Donald Trump, a White man who is running for US president in 2016, says he wants to “Make America Great Again”, by which he means the US. He wears a hat that says the same. It is an old Reagan slogan from 1979.
Hillary Clinton, a White woman who is running for president, says, “America never stopped being great.”
Krystal Lake, a Black woman who supports Bernie Sanders for president, thinks “America was never great.” She wears a hat that says just that:
“The message that other people are trying to send out is that, America’s this wonderful place, like nothing bad ever happened in the world, but it never was great so I feel like it was a lie, so I wanted to show people that, no, it never was great.”
She had the hat made online. On Sunday May 15th 2016, the day after she got it, she wore it to work at Home Depot in Staten Island (the same part of New York City where the police killed Eric Garner).
Home Depot does have a policy against wearing “items that reflect political statements” while at work. But over the past two months some of her fellow workers have been wearing “Vote for Trump” pins and no one said anything.
On Sunday she wore her hat to work and no one said anything either – not the shoppers, not fellow workers, not the managers. But, unknown to her, one Joey Carlino took her picture wearing the hat and posted it online on Facebook, saying, “A Home Depot in Staten Island. What a joke.”
Wednesday morning her friends kept calling: her picture was all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere on the Internet! She was shocked.
She received dozens of death threats and was being called the N-word left and right. She was told that she did not know much, that she hated America, that she should go back to Africa.
She was not afraid of the death threats, but she was surprised: “It’s just a hat.”
“I feel it offended a lot of people because a lot of Trump supporters live in Staten Island. Trump is very rash and in your face, but when someone else has a message against him, his supporters can’t take the criticisms.”
They admire Trump for speaking his mind, but not her.
“If you’re not the race that he would want, or whether it’s sexual preference, if you have any disabilities, your financial status, race, everything, all of that combined, or even if you don’t think like him, he will automatically write you off … having Trump as a president definitely wouldn’t make America better.”
That is, in fact, the message of Donald Trump’s hat: the only time the US was ever great for anyone was for the straight White men it was designed for. For everyone else, it has only slowly been getting better, two steps forward, one step back. Trump, judging from his hat, wants to take a step back.
– Abagond, 2016.
- 2016 election
- Ronald Reagan
- go back to Africa
- Eric Garner
- White paternalism
- American exceptionalism