Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Something magical happened today.
I wore my brown MAGA hat on the A train from Manhattan to Brooklyn. The brown hat is noticeable but not fraught with the notoriety of the red hat, so a good choice for subways and buses where one is temporarily confined with strangers.
On the train, I took the nearest available seat, which happened to be next to a young black man wearing a red, white, and blue jacket. My seatmate did not notice my hat, nor did anyone else as far as I could tell. This was unusual because there are almost always a few stares or doubletakes because of my MAGA hat.
When I stepped out of the train at Jay Street, there were about fifteen people waiting on the platform in my immediate vicinity. This spot on the platform – remarkably – was the exact same place where a polite and astute young black man approached me on February 13th to ask if he could shake my hand because I was wearing a MAGA hat (described in my post for Day 24).
Among the fifteen or so people on the platform were:
• a black teenage girl wearing tennis shoes covered with red, white, and blue stars.
• a black man wearing a khaki jacket with an American flag patch on his left sleeve.
• a white man wearing a baseball cap with an American flag on the front.
• a man who appeared to be of Indian or Pakistani descent wearing a red, white, and blue GAP sweatshirt.
• an elderly man of indeterminate genetic heritage wearing a red cap (which may or may not have had MAGA connotations).
I was the only person wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, but none of my neighbors on the platform shot rude or shaming stares at me. In fact, no one gave my hat a second glance, as if wearing a MAGA hat on the subway in New York City was nothing out of the ordinary.
Suddenly, magically, that small underground realm in the tunnels below New York had twice become a sanctuary. During today’s unusual convergence of patriotism, a random group of strangers on the subway platform had found safe harbor in the spirit of American brotherhood.
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