Actress Alyssa Milano was blasted on social media following an inflammatory tweet about “Make America Great Again” hats over the weekend.
Milano, who is also a liberal activist, likened the MAGA hat to the white hoods worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
“The red MAGA hat is the new white hood,” she wrote in a tweet, referencing a clip from a video of a confrontation between Native American Nathan Phillips and Catholic school students.
The red MAGA hat is the new white hood.
Without white boys being able to empathize with other people, humanity will continue to destroy itself. #FirstThoughtsWhenIWakeUp
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 20, 2019
She added: “Without white boys being able to empathize with other people, humanity will continue to destroy itself,” Milano continued in her tweet, adding the hashtag, “#FirstThoughtsWhenIWakeUp.”
In the video, one student could be seen standing still and smiling while the Native American leader drummed in his face. Students later said they were confused about what the activists were doing and said they’ve faced death threats due to the hostile media coverage. Many of the students were wearing “MAGA hats.” In the video, captured in Washington, they were involved in an encounter with Native Americans and Black Hebrew activists.
One user tweeted at her, saying, “You should be sued for that statement. Or better yet, banned from Twitter!”
“Please get the whole story,” said another. “These kids did not start this.”
“Who told you that? Fake news CNN?” another person asked her.
“Maybe don’t tweet the first thought that comes to you when you wake up if this is an example of them,” a person tweeted. “This is not insightful, true, pithy or intelligent. Here’s an idea get off of social media, think about this for another decade or two then tell us your thoughts.”
Added YouTuber Mark Dice: “You would celebrate the mass murder of Trump supporters, wouldn’t you?”
Kentucky School Closes
A number of pundits, celebrities, and news outlets accused the high school students of being racist after a video surfaced of the incident. However, a longer version of the video then emerged, showing a far more complex scenario.
The new video prompted longtime New York Times opinion writer David Brooks to tweet: “Yesterday I had one impression of the maga kids from Kentucky. Now after seeing more videos I have a different more complicated impression. Makes all the hot takes seem silly.”
Yesterday I had one impression of the maga kids from Kentucky. Now after seeing more videos I have a different more complicated impression. Makes all the hot takes seem silly.
— David Brooks (@nytdavidbrooks) January 20, 2019
Due to the intense media scruitiny, Covington Catholic High School closed for safety reasons on Jan. 22.
“I never interacted with this protester. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protesters, and when the second group approached I was worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers,” Nick Sandmann, the student in the viral footage, said in a statement.
“I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand,” he continued.
Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be. They have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good – maybe even to bring people together. It started off unpleasant, but can end in a dream!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
Phillips said Sandmann was in the wrong.
“He stole my narrative,” Phillips said. “From the time I hit that first beat of the drum until I hit the last beat, I was in prayer.”
Describing the students as a “lynch mob,” Phillips said, “Now all of a sudden, he’s the prayer guy and the passive one.”
Concurrently, President Donald Trump pilloried the mainstream media’s coverage of the video.
“Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be. They have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good – maybe even to bring people together. It started off unpleasant, but can end in a dream!” he wrote.
Zachary Steiber contributed to this report.