A Gap T-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘Manifest Destiny’ has been removed from sale, after consumers branded it racist towards Native Americans.

Shoppers complained that the slogan tee ‘serves to normalize oppression’, as the term was used to justify American expansion into the west during the 19th century.

When the item of clothing went on sale as part of the Gap X GQ limited-edition collection on September 27, a Change.org petition quickly amassed almost 5,000 supporters.

Campaign groups emerged via Facebook and the retailer was also flooded with complaints.

Indian Country Today reprinted a letter sent to Gap by one of its customers, 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 1700 people on my Facebook page to boycott your stores and inviting them to shop with their conscience.’

While another angry shopper wrote: ‘Let me get this straight? The Gap wants to sell T-shirts that read; Manifest Destiny?

‘People, thousands of people, Native people, who were not even considered human beings, died during this arrogant and pompous proclamation.’

Gap has now removed the black and white tee from stores and its website.

A link to the product on its website currently displays a ‘product not found’ error.

The limited edition T-shirt was created in a collaboration with GQ magazine and designed by U.S. fashion designer Mark McNairy.

As shoppers made their distaste towards his design known, Mr McNairy caused further outrage by Tweeting: ‘Manifest Destiny. Survival of the fittest’.

However the Tweet has since been deleted from his Twitter account, and yesterday he explained why he chose to use the ‘racist’ motto.

He Tweeted: ‘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.

‘The phrase and the 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.’

The designer is known for using offensive slogans.

His menswear collection, New Amsterdam, includes shirts printed with the words Be Nasty, F*** Ivy and Iowa Bumf***.

Gap confirmed that it will no longer be selling the item of clothing, and said in a statement: ‘Thank you for your feedback regarding the Manifest Destiny t-shirt.

‘Based on customer feedback, we will no longer offer the t-shirt in our stores or online.’

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  • JackKrak

    A perfect illustration of my “the liberal greasy wheel gets the oil” theory.

    One day people will wake up and realize that the kind of people who are “offended” by a shirt like this are at most 5-7% of the population, and most of them are followers who just go along with whatever the ringleaders do. The problem is that this personality type is infinitely more likely to make a dramatic public showing of their approval/disapproval/outrage/sympathy/whatever for the issue of the day while the silent majority is busy worrying about money or raising a family. The majority is only too willing to say “fine, whatever” to the demands of the 5% crowd just so they’ll shut up.

    This is how we get affirmative action, sensitivity training, etc.

  • Biff_Maliboo

    Does The Gap offer clothing for heterosexuals?

    • IstvanIN

       Why are you blaming this on gays?

      • Biff_Maliboo

         I wasn’t.

        • The__Bobster

          Remember when male models used to look like males?

          • bluffcreek1967

            Good point! All the male modes today look either overtly gay or metrosexual in some sense (maybe that’s the same thing?). The models often look like thin, nerdy types with any rugged masculinity gone. But, this of course, is merely a reflection of how deeply feminized men in our age have become. In contrast, check out how male models were pictured in advertisements during the 50s and 60s.  

          • kjh64

            That’s true. You never see the strong handsome men of earlier periods. The women all look like they have been starved to death, so thin they have the body of a 10-year-old, no curves or meat on their bones. Give me a strong, masculine man and a woman with some curves any day.

          • The only “rugged” type I can recall was one from “Playboy” advertising “Camel”. Although a non-smoker, he died from lung cancer.

  • People actually shop at the Gap?  I thought that Ellen was single handedly keeping that company in business.

  • Puggg

    It is my understanding that the purpose of Manifest Destiny was to clear European influence from North America, rather than “oppressing” Indians.  In other words, Manifest Destiny was more akin to Monroe Doctrine than Trail of Tears.

  • I guess we are all supposed to pretend the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny” never happened and that we all just popped up here one day.

  • The__Bobster

    Even though Geishas were highly educated entertainers.

