Since Donald Trump was elected president, we’ve seen startlingly accelerated progress toward totalitarian enforcement of Approved Speech, Approved Thought, and even Approved Clothing. At the top of the Unapproved Clothing list is the red Make America Great Again hat, as Nicholas Sandmann was made all too aware of back in January 2019.
Rational people understand that wearing a MAGA hat doesn’t make one a racist, sexist, or homophobe, but sadly that attitude has only grown since Sandmann was excoriated for wearing it. And now that liberals have been emboldened, their tactics have become even more terrible.
One of the latest examples: a high school student wore a MAGA hat to La Jolla Country Day School, an exclusive private school in San Diego County, CA. The “Head of School” approached him to explain how racist that hat is and to “encourage” him to take it off and not wear it again.
La Jolla County Day's Head of School, Gary Krahn, explains his decision to tell a student to remove his MAGA hat was "about dignity."
Krahn then said he told the student his Make America Great Again hat is "a symbol of racism and hatred."
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) November 20, 2020
Listen to Head of School Gary Krahn describe the incident in a video. I’ve struggled to find the words to fully describe how terrible and terrifying every aspect of this incident is, so we’ll just go through the video and unpack it a bit at a time. He begins:
We had an incident on campus a few days ago that deserves our attention. It’s very important. I’m gonna take a few minutes today to explain the situation but it’s clearly not going to be enough time. First, the First Amendment is very important to me. I was willing to give my life for it when I served in the Army. It is one of the most precious things that we have in this nation.
Ooh, what is this very important incident?
A student came onto campus with a Make America Great Again hat.
Did you hear how he said that? With so much sadness in his voice, as if someone had died.
He has every right to wear that hat. I had friends give their life for that right. It was not a political decision to reach out to him and talk about that hat…
Oh, it wasn’t a political decision? What was it, then? Ohh, it’s a psychological manipulation exercise.
…it was a decision about dignity, the inherent value that all humans have.
When I approached the student I shared with him that he had that right to wear the hat. I also shared with him the impact it has on our community. That hat has a symbol of racism and hatred.
Someone wearing a hat has an impact on the school community? How about teaching people that words on a hat don’t do anything to them? Or if you’re gonna really go there, I’m affected by seeing “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bastards) or “Blue Lives Murder” on signs held by high school students. Can you explain to your students how those items are symbols of anarchy and much more?
Just in case the student wanted to share with his headmaster that he didn’t see the hat as a racist symbol, Krahn headed that off and continued his assimilation activity.
We can argue about whether that’s true or not, but it’s a fact that in our community there’s a belief that that’s what that hat represents. And because we’re a community of dignity, that all people have value and that all people are vulnerable. I wanted the student to know that his decision was going to have an impact on people. He graciously took off his hat.
But don’t worry, you still have free speech here.
We’re gonna continue to honor the First Amendment. We’re going to be a community of dignity and to realize that if our actions impact others we have a responsibility to work on that, to improve, to grow. Our students are going to become leaders in the community. I can’t think of anything more precious than to have them go out there with not only the knowledge but with the belief that all humans have value. Create the community that we dream about. That’s what La Jolla Country Day is all about. Thank you.
This man’s Mitt Romney-ish, hand-wringing style grates on every last nerve. There’s just enough good in there to entice one to agree with him, but the manipulative tactics and process are evident to those who’ve experienced them before. No one has free speech there; they’re only allowed thought or speech that agrees with what the collective approved. That’s extremely clear.
Krahn’s manipulation wasn’t just aimed at the student. In an email he sent to staff before filming the video, he outlines what was said to the mother:
“We also had a student wear a MAGA Hat today. I have talked with that student who now understands why that hat is offensive to our community. He will not wear it again. In addition his mom said that she is embarrassed by his actions. She will fulfill her role as a parent. We will continue to grow as a community that sees and values the dignity of all people.”
I regret to inform you, Mr. Krahn, she was not embarrassed by his actions. She said that because she was bullied by you and didn’t want her son kicked out of school.
The words, “She will fulfill her role as a parent,” and the ease with which he manipulated mother and son and then bragged about it, are terrifying. It’s time for everyone to learn about these manipulative tactics and teach our children about how they’re employed, because this isn’t going to stop anytime soon.