An author named Rebecca Makkai took to Twitter last week to encourage people to stop wearing any kind of red baseball caps, claiming that they are now too similar to the red “Make America Great Again” hats worn by supporters of President Donald Trump.
As per Fox News, Makkai – who was once a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize but fell short – first made the comments on August 31st, claiming that whenever she sees a red baseball cap, even if it does not say “MAGA” on it, her “heart does weird sh*t.” She then asks “Maybe don’t wear red caps anymore, normal people?” She also discouraged people from even wearing hats that parody MAGA, such as “Make America Read Again,” claiming that these people too were “making everyone scared.”
She further compared such a potential ban to the decline in use of the swastika, originally a religious symbol in Hinduism, was adopted by the National Socialist Party of Germany in the 1930s.
She subsequently faced widespread backlash on social media, including from followers who pointed out that this ban would encompass most baseball uniforms and fans of such teams as the “Detroit Red Wings, [St. Louis] Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, [Los Angeles] Angels, Arizona Cardinals, [and the] Phillies,” among others.
Responding to criticism, Makkai then claimed that she “was specifically addressing ‘normal people,’ the ones who don’t want to freak people out at a distance.” As the backlash continued, she eventually backtracked and admitted that “a red hat is not my idea of oppression.”
Makkai had written a handful of short stories before releasing the novel The Great Believers in 2018, about the AIDS epidemic in Chicago in the 1980s. This novel was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2019, but lost to Richard Powers’ The Overstory.