Newsweek op-ed: POW/MIA banner a ‘flag of racist hate’ that needs to come down
On Tuesday, Newsweek published an op-ed that demands yet another allegedly racist flag be torn down. Rick Perlstein, however, was not referring to the Confederate battle flag. He was, instead, referring to the easily recognizable black-and-white POW/MIA flag, a banner designed to remember those who have not returned from armed combat.
“You know that racist flag? The one that supposedly honors history but actually spreads a pernicious myth? And is useful only to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage?” Perlstein wrote. “It’s past time to pull it down.”
“Oh, wait. You thought I was referring to the Confederate flag,” he added. “Actually, I’m talking about the POW/MIA flag.”
Perlstein never explained what made the flag “racist,” nor did he fully explain what made it a flag of “hate.” He did, however, managed to anger a number of people by claiming that former President Richard Nixon invented what he called “the cult of the ‘POW/MIA’ in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam in a way that rendered the United States as its sole victim.”
The article and the tweet promoting it prompted a great deal of anger. “Patriotism = ‘A FLAG OF RACIST HATE,'” tweeted blogger Robert Stacy McCain. “Reactionary leftism has officially jumped the shark,” said another Twitter user.
“So the POW/MIA flag is also racist? Congrats on the clicks, @Newsweek,” added another Twitter critic. “I’d pay good money to see the writer go up to some of the guys displaying that flag during Rolling Thunder and call them racists,” one person tweeted.
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