*Sometimes when you exercise your right to free speech in America, you have to suffer the consequences.
That’s the situation Krystal Lake finds herself in. Specifically she’s been on the receiving end of backlash and death threats for wearing a hat that says “America Was Never Great.” And yes, you guessed it, the hat’s phrase was inspired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Lake, a 22-year-old Staten Island native says:
“The point of the hat was to say America needs changing and improvement. I don’t think it’s a positive message to say, ‘Let’s look to the past.'”
She was seen wearing the hat during her Sunday shift at Home Depot in Mariners Harbor in Staten Island. According to her, she was alerted by many texts and phone calls on Wednesday informing her that the image of her and the hat was going viral. Since then, she has received much praise, along with death threats on social media.
Home Depot spokesman Stephan Holmes gave a statement to a local newspaper, saying:
“We appreciate and understand the concerns of our loyal customers. In terms of the message, our associates are not permitted to wear items that reflect political statements. Unfortunately, no one on our management team saw her wearing the hat — otherwise, they would have had her remove it immediately.”
But Lake says other employees at her job wear pro-Trump items while working:
“For the past two months, there have been a few people I work with wearing ‘Vote for Trump’ pins on their uniforms, but no one ever says anything to them.” Lake told the Staten Island Advance that she plans on wearing the hat again.