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Politics

Why many of us see Trump's red hat as a red flag

Esther J. Cepeda on

CHICAGO -- A recent column in which I asked readers to do some introspection about their own racial beliefs spurred many infuriated emails.

Some people took offense at my implication that a white person who feels strongly that his or her race is being discriminated against might be likelier, among other things, to wear a MAGA hat.

Why is it so difficult to imagine that wearing a very specific hat could signal alignment with someone who has done so much to divide the country -- and who, by the way, has belittled, demonized or mocked people of color, women and those with disabilities?

We are walking billboards who pay for the privilege of advertising products on various parts of our bodies, endorsing what the words or symbols stand for.

Author Issac Bailey calls the MAGA hat a "signifier for those who believe America was great during some point in the past they dare not name, knowing if they do, it would reveal a time when it was worse for people of color."

Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan noted that the hat "has transformed into an open wound, a firestorm of hate and a marker of societal atavism."

 

Harper's Bazaar political editor Jennifer Wright asserts: "Do you know why people think MAGA hats are a symbol of hatred? Because people wearing them keep doing hateful things."

Such hateful things as the New York case of a man wearing a MAGA hat and shirt who sat next to a Hispanic man on the subway, pulled him onto the platform, punched him in the face while saying, "F---ing Mexicans. You people are dirty. You people are nasty" and then threw him onto the tracks.

Thank goodness the victim, who had been in the country six years, was not hit by a train.

But incidents like these are wreaking havoc on the mental and physical health of people who wonder if they'll be the next target.

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