News & Politics

Home Depot Worker's 'America Was Never Great' Hat Sparks Outrage

I guess this Home Depot worker is a #NeverTrump supporter.


Krystal Lake, a 22-year-old who works at the Staten Island, NY, store, wore a hat to work that said “America Was Never Great.” She explained that the hat was a response to the Trump campaign’s “Make America Great Again” theme.

But if it was attention she was looking for — and who can doubt that’s why she wore the hat — she got it.


“The point of the hat was to say America needs changing and improvement,” Lake told the Advance. “I don’t think it’s a positive message to say, “Let’s look to the past.'”

Lake said she awoke Wednesday morning to a barrage of text messages, tweets and phone calls from friends and co-workers asking her if she had been checking her social media accounts.

“Everyone kept asking me if I was on Facebook or Twitter, which I hadn’t been,” she said, “and then I saw how many people were sharing [the picture] and that it was going viral.

“I was honestly shocked — I didn’t expect any of this to happen.”

Lake, a lifelong Staten Islander and student at the College of Staten Island, said this was the first and only time she had worn the hat to work, and that she was not reprimanded by any manager for the decision to wear it.

When reached by the Advance on Wednesday afternoon, Home Depot spokesman Stephan Holmes said Lake’s message on her hat does not reflect the opinions of Home Depot.

“We appreciate and understand the concerns of our loyal customers,” he said. “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.”

Lake, a Bernie Sanders supporter, said she has seen other employees wearing pro-Trump pins and pendants on their uniforms — yet no one has ever told them not to wear them.

“For the past two months, there have been a few people I work with wearing ‘Vote for Trump’ pins on their uniforms,” she said. “But no one ever says anything to them.”

The spokesman added that leadership of the Forest Avenue store will be “following up with the matter to ensure that it will not happen again.”

Holmes did not comment on whether Lake’s job was in jeopardy.

When asked whether she intends to wear the hat again, Lake said, “Definitely.”

“I feel it offended a lot of people because a lot of Trump supporters live in Staten Island,” she said. “Trump is very rash and in your face, but when someone else has a message against him, his supporters can’t take the criticisms.”


You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to be offended by that hat. And what kind of human being deliberately tries to offend people?


Home Depot should raise its hiring standards. They are employing someone profoundly ignorant of history — someone with a pre-school understanding of our past. I guess Ms. Lake is unaware of the U.S. dispatching two of the most powerful empires in history, landing a man on the moon, winning the Cold War, and leading the biggest economic boom in history — all in the past 70 years — among other more spectacular achievements. The idea that “America was never great” is preposterously stupid.

True, these accomplishments are in the past. And if we were to elect Lake’s hero, the socialist Bernie Sanders, they would, indeed, be the high point in our history as the current decline of America would accelerate.

But America has always belonged to those with the vision to look forward. Unleashed, that vision has the potential to change the world in ways we can’t even dimly imagine.

Ms. Lake can dwell in the past all she wants. The rest of us will move into the future without her.


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