To whom it may concern,
"Make America Great Again." Let's think this through- I mean, really think this through. America. Great. Again. Let's go back in time. Let's rewind. Let us ponder and go into depth and really discover the times in which we so desperately want to cling to.
The year 1838. The year of The Trail of Tears. This is the iconic time in American history that President Andrew Jackson "relocated" Native Americans. These people were driven out of their homes and forced to move to Oklahoma. Along the way, over 4,000 Native Americans died from cold, hunger and disease, and by the year 1837, 46,000 Native Americans were removed from their homelands.
What about slavery? If you really want to go back in time, slavery technically began as early as the year 1619 and if we count the 13th amendment as the "end" then that's about 246 years of slavery. And I'm not even mentioning the horrible segregation, racism, and discrimination that people of color have had to face. Up until the year 1965, Jim Crow laws were very much in power; and interracial marriage wasn't even legal until 1967.
What about the Roaring Twenties? This was a period of great development and innovation, but it was also a period that is often way too glamorized. Thanks to the prohibition of alcohol, this was the time of the underground liquor trade. (Enter Al Capone and his lively comrades)
Did I mention Japanese Internment camps? While many brave people went off to war in order to stop the atrocities of World War II, we were having our own atrocities right in our own backyard! After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese paranoia led to over 110,000 Japanese Americans to be forced from their homes and brought into camps. Oh, and we also turned away thousands of Jewish refugees around that time as well.
Then there's the nifty fifties. The time of cookie cutter homes, milkshakes, segregation and women's oppression. Often times, I go on Facebook and I see people idolizing this time in history; and I just don't get it. What is there to idealize? The confinement of the housewife? The belief that a woman is the property of her husband? The idea that a woman is only worth something if she's married? Heads up, we can have 50's style diners with milk shakes and burgers, but we don't need the backward ideals, do we?
Was America "great" when we started the Vietnam war? A war that lasted nearly 20 years, cost 58,000 American deaths and 2.5 million innocent civilian lives? Was America "great" when Hurricane Katrina came along in 2005 and killed over 1,800 people. But our response from the federal governmental was totally quick and efficient.
I'm not writing this to bad mouth the United States. My reason for this article is to explain that we shouldn't be looking at the past as a model, instead, we should look at our past and learn from it. We shouldn't try to "Make America Great Again" we should try to always find a room for improvement, because recognizing that there's always room to better oneself is truly what makes a country great.
A person who fears for her future and her future children's future.