Douglas. Kinda like the Trump Administration wanting a census question to support the Voting Rights Act.

  9. Mara Gay has no consequential skills apart from the ability to turn in copy on time. She’s the issue of the University of Michigan with an academic BA in a haphazardly assembled subject (political science). The odds are about 2 to 1 that she was admitted to the University of Michigan consequent to racial preference schemes, something the Sulzberger Birdcage Liner practices with a vengeance.

    The smart money also say that for at least 15 years this 33 year old wench has received positive feedback for striking these asinine poses. It’s quite proper and quite therapeutic for Cruz to slap her silly for this sort of behavior, but it will only matter if someone whose opinion she really cares about does it. One other thing the smart money says is that she’s an unsalvageable ruin.

    That’s what white liberals do: they ruin everything.

    1. Naturally, she’s also a millennial. Still think it was good idea to coddle an entire generation, parents? They don’t appear to be learning or maturing much as they age. No one wants to address this directly.

    2. Absyrd’s dumb racist assumptions is why no one should take him seriously. Enigma should be taken seriously based strictly on his measured and insightful comments.

      By the way, Gay was a WSJ reporter prior to joining the NYTs.

  10. Gay lashed out to Cruz, a conservative Republican even uttering his name.

    It is not important whether Cruz is “conservative”. He is an American and anyone in this country who takes umbrage at an individual referencing their nation’s historical figures is a very dangerous person to our culture.

    The Left have formed their own religion with dogmas made up on the fly. Theirs is a mirror of “moral” relativism, a true dictatorship. They have no business being in our culture and they should be rejected by all Americans as today’s modern Nazis.

    Dictatorship of Relativism

    “The dictatorship of relativism is confronting the world. It does not recognize anything as absolute and leaves as the ultimate measure only the measure of each one and his desires.

    “‘Adult’ is not a faith that follows the waves in fashion and the latest novelty. “Adult and mature is a faith that gives us the measure to discern between what is true and what is false, between deceit and truth.”

    Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger,
    Excerpts from his homily at the Conclave that elected him Pope.”


  11. Cruz didn’t get the point made by Kaepernick that makes Douglas’s words true today. Douglas was speaking about the systemic racism that overtly enslaved so many. Kaepernick was speaking about the systemic racism that results in so many unarmed people being killed by cops, by the racist (in)justice system that puts so many people of color in prisons, the new plantations.

    1. Here’s an exercise in reality you might do….try to estimate how many young black men are pulled over by a cop every day….is it 1,000 or 10,000 or greater? Of these, how many result in a cop killing a civilian? How many end without incident? You’ve allowed the media to color your picture of reality with a false narrative, put forth consciously by cherry-picking stories that advance the narrative, and suppressing as “unnewsworthy” counter-narrative information.
      You are being opinion-shaped, and don’t realize it.

      %-wise, more young white men are killed by cops. The media considers that counter-narrative, and suppresses it. We are bathed in infowarfare by media propagandists — they want to be dramatic story-tellers more than presenting an accurate picture of reality.

      1. try to estimate how many young black men are pulled over by aother black men


        Try living near housing projects. The prevalence of black on black violent crimes is palpable and quite deadly, far surpassing other violent crime statistics today

        1. One statistic not often published is the percentage of cop- killers who are black.
          I think at least 40% of cops murdered were killed by blacks.
          So out of a population that is about 13% of the total U.S. population, c.40% of those killing cops are from that smaller 13% demographic.

    2. The small insertion of eclipses makes what you say garbage.

      I wonder what the flag of Betty Ross has to do with the police.

  12. Ben Franklin, 1789, we gave you “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

    Ben Franklin, 2019, we gave you “…a republic, if you can take it back.”

    Something tells me the American Founders didn’t establish America FBO unassimilable, incessantly disgruntled, caterwauling, foreign, minority scrounges. As a matter of fact, it looks like they thrice required Americans to be “…free white person(s)…” in their Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795 and 1802. What’s that tell you?

