The Gap removed a black T-shirt emblazoned with the words "Manifest Destiny" from its stores today, following complaints and a petition from consumers who believed it is racist.
"Manifest Destiny” was coined in the 19th century to describe a belief that the United States was destined to take over the continent. For Native Americans, it is a reminder of the suffering of previous generations who endured relocation and genocide.
Consumers and activists were angered with the fashion item and set up social media petitions, calling for the T-shirt to be removed from sale.
Indian Country Today quoted a letter written by Native American activist and actress Renee Roman Nose to Gap, which read:
"It is with great sadness that I notify you I will not be shopping at your store until you remove the “Manifest Destiny” T-shirts available at your stores. Manifest Destiny was the catch phrase which led to the genocide of millions of my people, millions of Indigenous people throughout this country. I am also inviting the more than 1,700 people on my Facebook page to boycott your stores and inviting them to shop with their conscience."
In response to the large outcry, Gap removed the T-shirt from its stores, saying it valued customer feedback, and its "intention was not to offend anyone."