  • IKantunderstand

    Yup, banning shirts that read “Manifest Destiny” will obviously reach back into history vis a vis the liberal time machine and make it all not be true. They’ve  done it with all other aspects of our history.Hey, if we are rewriting history? Could I please have my ancestors back who died in the Civil War? Could we pretend that never happened either?

  • bluffcreek1967

    Outstanding! You summed up the entire matter beautifully!

  • Why not ban the 4th of July and Thanksgiving too? The white conquest began long before ‘Manifest Destiny’.   Maybe Gap should change it to ManiFIST Destiny and promote it as gay pride. I’m sure progs will live that. 

  • I am really surprised that anyone under the age of 25 would know what this slogan refers to considering what kind of education of history these kids receive today.

    One time while in St. Louis at the Union Station, I came across a store that carried people of color shirts, pop culture items and on shirt really offended me and my race. 
    It was a picture of Mt. Rushmore with the words terrorist or something like that scrawled across the bottom.  I couldn’t believe my eyes but now looking back it doesn’t surprise me.

    What offends me is that this slogan is considered a T-shirt design designed by a so-called designer.  Laying simple text on a t-shirt is not design.  This guy McNairy probably gets paid pretty good because of his hip new controversial slogans (catch phrases).  I started a line of t-shirts that I never finished but someday I would like to get out to the public market.  Most of my designs are various historical Euro-American heroes (Andrew Jackson, Macarthur,etc) or culturally based ethnic groups such as the Norseman, Spartans, etc.  I do like the slogan designs but I would never wear one myself.  Actually I try not to be a walking billboard.  It is odd that I love to design  T-shirts but I rarely wear them myself.  HAHA.   

  • Puggg

     Stand atop the Cahokia Mounds now, and as far as the eye can see in the river bottoms, you’re surrounded by Africans, with a little slice of Mexico and Central America to your east.

  • Wmass

    Funny, but with all the controversies created by slogans on t-shirts over the last couple of years, I don’t recall any public outcry when Urban Outfitters in 2002 had a t-shirt in thir stores that had the word “honky” on it—-which, by the way, was modeled in their website by a mulatto. 

  • These guys look like homosexuals. What’s the matter with marketing industry?

  • FourFooted_Messiah

    What are they talking about?  If I recall correctly, “Manifest Destiny” was a doctrine aimed mostly at British North America (ie, Canada), not Indians, as expressing intent to “liberate” us from England, and bring us into the American fold.

    They’re not the ones who should be offended by that, us Canucks should be.  But I know I’m not (because it’s old, stale news that is relevant no more); and anyway, I figure the Gap is probably referring to something else, but what it could be is locked in some designer’s brain somewhere.  It might just be corporate bragging, for all I know (The Gap will take over the clothing world!  It’s manifest destiny! lol)

  • FourFooted_Messiah

     :/  I remember the big fuss over professional sports team names from years ago. 

    Don’t these whiners realize that team names tend to get chosen because there is something to admire in the namesake?  And that there’s nothing wrong with recognizing toughness and fighting prowress (whether in tigers, Indians, or Irish), especially when sports require toughness and physical prowress.  Hell, I used to laugh at the name “Toronto Blue Jays” – until I got too close to a jay’s nest!  Those birds taught me respect at the ends of their beaks, and good on them for being so brave.

  • FourFooted_Messiah

     You know, you’re right.  And that guy on the left, I can see his undies.

  • FourFooted_Messiah

     But the thing is – when it suits them, the Indian mouthpieces say they “own North America”, and then say that their ancestors were “tricked” because they had “no concept of land ownership”.  Well, if they had no concept of land ownership, then they were just living on the land like the wildlife.  And in fact, territorial animals certainly show they have an understanding of land ownership – a pack of wolves will mark out its claimed territory, and defend it from others of their own kind.  Pee-posts are like signs that say “Keep Out – This land belongs to Pack X.  No Trespassing.  Trespassers will be killed.”

    Therefore, if the Indians had “no concept of land ownership”, we should have made our treaties with the wolves.