by Charles S. Garabedian
A few days ago, famous actress Alyssa Milano made an interesting Twitter comment on the recent incident involving the students from Covington Catholic High School, a rowdy African-American protest group, and American Indian protester Nathan Phillips. Here is the text of that tweet:
The red MAGA hat is the new white hood. Without white boys being able to empathize with other people, humanity will continue to destroy itself.
Ms. Milano received a lot of backlash from making that statement. However, it brought something home to me. That is precisely the way I have, quite independently, come to view the red Make America Great Again (MAGA) cap. Whenever I see someone wearing one of these caps, the light bulb in my head clicks on with a message:
Warning!!! Warning!!! Warning!!! Equivalent of Nazi swastika and KKK white hood dead ahead.
I am speaking about the cap all by itself—not necessarily the person who is wearing it. Large numbers of Americans were duped into voting for Donald J. Trump in 2016. I feel sure that all of the people who voted for him are not haters or bigots. Nonetheless, whenever I see that red MAGA cap, either by itself or on someone’s head, it makes me feel a bit queasy and burdens my spirit with a combination of both anger and fear. This must be the same way Jewish folks and African-American folks feel when they see a swastika or the white hood of a Klansman.
The so-called Religious Right in the United States made a marvelous public relations (PR) coup when it was able to wrongly convince so many Americans that the words liberal and progressive are synonymous with the word evil. The red MAGA cap is doing precisely the same PR job on American conservatives—only they are unwittingly doing this job on themselves. I have said it several times in the past, and I will say it again now:
Give a right wing extremist enough rope, and he will be sure to hang himself with it.
In my opinion, the red MAGA cap is fast becoming that piece of hanging rope in the eyes of the many Americans who are not right wing extremists.