IS IT SAFE TO WEAR A MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN (MAGA) HAT IN AMERICA?
The slogan “Make America Great Again (MAGA)” is an American political campaign slogan which was popularized by Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and this brought about the production of the MAGA hat.
The question “how safe it is to wear this MAGA hat in America” can be looked at from the experience of two reporters, one from New York City and the other from California who were brave enough to wear the hat on the streets.
New York Post reporter Dean Balsamini who bravely wore the MAGA hat in the streets of New York said:
He gallantly put on a fire-engine-red baseball cap used historically by Donald Trump during the election campaign in Liberal Shops in Manhattan and shops in the Brooklyn borough.
The hat almost provoked a riot in the historic town of Stonewall on Christopher Street, the site of 1969 riots that triggered the Gay Rights Movement.
“You came to the gay bar – this gay bar – with this hat!” One woman boldy proclaimed.
One of the waiters shouted, “Oh my God, do you see that, is he serious, are you joking?”
Dean Balsamini and his partner quickly went to the table out of sight, in the back of the establishment
At Sylvian’s soul food Restaurant in Harlem, his server, Patrick Bros, after his meal, admitted that the hat was a surprise, but he thought, “It does not matter.”
Nearby, people were less diplomatic.
A man instructed a street vendor not talk to him while walking on 125th Street near the Apollo Theater. Another person on the same street shouted at him “Take off that stupid f—ing hat!”.
A mother of two scolded him as they crossed paths along Central Park West and 63rd Street. “I’m surprised that no one knocked that hat from your F*****g head! – Make America Great Again — right!”
He also saw a comedian named Chris Rock on the sidewalk near Lincoln Center and asked him to join in on a selfie and the comedian raised his palm and continued to walk without speaking.
This is what happens when you wear a MAGA hat in New York City. No violence, but certainly hostility
Reporter Thomas Peele, who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat, walking the streets of liberal Oakland, California also said:
People looked at me as if I had a facial deformity, quickly turning their eyes as if to avoid a great horror. But then their eyes returned to be absolutely safe in what they thought they had seen in the heart of unabashedly liberal Oakland.
Others scorned the reporter. “If looks could kill, I would have died 50 times in half an hour”, He said.
One person mumbled “Idiot!” under his breath but loud enough for him to hear on an Oakland sidewalk while staring straight at the hat on his head.
He was mocked and scorned simply because he was wearing a bright red cap with a clear message printed in large with white letters “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” that had nothing to do with baseball. The joys of free speech huh.
According to him, Ken Benton of Oakland looked at him hard, with a cold stare. He hesitated to speak with him and when he asked him if they could chat he said yes but he didn’t talk long as if the hat might somehow cause him harm. Ken Benton responded saying “Trump is so biased, I’m voting for Hillary.” Now that is saying something
Several blocks further, at 14th Street in Oakland, he stopped in front of a falafel restaraunt while waiting for a friend to dine. Two muscular guys came out of the adjacent tattoo parlor, folded their arms menacingly, and stared.
Then someone else quickly rose behind and reached out saying “Great hat, dude”. While Peele asked him “You’re a Trump supporter?” and he replied “Yeah”.
Peele told him he was a reporter and asked him what it’s like to be a supporter of Trump around Oakland. The man replied “You cannot tell anyone,” leaning forward to issue some parting advice. “Be careful and watch your back.”.
These are the two experience while wearing publicly wearing the MAGA hat in America.
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