I am so sick and tired of seeing MAGA hats paraded around our country as if America has ever been a great country. Have we had great moments--of course! However, that in no way changes the disturbing history of our country.
Let us not forget the truth of our history:
Children were not protected from abuse until 1974 when the federal government finally passed The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974. I know a person who can recall showing up to school before this act was passed, covered in bruises and marks from his father. His teachers, neighbors, and school did nothing because they knew there was no protection from the law.
Japanese internment camps were introduced to our country by the Executive Order of President Franklin Roosevelt. From 1942 to 1945, it was U.S. government policy that people of Japanese descent were to be isolated in camps from the outside world.
This decision was made because the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and resulted in thousands of Japanese-Americans imprisoned against their will and without evidence.
Women did not receive the right to vote until 1920 and are still fighting today for equal pay. Let us also not forget that President Donald Trump himself has been accused by at least 15 women of sexual assault. President Trump has also been documented making misogynistic and demeaning comments about women regarding their appearance.
Brock Turner, a convicted rapist, only served 3 months in prison after witnesses and substantial evidence proved him guilty. The stark reality is that statistics show that 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
Our country was built on the backs of slavery. Americans legally owned, killed, beat, and raped human beings. Even after slavery was abolished, we continued to harm the black community through black codes and segregation. To this day, our prison system is a testament to the deep-seated racism that continues to plague our country.
After the tragedy of 911, our national leaders decided it was best to blame the incident on Afghanistan and Iraq. As a result, the United States military killed over 480,000 people, including many civilians. You may think the war was necessary and casualties are an inevitable part of war; however, there are many contradicting views on whether these wars were even remotely necessary.
I could go on forever about the horrific truth of our country's history. I won't because that would take forever. You may be saying, "every country has done horrible things in their past."
That may be true, but other countries have never publicly claimed to be "great." I want to know what President Trump was thinking when he chose his campaign slogan to be "Make America Great Again." Not only is that statement ignorant and narcissistic, but as I have proven, that statement is untrue.
As we all learned in our elementary school history class, history will always repeat itself. Many Americans cried the day Donald Trump became President of the United States. At the time, I couldn't completely understand why. That is no longer the case.
We currently have thousands of migrants detained in CBP facilities. As I'm sure many of you have read in the news, they are holding these people for months at a time and forcing them to live in horrendous living conditions.
I believe that the treatment of these migrants is 100% intentional. President Trump has fulfilled his agenda of scaring illegal immigrants from entering our country.
Detention centers have migrants living in inhumane living conditions. Observers at a facility in Clint, Texas reported to the press that children as young as 7 and 8 were sleeping on concrete floors. Many of them were wearing soiled clothes while caring for infants they had just met. At least 7 children have died in U.S. custody this year, compared with none in the 10 years prior.
The water provided to them was "of a dark color, and an ordinary glass would collect thick sediment." A detainee wrote that "our ration was in quality a starving one, it being either too foul to be touched or too raw to be digested." Detainees are being held in cells that are already well over maximum capacity and many of them are forced to stand for hours at a time due to overcrowding. A visiting doctor called the detention centers "torture facilities."
Trump's head of Customs and Border Protection told Fox New's that many of the "so-called minors are soon-to-be MS-13." If you're not sure what MS-13 is, it's an international criminal gang. Not only is this statement ridiculous, but it is obviously backed by a large amount of hate and prejudice.
Many of the detainees have already completed the CBP intake process, yet they remained locked in overcrowded cells. The overcrowding and inhumane living conditions are not due to a lack of funding, but the facilities negligence to provide adequate living conditions and release detainees in a timely manner. I can't help but believe that all of it is intentional.
I write this article because I believe it is crucial that we have open communication on what's happening around us. I had an extremely difficult time celebrating our country's Independence this year due to the reality of what's happening in our country. I will continue to live my privileged life, but I will no longer idly sit back and say that America is a great country.
Greatness is not ignoring the bad things and highlighting good achievements. Greatness comes from fighting for justice and protecting our sacred human rights.