‘Walk Away’ Founder Attacked for Wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ Hat

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
April 12, 2019Politics
‘Walk Away’ Founder Attacked for Wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ Hat
Founder of #WalkAway Campaign Brandon Straka is interviewed by an NTD reporter at 144th Anniversary Lincoln Dinner hosted by the Queens Village Republican Club in New York, N.Y., on March 24, 2019. (Miguel Moreno/NTD)

The founder of a popular movement that encouraged people to leave the Democratic Party was attacked for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, the latest in a string of attacks dating back several years.

Supporters of President Donald Trump wear the hats, which are emblazoned with Trump’s campaign slogan.

Brandon Straka, the founder of the Walk Away movement, recorded footage at an airport of a woman approaching him to express her disgust with the hat.

“At the airport w my MAGA hat on. This girl approached me 2 tell me I should be embarrassed. She said I’m a racist & POTUS is a racist. When I repeatedly asked why she replied, ‘He just is. He just is,'” Straka wrote on Twitter.

Warning: Video contains crude language.

“So I began recording & grabbed me twice. Shall we make this model very famous?” he added.

The video shows the woman trying to grab Straka’s phone and curse at him.

Straka said that before he started recording the woman told him that she thought the hat was real, to which he replied that it was.

“I didn’t think anybody would actually wear one in public,” she said. When Straka wondered why not, she said, “I thought they’d be too embarrassed to admit they’re a racist and support a racist.”

That’s when Straka asked her how Trump is a racist and she replied, “He just is.”

NTD Photo
(Brandon Straka/Twitter)

“She was really aggressive and smug until I turned the camera on, then she ran over to TSA and said, ‘Please help me, this guy is filming me and won’t leave me alone,'” Straka added. “SHE approached ME to shame me for wearing my hat.”

In a later update, Straka said that he identified the assailant and found out that her mother was recently ill and the family had launched a GoFundMe fundraiser.

“Rather than perpetuating the animosity that was shown toward me today, I’ve decided to transform rancor into love. I am donating to her mother’s GoFundMe & wishing her & her family peace & wellness. Wouldn’t it be something if every Trump supporter reading this gave a dollar to her family, w/ a message of love, signed ‘from a Trump supporter?'” he said.

The page now says that it is complete and no longer active. “So many amazing Trump supporters stepped up to try to donate and do something positive, but she closed the GoFundMe rather than accept an act of kindness from a Trump supporter,” Straka said in another update.

NTD Photo
A Make America Great Again, or “MAGA,” hat, on Jan. 22, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Accountant Fired After Berating Elderly Man Wearing MAGA Hat

A California music shop accountant was fired after she berated an elderly man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat inside a Palo Alto Starbucks, according to reports.

Rebecca Parker Mankey was dismissed from her job at Gryphon Stringed Instruments after she took to social media to post details of her encounter with a 74-year-old Trump supporter she called a “hater of brown people,” the Palo Alto Weekly reported.

Mankey said on her husband’s Facebook and Twitter accounts that she yelled at the man and tried to get other Starbucks customers to join her in attacking the MAGA hat-wearing man.

“I am going to publicly shame him in town and try to get him fired and kicked out of every club he is in,” Mankey wrote, according to a screenshot posted by an account with the Twitter handle @RightHookUSA, which said it would contact Mankey’s employer “to show them the violence their employee’s wife is promoting.”

“I am going to go to his house and march up and down carrying a sign that says he hates black people,” Mankey allegedly wrote about the man, according to a screenshot of her post. “I am going to organize protests where he works and make him feel as unsafe as he made every brown person he met today.”

Mankey also wrote that she told the man to call the police so that she could find out his name and address, and where his children went to school.

The man, who has not been identified by name, corroborated the account, according to the Weekly.

He told the publication he wears the MAGA hat regularly and recounted how people have come up to him saying they, too, would like to wear the hats but are concerned about the possible consequences.

In a statement posted on the Gryphon Facebook page, the company announced that Mankey had been fired and that her actions were “not indicative of how we conduct ourselves at the shop.”

Gryphon Manager Matt Lynch told the Weekly that Mankey’s actions did not reflect the company’s attitude.

“What she said in no way reflects Gryphon or how the company feels,” Lynch said. “It’s a big shock to us.”

Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.

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