America was Never Great! But it Can Become Great!

America was Never Great! But it Can Become Great!

Trump’s leading campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again!” People wore it emblazoned across their red trucker hats and t-shirts. What Trump and his supporters were really saying with that slogan was, “Make America Racist Again!”, “Make America Sexist Again!,” “Make America Polluted Again!” and the list goes on and on. America was never great! We have fought for decades to make it great, but I would argue that we weren’t nearly there yet. This campaign, presidency, and the ensuing aftermath are toppling years of dedicated work towards making America great, in the name of returning it to its old racist, sexist, colonialist, white male land-owning past. And we can’t allow it!

It is scary to think that with a little permission on the part of an imbecile reality tv show host, and we are reverted back to the days of Jim Crow and lynchings. He opened up Pandora’s Box of despicable people, who have been silently waiting for their moment to reemerge and claim America as the white supremacist country it has always been. The “great America,” these men and women are calling for is a time when the White people were on top, women accepted their place at home, blacks used separate water fountains, and gays cowered in their closets wishing they could come out. This is not the “great America” I want to live in or I have fought for. This is a cowardly, uneducated, bigoted America that deserves to die alongside all its backwards beliefs.

I’m sorry poor religious white man if your beliefs have felt under attack for the past decade, while people who once felt ashamed of themselves are now able to live freely and happily. Your’s are not the feelings I care about. You want to thump your bible and scream at people for being different, so you deserve everything you’ve got coming to you. I care about the LBGTQ people who never felt safe in this America, you called great. I care about the Black Americans who never felt free or equal to you in society and still are shot unlawfully by the Police. I care about the Muslim families who escaped war and bloodshed for a better world to live in. I care about the Mexican men and women who walk miles and cross borders and work tirelessly for under minimum wage in order to provide their families with a better life. I care about the young girl with no money or family support, who can’t handle raising a child on her own-making abortion her only option. These people deserve a better America. You do not!

It makes me sick to think that we live in a time where things like guns, unborn fetuses, ignorance, racism, sexism, and xenophobia are lauded while education, understanding, love, and equality are seen as evil. People who are uneducated are being brainwashed into thinking that they are the smart ones and we are the ignorant elitist ones for believing in real facts. We have a President who celebrates what he calls real news, over true journalism and facts. He has his supporter base believing the opposite of what is true- that credited sources are Fake News, when it is the contrary that is fake. We have people who are ignorant and uneducated thinking they are in fact the smarter ones. Our President wants us to overlook true Science, for the beliefs of big businesses and religious people who don’t believe in Climate Change.

It feels like we entered the Twilight Zone on November 8th and the whole world is flipped upside down. What was once true is now fake and what was once celebrated like education is now seen as a waste of time. Trump has nominated people to his cabinet who know nothing about their departments and in fact want to destroy the very things that they are meant to protect in their roles. A “great America” is one where the white supremacists have retaken control and those who fought tirelessly for their rights only decades ago, now have no say. It’s like an elementary school “opposite day” prank, where everything that was once true is false and vice versa.

So, what can those of us who still want to be on the right side of history do? I have waited to write about my opinion for several months. I had plenty to say, but wasn’t sure how to say it. Then, I watched this new series last night called, “When We Rise,” about the Gay pride movement in Castro district, San Francisco alongside Harvey Milk. The mini-series also portrays the Women’s Lib movement and the still unjust treatment of African Americans. Watching this reminded me that this fight is still not over. Even though people have been fighting for equality since the early 60’s everyone is still not equal. We have still not seen the greatness that America has potential for.

Blacks are still seen as lesser than whites. Women are still paid less than men  for the same work and are seeing their rights gained through Roe v. Wade slip away from them by White Congressmen. LBGTQ individuals, although they gained the freedom to marriage, are still discriminated against by businesses and judges. They are still not equal in a lot of states. Trans people still can’t use the bathroom of their choice. All of these things make America less than great.

The slogan should be, “Make America Great!” Make America equal. When these rights are realized by all Americans then our country will achieve greatness. Until then, those of us on the right side of history should not put down our signs of protest and our movements for equality. There is nothing written in the Constitution that says, you have to support your elected President. We will not work with his supporters and give in to their bigotry. We will instead continue the fight of our parents and grandparents for a better, more equal country. We will march as women, as scientists, as the educated, as Muslims, Jews, Christians, Trans, Gays, People of Color and we will not be silenced.

We will make this country great, by continuing the fight for equality. We will not fall for the call to work together under Trump’s America. We will cause a raucous. We will rise! We cannot let all of our efforts from the past go in vein. We owe it to the icons of the gay, women’s, civil rights movements to continue their fight. People who can’t handle sharing space with people who are different than them don’t deserve a place on this stage. Celebrating a man who lies, points fingers at Democrats for his own misgivings, clings to his win for boosting his self-esteem, and alienates America from the rest of the world is unacceptable.

Without the social programs implemented by the Democrats, the majority of Trump supporters would not survive. So don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Trump does not care about the social services of the poor. He is not draining the swamp, he is filling it with more predators. We will not sit and watch as our country goes down the tubes and we watch our work for equality disappear. We will fight you at every turn. We will save you from yourself. Our country will not become 1940’s Germany, if we have anything to say about it.

America was never great. It was unequal. It was racist, homophobic, and sexist. We will make America great by fighting for equality for all and protecting the planet from those who choose not to believe in Climate Change. This is not the end of the story for America, this is only the beginning of a new Revolution for the right America, the Greatest America we can ever be. We owe this to the next generations.

Published by Melissa Gittelman

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