*By Chloe Aiello* President Trump's "Make America Great Again" cap is more than just a hat, it's a "symbol of us vs. them," according to Washington Post fashion editor Robin Givhan. "No fashion item is completely separate from the broader culture. It doesn't exist in a vacuum and so the way that people respond to it, the way it's read by others, is equally as potent if not more so than the intent of the wearer," Givhan said. Givhan [penned a column](https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-maga-hat-is-not-a-statement-of-policy-its-an-inflammatory-declaration-of-identity/2019/01/23/9fe84bc0-1f39-11e9-8e21-59a09ff1e2a1_story.html?utm_term=.ec3a75c53f4e) last week about what the hat has come to mean in the years since it burst on the scene as a campaign accessory for Trump's 2016 presidential bid. The hat, she wrote, has become "a symbol of us vs. them, of exclusion and suspicion, of garrulous narcissism, of white male privilege, of violence and hate." Her commentary follows a recent controversy in which the hat took center stage. Catholic schoolboys in MAGA hats, a Native American elder, and black nationalists collided at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., in a video that went viral. In an interview on "Today" after the incident, the student at the center of the controversy, Nick Sandmann, acknowledged that the presence of his hat may have escalated tensions. Fashion has historically been used to make political statements ー last year alone saw women in Tehran, Iran, removing their headscarves in protest of compulsory hijab laws, as well as celebrities at the Golden Globes wearing all black in solidarity with the #MeToo movement. But in the era of the pink pussy hats and the Black Lives Matter t-shirts, the red MAGA hat has emerged as the most divisive accessory of all. And Givhan argues it is inherently different that these other politically charged items. "The Black Lives Matter t-shirts and the pink pussy hats, those were being worn by a group of people who were not at the top of the pyramid in terms of our society. They were people striving to better their rights and ... gain greater equality, versus the 'Make America Great' hat, which doesn't have that sort of duality of the oppressed versus the oppressor," Givhan said. She added that the hats have been weaponized by some who have worn them, including white supremacists at the deadly Charlottesville, Va., rally. When someone wears a MAGA hat today, they're implicitly supporting more than Trump's policies, Givhan said. "There are definitely reasonable policy differences that are expressed by people who wear that hat, but I think the larger connotation says, 'I am willing to concede that my policy wins are worth it, despite all of these other negative ramifications,'" she said. For full interview [click here](https://cheddar.com/videos/washington-post-columnist-calls-maga-hats-a-declaration-of-identity).

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