Rebecca Jennings at Vox says that teens love MAGA hats because they are transgressive. The hats, she says, can have different meanings for different people. That’s no doubt true. But it’s also true, as Jennings acknowledges, that kids wear Trump regalia, or invoke Trump’s name, in order to bully and insult immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, Hispanics, or members of any of the other marginalized groups who Trump himself regularly attacks.
It’s not just kids, either. Journalists at Reveal identified more than 150 incidents in 39 states over the 18 months since the inauguration in which people invoked Trump’s name while taunting or attacking people from marginalized groups. “I told you to pack your bags. You might not be here tomorrow,” a ninth-grade boy wearing a MAGA hat told a classmate of Muslim and Mexican descent on the day after Trump’s election. Two days later a gay man in Michigan was taunted that “Trump is going to get rid of people like you.” The incidents were particularly prevalent after Trump’s victory, but they have continued throughout his presidency.