Is wearing a MAGA hat hate speech?

Are you saying that you see people wearing MAGA hats in Germany? Or are you just saying that they’ve not been banned in the US?

I have never seen somebody wear a MAGA hat in Germany, but I know they are not forbidden. The Querdenker (translatable as the lateral or, perhaps more accurate, the transversal thinkers, our variant of QAnon) do wear them a demonstrations, I have seen pictures in the press. I would not go to such a demonstration, not even to oppose it, heckle it or whatever: they are violent and there is no point.
By this thread I infer that MAGA hats are not forbidden in the USA.
Many Nazi symbols, including, of courte, the swastika, are forbidden in Germany. You may have them at home, but you may not show them in public.

There is nothing about a MAGA hat that is even remotely close to “hate speech”.

As already noted, wearing one may correlate to the willingness of the wearer to engage in hate speech but it would be ludicrous to make the leap to “and therefore the hat itself is hate speech.”

Wearing the hat is not hate speech. A lot of people who wear that hat in other parts of their life engage in hate speech but the hat itself is nothing of the sort.

That said I do think people who wear campaign merch after the campaign is done are pretty sad. Trump supporters have taken it to a whole new level with their cringe cult behavior.

Does it meet the legal definition of hate speech? No.

Does it meet colloquial definitions of hate speech? For me it sure does. Hateful, stupid people trying to make others fear for their safety? In that sense it’s absolutely hate speech, and anyone wearing one should be shamed and shunned as if they’d committed legally-defined hate speech.

We don’t have to tolerate or coddle bad behavior that doesn’t rise to the definition of lawbreaking. We have the freedom to criticize and dissociate from those people; they’re not entitled to any due process. You can call it hate speech, it’s OK.

What legal definition? In the US, there isn’t one.

I agree with you that the hat is hate speech if it is being worn to intimidate and threaten minorities. However, is this the primary reason it is worn? I was under the impression the point was usually to indicate their membership in the Trumpian tribe.

That’s not to say that it isn’t a symbol of hate. The ideology it represents is definitely fueled by hate. But I continue to argue that hate speech is not the same thing as hateful speech. Hate speech must be used to discriminate against or intimidator minorities.

Then that’s great! If there’s no formal standard of hate speech, then Americans are free to define it as they wish. (They are also gently reminded that other countries do exist).

There is no daylight between those two positions. Trumpism is in large part a backlash against the concept of equality and tolerant coexistence. All Trumpian iconography is hate speech.

That’s an awfully broad brush you’re wielding there. In principle you have a point, but for any practical purposes calling a MAGA hat “hate speech” is a long stretch.

Are we not talking about principle? Is there a specific practical purpose you had in mind?

Designating something as “hate speech”.

There is a food truck in small town near me. He refuses to serve anyone with MAGA/Trump apparel on. I applaud this.

Sweet! I’d go out of my way to support his business.

This is literally articulating a principle without an associated practice. Not a practical purpose. You’re drawing a distinction without a difference.

I see little difference between MAGA hats, swastikas, and confederate flags. They’re symbols of intolerance, bigotry, and hatred. Displaying any of them is like shouting that you’re full of ignorance, fear, and hate. Whether it constitutes hate speech in and of itself is bit of a stretch. Personally I think it’s better to have people think you might be an asshole than to put on a MAGA hat and remove all doubt.

If there’s a horse on it, it’s mine

Why kid ourselves? The time and place referenced by the slogan is the antebellum South. It’s as racist as white robes, pointy hats and burning crosses.

That phrase is a dogwhistle. It’s based on the premise that America stopped being great when a person of color got elected to the highest office in the land.

As has been pointed out, there’s no legal definition of “hate speech” in American federal law.

People who quickly point out that MAGA hats or swastikas or confederate flags can’t possibly be hate speech because they’re constitutionally protected are probably conflating hate speech (which is purely a social construct) with hate crime (which does have a legal definition).

Non-violent political expression cannot, by definition, be a hate crime but it can absolutely be hate speech.

A hate crime is a “value added” proposition. You can bigot your bigotry all day long, but you haven’t committed a hate crime unless your bigotry is an element of an actual crime you’ve committed.

So let’s consider this. If a [pick your PoC of choice] were to get assaulted up by a bunch of white guys wearing the hats and chanting “Make America Great Again,” do we think a prosecutor would be able to use that as a component of a hate crime case?

I think it would be a slam dunk. For perspective, these women pled guilty to hate crimes.

That’s really it- it by itself isn’t hate speech, but it does essentially say that you condone and accept those who do engage in hate speech and domestic terrorism, etc… Condoning something isn’t the same as engaging in it, after all.

And like @BigT points out, at this point in time (October 2021), wearing one is basically a deliberate statement to say that you support Trump and all his demagoguery, anti-democratic crap, and everything that it implies.

As long as that PoC isn’t Jussie Smollett. :smiley: