Saying "Make America Great Again" has become one of the fastest ways to give anyone within a mile radius of you a headache. Regardless of which political side you are on, American politics have become exhausting to watch, even from across the border. Canadian versions of the famous slogan have attempted to make their way north over the past few years and most Canadians have been blissfully unaware of it - that is, until now.
It all started on Twitter when Canadian online shoppers exploring through the Hudson's Bay website. Shoppers noticed a new black hat with the slogan "Make Canada Great Again" that was listed for $45 CAD, made by a US brand called the Los Angeles Trading Company.
It didn't take long for Canadians to air out their concerns over the hat, and find out that controversial far-right groups in Canada such as Rebel Media have used that same slogan to mobilize their hate speech, as pointed out by the Huffington Post.
Another version of the slogan popped up earlier this year during Ford's campaign when fans created "Make Ontario Great Again" hats to show their support.
What a day! First @fordnation wins and now, we have sold more Make Ontario Great Again hats than we can handle this morning! https://t.co/oOfY7AiUxR #OntarioElection2018 #ontario #Ford4Premier #PremierFord #ONpoli #MakeOntarioGreatAgain pic.twitter.com/9WJJZ0Y4tu— Fire The Liberals (@FireTheLiberal) June 8, 2018
Clearly, the variations of the slogan were only introduced by fringe groups, so seeing it on the shelves of Hudson's Bay - a major, proudly Canadian retail company - came as a complete shock to shoppers:
.@hudsonsbay Listen Up. If you're really carrying "Make Canada Great Again" hats, you can seriously kiss my ass for-ever. i will walk a hundred miles to avoid you, I proimse.— Tory (@rakitoon) October 18, 2018
“Jonny Tucker, the company's owner, said the "Make Canada Great Again" hat was intended as a "pop culture" reference rather than a political statement”...so hate is “pop culture” now?— Raecene Thompson (@SimplyRaecene) October 18, 2018
So...make Canada great again by buying American-inspired hats at a department store owned by an American company? Doesn't quite track, really, does it?— Kern Windwraith (@oddparticle) October 18, 2018
Since the public outcry over the situation yesterday, Hudson's Bay has removed the hat from their website and issued a statement. They told the Huffington Post, "it was never our intention to offend and we have removed this product from our assortment."
While the hat is gone from the site, the company did not mention if the hat was or is still available for purchase in-store.
The creator of the hat at the Los Angeles Trading Company has also issued a statement since then. Company owner John Tucker stated that the hat "was intended as a 'pop culture' reference rather than a political statement."
While the store is still selling other hats from the Los Angeles Trading Company that feature less political slogans, it's pretty easy to assume that you will not be seeing any Hudson's Bay approved "Make Canada Great Again" hats again anytime soon.
Source: Huffington Post