PHOTO CREDIT - The Economist
American history is rife with dark periods that most Americans either do not know about or overlook. For instance the Trump Campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). This implies that there was a time in United States history that was worth going back to and millions of Americans agreed with it. Yet, when was America great? Sure America has been a world power and at times lead the world in innovation, but this should not imply that America is overall great. There has always been social injustices, racism, and discrimination that have been perpetuated differently over time.
Many Americans argue that America is great because we are free and have choices. This refrain is said with the connotation that no other country has freedoms, when the reality is that many countries are free and their citizens have almost if not all the same rights as American citizens. This refrain also allows people to overlook the seedy underbelly of the United States. Everyone in the United States are not afforded the same rights and privileges. The lack of knowledge is simultaneously intriguing and disturbing. Do these people consciously overlook others mistreatment or are they really oblivious to others plights, specifically people of color.
The biggest social issue that is overlooked in the United States by many American’s is racism and discrimination. The phenomenon that permeated this structure of racism and discrimination was slavery, which is rooted in the belief that some races are inferior to other races. After slaves were emancipated in 1863 it took less than 10 years for White people to come up with Jim Crow laws that effectively made Black people second class citizens and enforced segregation. In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson the Supreme Court upheld segregation, which gave Jim Crow laws more momentum and essentially allowed acts such as lynching to continue. The ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson shows that within the very fabric of America there was still racism and discrimination against Black people. So much so that our highest court in the land upheld rules and laws that were to the detriment of Black people. In fact the case was not overturned until 1965! In many people’s minds the United States is ahead of most countries, but there are no facts that support this.
In fact in the Supreme Court case Trump v. Hawaii. The Supreme Court upheld that President Trump’s proclamation to ban travel from several countries to thwart Muslims from coming in to America was upheld, because he did not exceed the limit of his proclamation power. This decision was made in 2018. How do we in 2018 have a president that publicly discriminates against entire nations because of their religious preference? This is just one example of many how America still discriminates against others, in this case their race and religious preferences. President Trump divided the country and fanned the flames of hatred in people’s hearts and millions of people fully supported and believed him. Many of them supporting Trump because of their own internal biases and beliefs.
Can a country that was built on slavery, murder, mistreatment, and hatred truly fulfill the dream that America represents? Can White Americans really stop viewing themselves as the superior race? Currently, the American dreams is just that a dream.