What happened when one person chose to counter Trump’s slogan — make America great again? According to Krystal Lake, death threats. The Home Depot employee and Bernie Sanders supporter was the center of attention when she donned a custom made hat that read, “America was never great.”
Wearing her new hat, Lake reported to her job in Staten Island on a Sunday. There was no immediate response, but a customer snapped a photo of her in the hat and it went viral shortly thereafter.
Lake claims she was unaware of the photo’s popularity until Wednesday. That’s when her social media page was flooded with death threats and other messages that were not so nice, state reports from the New York Times. There were also complaint calls made to her workplace.
“They were actually threatening to kill me over a hat. I couldn’t believe it. I was calling my best friend and I was like, ‘How is this happening? It’s just a hat.’ “
@HomeDepot Loyal shopper here. Krystal Lake wears that hat again in your store I'll assume you support the message and become former shopper— R Thomas (@Plate0fShrimp) May 19, 2016
Although Lake did not take the threats seriously, stating the individuals were “internet trolls,” reactions to her controversial hat did get the interest of several media outlets. One source, the Staten Island Advance, reached out to Lake to understand the message behind the hat.
“The point of the hat was to say America needs changing and improvement. I don’t think it’s a positive message to say, ‘Let’s look to the past.’ “
Lake, 22, is scheduled to graduate from the College of Staten Island soon with a degree in media studies. As for her status with Home Depot — the New York Times reports the company’s spokesman, Stephen Holmes, did not provide an update on Lake. However, he did point out the company has strict policies against wearing politically charged apparel, including hats. One possible consequence of violating the policy could be termination.
Lake, who expects to be terminated from her job after two years, states she is hoping to pursue a career in the media field.
But this is not the first time someone has disagreed with Trump’s slogan. Others have also mentioned sentiments similar to Lake’s. Former President Bill Clinton was booed at a West Virginia rally after he reminded attendees that America was not so great for everyone.
“I said, ‘If you believe things should be made as they once were — which is essentially, “Make America Great Again” — remember this: It wasn’t so great for a lot of people the way things once were.’ “
Again, at a stop in New Jersey, Clinton asserted the claim but this time in different words.
“America is so much less sexist, racist, homophobic, and bigoted than it used to be. But there is still sexism, racism, homophobes, and bigots. The one thing that’s gotten worse is: We can’t stand to be around anybody that disagree with us. And that’s dangerous.”
Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made no comment regarding the hat. As for the former President, Trump has retaliated by discussing the details of Clinton’s highly publicized extramarital affairs that almost led to impeachment. Trump also continues to bring up claims that Clinton raped a campaign intern in 1978.
In the land of free speech, does Krystal’s hat take things too far or represent what many have thought for months after the slogan made news? Weigh in with your thoughts.
[Photo by Tumblr/Alexandria-Writes]