Flags flying in suburban Long Island was a "disturbing" sight for The New York Times' Mara Gay.
"This is another area where Democrats really need to get serious about talking about what this threat is," said Gay, who is a member of The New York Times Editorial Board.
"The need to stop being surprised by all of this and start taking it seriously. Y'know, it's really concerning to me that the Democrats haven't just gone ahead, at this point, and said 'we're doing this on our own,' in terms of getting a commission together to explain to the American people how we allowed the insurrection to take place in the Capitol," Gay said.
"I think that really needs to move forward swiftly. Y'know, the reality is here that we have a large percentage of the American population," Gay continued. "I don't know how big it is, but we have tens of millions of Trump voters continuing to believe that their rights as citizens are under threat by simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others.
"I think that as long as they see Americanness as the same, as one, with whiteness, this is going to continue. We have to figure out how to get every American a place at the table in this democracy, but how to separate Americanness, America, with whiteness. Until we can confront that, and talk about that, this is really going to continue.
"I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a really dear friend," Gay said, "and I was really disturbed, I saw dozens and dozens of pick-up trucks with y'know expletives against Joe Biden, Trump flags, and in some cases just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing, because essentially the message was clear, it was 'this is my country, this is not your country, I own this.'"
Apparently Gay woke up to find herself being "trolled with the American flag," which she said "is not the own some people think it is." Indeed, her colleague at the Times, Nikole Hannah-Jones, wrote a screed about the horror of the American flag flying in her 1619 Project.
"And so until we're ready to have that conversation," Gay continued, "this is going to continue. What really is concerning to me as well is it's not just Democrats in Congress, it's a large percentage of Americans. Even with my colleagues in journalism, who are invested in some way in pretending that this isn't the threat that it is.
"That is the real concern. Because the Trump voters who are not going to get on board with Democracy, they're a minority, you can marginalize them long term. But if we don't take the threat seriously then I think we're all in really bad shape."
"Totally agree," the MSNBC anchor said.
Tuesday night, the NYT comms team defended Gay, saying she was "taken out of context":