Monday, July 8, 2019
ABA Journal: Seeing Red: A Professor Coexists With 'MAGA' in the Classroom, by Jeffrey Omari (Gonzaga):
It was just a few minutes before the start of class, and I was standing at the podium prepping my notes when, through my peripheral vision, I could see a speck of red on the student’s head as he entered the classroom. ... As the student walked to his usual seat in the seminar, which was directly in my line of vision, the message on his flaming red hat was unmistakable: “MAGA,” or “Make American Great Again.”
I was in the first year of a two-year fellowship as a visiting assistant professor of law. Moreover, as an African-American male, I was one of an exceedingly small number of students, faculty and staff of color in the law school. From my (progressive) perspective as a black man living in the increasingly polarized political climate that is America, MAGA is an undeniable symbol of white supremacy and hatred toward certain nonwhite groups. ...
I was unsure whether the student was directing a hateful message toward me or if he merely lacked decorum and was oblivious to how his hat might be interpreted by his black law professor. I presumed it was the former. As the student sat there directly in front of me, his shiny red MAGA hat was like a siren spewing derogatory racial obscenities at me for the duration of the one hour and fifteen-minute class. ...