Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro on Wednesday praised Nike’s controversial decision to pull shoes featuring the Betsy Ross flag, saying the early flag design that represents the Thirteen Colonies evokes pain among some Americans, much like Confederate symbols.
“I was glad to see that,” the former Housing and Urban Development Secretary said on CBS News about Nike’s decision to scrap the Betsy Ross design, the Washington Free Beacon reported. “And my hope is that they didn’t just do it to do it — that they understand the significance there.
“Look, there are a lot of things in our history that are still very painful — the Confederate flag that still flies in some places and is used as a symbol,” Mr. Castro continued. “And I believe that we need to move toward an inclusive America that understands that pain — that doesn’t wipe it away from history in the sense that it still belongs in a museum, or we need to read about it and understand the significance, because that’s how you learn and make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes in the future — but does not glorify it, does not celebrate it.”
Mr. Castro went on to lament that school textbooks often don’t include the early successes of minority men and women “who have done great things to propel our country forward.”
“We need to get not only to blocking things that don’t advance us, but also to celebrating those things that do,” he said. “And that will round out the whole nation’s understanding of why we became the successful nation that we became, that everybody has had a role in that.”
Nike came under fire this week after pulling a new Fourth of July shoe featuring the Betsy Ross flag reportedly after Colin Kaepernick expressed concerns saying the flag had connections to slavery. The decision sparked an intense backlash from the right, including from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who announced Tuesday that he had ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw incentives for Nike to build a plant in the state.
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