A video showing a man sporting a giant “Make America Great Again” and defying the friends who tried to shame him for his support of President Donald Trump has been viewed more than half a million times.
Bryson Gray was interviewed by CBS 17 before a Monday night Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
“I have a lot of friends who tell me that I shouldn’t support Donald Trump because I’m black,” Gray said, “which is sort of insane because I can support whoever the hell I want. And then also they tell me that I shouldn’t wear the MAGA hat, so I bought the biggest MAGA hat.”
After the Twitter account for the Trump War Room shared the clip with its nearly 300,000 followers, Gray became a sensation in Trump world.
So far, the tweet containing Gray’s 18-second local news interview has been retweeted more than 10,000 times and garnered nearly 33,000 likes. Trump himself shared the clip to his official Instagram account.
Most of the commenters responding to the video were effusive in their praise for the North Carolina man.
Eventually Gray himself showed up in the replies section of the thread:
Thanks everyone! That’s me though wtf lmao
— Bryson Gray (@SuriusVsVodka) September 9, 2019
Gray gained thousands of followers following the viral clip from his CBS 17 interview.
I don’t follow crowds! I do what I want! https://t.co/Rec5Q0QXiC
— Bryson Gray (@SuriusVsVodka) September 10, 2019
The significance of the MAGA hat
Earlier this month, a Pulitzer Prize finalist sparked controversy on social media after she said that people who wear red hats guilty of engendering fear among the populace.
Novelist Rebecca Makkai, 41, asked her Twitter followers if she was the only one “made really uncomfortable these days by anyone wearing any kind of red baseball cap?”
Also, for the love of God: The clever folks wearing "Make America Read Again" or whatever caps — NO. You're making everyone scared. Don't do it.
— Rebecca Makkai (@rebeccamakkai) September 1, 2019
“Also, for the love of God: The clever folks wearing ‘Make America Read Again’ or whatever caps — NO. You’re making everyone scared. Don’t do it,” she said in another tweet.
As evidenced by Makkai’s tweets, a segment of Trump’s critics so closely associate the president with white nationalism that, in their eyes, anyone who supports him supports bigotry.
A debate has broken out between liberals who view the MAGA hat as a symbol of hate and the conservatives who find such an idea completely ludicrous.