    No nation in history ever ended slavery by war.

    “Crazy Abe” Lincoln, as an unabashed, consummate racist, could have cared less about slavery and slaves. “Crazy Abe” was tasked by the “deep deep state” to retain profits related to the westward expansion of all the United States, not half of them.

    Abraham Lincoln, to “Save the Union,” having been corruptly ensconced by the “deep deep state” with 39% of the popular vote, emasculated the legislative and judicial branches, seized power and ruled through executive orders and proclamations as a brutal and vicious tyrannical dictator for the sake of the profits of the central bankers who were expanding America from sea to shinning sea. “Crazy Abe” was “martyred” by the “deep deep state” when his job was done.

    President Trump, to “Save the Republic,” must employ “Crazy Abe’s” model, seize power, void the absolutely “globalized” and corrupted legislative and judicial branches, harden the borders, deport treasonous, parasitic,foreign invader hyphenates, import temporary “guest workers” such as dishwashers, gardeners and entertainers, restrict the vote as did the American Founders and the architects of the republican form of democracy, the Greeks and the Romans, and re-implement the original intent and “manifest tenor” of the literal Constitution and Bill of Rights, 1789.

  13. So now it is “hate speech” for an undesired individual (i.e. Cruz) to quote a minority in an unapproved manner?

    I suppose the next step is to go after mainstream conservatives who like to claim MLK was a conservative; would have disapproved of affirmative action and other leftist policies and that Democrats are the real racists.


  14. The bipolar choice for voters is indescribably pathetic. The GOP gives us Orange Man-Serial Liar-Nuclear Winter Monger in Chief, or the Dems give us Orwell’s 1984 Ministers of Justice as described in this piece. Oh, the humanity.

  15. There are plenty of good reasons to never buy a Nike shoe again, but I do not agree that this is one of them.

  16. “Why is this an acceptable form of political or legal discourse?”

    This is not acceptable. Neither Gay nor the NYTimes has accepted the concept of freedom of speech.

    1. Now this is just complete nonsense. Gay nor the NYTimes is advocating that Cruz be punished for what he said, or be stripped of his right to free speech. In fact, Gay exercised her free speech in criticizing Cruz. You obviously do not like nor agree with the particular comment she made, but what she said is just as much an exercise of free speech as what Cruz said.

      1. “Now this is just complete nonsense. ”

        Why, Randy? I am talking about a concept not a legal issue. You seem to be involved in the latter that can involve punishment. “Gay nor the NYTimes is advocating that Cruz be punished”

      2. You’re stupid. The woman is arguing that he’s done something nefarious by simply stating his viewpoint. She’s appointing herself a gatekeeper. She’s just a pretentious and obnoxious ho’. This sort of attitudinzing is completely at odds with a well-oiled culture of deliberation.

    2. @allan

      You are exactly right, neither the NYT or leftists in general support free speech. In fact few will even debate, they just like to call you a slur and go on.

      Leftists only supported free speech when it was leftists who were being persecuted.

      Safe spaces, speech codes, censorship, deplatforming, ABA Rule 8.1, these aren’t happening in a vacuum, just a sign of what is to come

      Don’t worry sweet tolerant leftists, hate speech laws are coming here and I would at least respect them if they would openly admit this as their goal.


      1. Thank you Antonio. What you said fits nicely with my short reply to Randy.

  17. Gay will likely leave the NYT.

    And become a tenured professor at a liberal arts college. Possibly in Oberlin, OH.

  18. The answer is that this is not an acceptable form of discourse. The trend is for Leftists to try to silence anyone who disagrees with them. Anyone with the barest acquaintance of history knows where that leads. It also indicates they are over faced by the debate itself. When one has nothing substantive to say, resort to insults.

    I thought both of Cruz’s responses were thoughtful, the latter with a quick bite.

Comments are closed.