President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hat has been accused of being a symbol of hate, yet again and again, the hate surrounding people who choose to don the iconic cap in public seems to be the hate that’s directed at them.
An 81-year-old man from Franklin Township, southwest of Newark, New Jersey, reported to police on Monday that he had been assaulted by someone angry at him for wearing a MAGA hat, according to CBS New York.
By Wednesday, police had arrested 19-year-old Ryan M. Salvagno and charged him with assault and harassment charges. In a press release, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said that Salvagno first confronted the victim verbally. When the elderly man tried to leave, the young man reportedly grabbed his MAGA hat.
What he did next was even more sickening.
When the victim tried to take the hat back, police say Salvagno threw him to the ground, knocking over his cart full of groceries as well.
The attack happened just a few days after a young man in Massachusetts reported that a Hispanic woman assaulted him at a Mexican restaurant for wearing a MAGA hat. Bryton Turner, 23, says Rosiane Santos, 41, tried to shove his face into his food. That’s when he started filming her on his cellphone and captured her grabbing his hat and later getting handcuffed by police officers. According to police, she even took a swipe at Turner in front of officers.
Santos later got arrested by Immigrants and Customs Enforcement after it was discovered she was a citizen of Brazil who was illegally in the U.S.
Recently in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a Tennessee man was accused of pointing a gun at a husband and wife couple in Sam’s Club after a confrontation was sparked by the gunman allegedly flipping off the husband for wearing a MAGA hat.
After police arrested the gunman, it was later discovered that he had a previous “felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon” charge, local ABC affiliate WBKO reported.
"All this over a political statement over a hat,” said the victim, Terry Pierce. “Everybody has a right to believe how they believe, but you don't have a right to tell somebody they can't believe a certain way.”
"Our country is so divided right now," Pierce later remarked. "This country's gotta come back together. It'll never be destroyed by another country, it'll be destroyed from within — and that's the people versus the people."
These types of incidents involving the MAGA hat are why Christian satire site Babylon Bee joked about Trump replacing the hat with a MAGA helmet to help protect his supporters.