There are those in our society who are so afraid of change, so afraid of others who are different; not only different in their features but also in how they think that they would give up their own freedoms in order to feel protected from them.
Anyone who does not believe as they do is a potential threat and therefore a potential enemy; not to be trusted. This is how the Trump Presidency was allowed and it’s how it begins. Of course if you are a Trump supporter you will think this is all a lot of crying from a liberal who has helped to destroy this country with his beliefs.
But it was not liberals who destroyed this country nor was it conservatives, independents or anyone else. It was fear that destroyed this country. It was nineteen men with box cutters on September 11, 2001 that brought this nation to where it now finds itself; polarized and frightened.
This is not the first time this has happened. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 Americans feared and attack on the West Coast by the Japanese. Because of this American Citizens of Japanese Ancestry were stripped of their Constitutional Rights, their homes, possessions and freedoms and put into camps. This was done to them for two reasons; fear and they could be recognized as different. They could be recognized as the enemy.
America was at war with Germany too but few Germans were put into camps. The reason; they were American Citizens with German Ancestry therefore their skin was white, their features the same as all other Euro-American Citizens. Therefore they could not be recognized as the enemy.
In American history it hasn’t always been an act of war that has caused Americans to fear those different from themselves. From 1882 to 1943 the United States Government severely curtailed immigration from China to the United States. This Federal policy resulted from fear over the large numbers of Chinese who had come to the United States in response to the need for inexpensive labor, especially for construction of the transcontinental railroad. Competition with American workers and a growing nativism brought pressure for restrictive action.
These same Chinese immigrants died by the hundreds building the Trans-Continental railroad that would connect the United States from coast to coast. But after the Civil War and with the economy in decline and many Chinese immigrants employed in low wage jobs the Chinese were blamed for declining wages. Many were beaten to death in the street or lynched.
With the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 Americans are once again responding in the same old way they have in the past and they are responding for the same reason and that reason is an unreasonable fear of those who are different.
This time their fear is directed at American Citizens with West Asian ancestry; Muslims whose religion for many of them is Islam; Muslims whose features are distinctly different from those who fear them; white Euro-Americans. In their eyes Muslims represent what the Japanese did too many Americans in 1941 and if we as a nation stand by the same thing can and will happen again.
In the year 2016 in American history a man showed up who told them he would protect them from these terrible, dangerous people. He would send back the immigrants who are stealing their jobs and causing wages to stay stagnant. He told them he would create a registry for these people they feared. He would make their country “Great Again” never spelling out the time period that America was Great.
When was America Great? Was that when we were conquering the United States in the 1800’s or when slave labor was used to build cities, and run the American economy. Was it during the Civil War or was it during the advance into the Pacific theatre where the U.S. colonized other nations and restricted their freedoms for its economic gain and to increase its military power.
During all the time when women and minorities had few or no rights; is this the America that Americans want to go back to? Is this the period where America was great? Was it during WWI or WWII that Trump is talking about? Is that when America was great, do we as a nation want to go back to fighting world wars so as a nation we can feel proud.
Was it during the 1950’s when the fear of Communism led to the Korean War and McCarthyism? Was it during the sixties with the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement? When was the time period that the United States was great?
If American citizens look back into their history with a critical eye they will find that it all came at a cost. A cost in lives taken, cultures destroyed, opportunities wasted, and they would see that at no point is there a time where you could say America was great without finding others who would say at what cost?
There are those supporters of Trump who only want one thing, and that is what they deem a Christian White America! They want to overturn Roe v Wade, Gay Rights, Women’s Rights, and Civil Rights. They want an America that makes the world in balance with their beliefs. They do not care about anyone else’s beliefs.
The recent letters sent to Mosques in California stating that President Trump is going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews is not making America Great. The fact that President-Elect Trump has yet to call a Press Conference and openly denounce this type of hate being carried out in his name does not make America great. For those who are not white it must make their own country horribly frightening.
Many other supporters of Trump voted for him because they were tired of politics as usual. They may find that they are going to get from Trump a politics that is much more repressive than usual and will bring down on them even more restrictions, more hardships, and fewer rights. It seems that most Americans do not really know or at least they do not really want to know their nations history. If they did they would not want to make “America Great Again” they would want to make America Great.
Trump would limit our rights quickly! He believes his truths should be our collective truths! I believe he is constitutionally incapable of seeing any side but his own! He has shown himself to be a weak-minded man and history has shown us that a weak-minded man is very dangerous when he has power! We must stand Vigilant!
America cannot be great on the back of all the things past American Governments have done. In order to be great current Americans must acknowledge the failure and the harm of past U.S. Administrations and right those things where they can be righted and openly acknowledge America’s role in those that can’t be righted.
Having done this future Americans and their leaders can move to create an America that looks out for the welfare of the many at home and abroad for the purpose of bettering their lives, not for economic gain and to increase its military reach.