Rebecca Makkai implores you: Stop wearing all red caps.

It’s just too scary. To “everyone.”

The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist took to Twitter to ask that everyone make a fashion change for the good of America. Here’s what she had to say:

“Is anyone else made really uncomfortable these days by anyone wearing any kind of red baseball cap? Like, I see one and my heart does weird sh*t and then I finally realize it only says Titleist or whatever. Maybe don’t wear red caps anymore, normal people? Also, for the love of God: The clever folks wearing “Make America Read Again” or whatever caps — NO. You’re making everyone scared. Don’t do it.”

It seems a fairly tall order. A few caps at risk:

  • Washington Wizards
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Alabama Crimson Tide

But the stakes are high — Rebecca provided an equivalent:

“If you’re here to be contrary: an equivalent here would be western Hindus choosing not to use the swastika symbol in public despite it being sacred to their faith because it would offend/frighten people. The red hat has become a symbol of hate bc of how its wearers act.”

She also made clear her appeal is meant only for “normal people” who don’t wanna “freak people out”:

As pointed out by The Daily Wire, the posts aren’t Rebecca’s first comment on the era of Trump.

At ElectricLiterature.com — in a December essay titled “The World’s on Fire. Can We Still Talk About Books?” — she lamented:

This July, I hit a low. A how-do-we-keep-fighting-one-more-day low, a scream-silently-into-the-mirror low, a twilight-of-democracy low. Not my first, not my last. I tried to distract myself by retreating to the bubble of literary Twitter, where I started a thread listing some of my favorite overlooked fiction. Others added, until the list was heartbreakingly long. (All these masterpieces, neglected!) Soon, though, someone jumped in with a bit of scolding: “We’re 100 days out from an election,” she wrote. “That’s what we should all be thinking about.”

My self-righteous response was easy like-bait: “I refuse to live in a world where an oppressive regime prevents us from advocating for art,” I wrote, and added some feel-good words about fighting despotism through empathy. Soon, the woman apologized — a writer herself, she’d been despondent lately, she said — and I hold no ill will toward her. She might just as easily, as many have done before her and many continue to do, ask how one could post about books on a day when there’d been a mass shooting, a day when babies were in cages, a day when toddlers were gassed, a day when… well, any other day, really. Her question wasn’t new to me, in part because it’s something I ask myself on a daily basis. Is it really okay to talk about art right now? To leave the real and broken world behind and talk about fictional ones?

Rebecca is an accomplished novelist and short story writer, which I immensely respect — her The Great Believers made finalist for a Pulitzer and scored a spot on The New York Times top 10 list of books for 2018.

Great job.

I will say, though, despite her plea, I think there are a whole lot of Roll Tide hats that won’t be going anywhere.

-ALEX

 

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