Making America Great… ‘Again’?: Historical Hypocrisy & Modern Change

President Donald Trump claims to want to make America great…again. The word ‘again’ is a stretch, because depending on who you ask and their personal experiences throughout the history of the country…America was never great. Nevertheless, for those of us who still have faith that America can someday be great & actually reflect what it has promised/envisioned, it is obvious that hypocrisy and systematic discrimination thrives in the land of the free. The poem by Emma Lazarus on The Statue of Liberty in New York, ”the New Colossus” is suppose to stand for immigrants and refugees coming to a welcoming and compassionate/empathetic safe haven , a home for those who desire to leave or force to flee their homelands. Of course, Trump is not the first who discriminated against certain groups of people because for as long as the poem was first engraved on Lady Liberty in 1903, the poem’s message has always had it’s ‘terms & conditions’ depending on what ethnic or religious group people belong to. There is a clear long history of America showing more acceptance to certain groups of immigrants & refugees in comparison to others. Still, there are many immigrants, refugees, and forced migrants who have continued to have faith in America and want to come through the ”golden door” despite hostility/prejudice towards them . I encourage all to not be discouraged or faithless, but to continue to make our own positive marks in the world…let’s not wait on political leaders to make America (or anywhere) great. President Trump’s executive order and extreme vetting policies for Muslim-majority countries is just one of many hypocritical happenings that should not be accepted or validated if we want to make America great for everyone…not just selective groups. Over a century ago, The New Colossus was as new and promising as the Liberty Statue it was engraved on. Now, in modern times and after hypocrisy has continued to be prevalent in the U.S, it seems as if it’s the ”Old Irrelevant Colossus” because often times throughout the years…Lady Liberty is not a truthful representation/image of the actual freedom, justice, and liberty that is denied to many. However, instead of just complaining about the cons of America and hypocrisy in the nation, we should also encourage and implement positive change/actions. No matter who is in office, what awful/evil doings we witness personally or see constantly on our news’ channels…stay faithful and remember we are all equally important in creating positive change with our actions and mentalities, triumphing over negativity in the world.

 

The New Colossus Poem by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Verse To Analyze: Lines In Jay-Z’s Moment of Clarity

       Moment of Clarity By Jay Z
“I dumbed down my lyrics for my audience to double my dollars
They criticized me for it, but yet they all yell “holla”
“If skills sold, truth be told, I’d probably be lyrically Talib Kweli
Truthfully I want to rhyme like Common Sense
But I did 5 Mil, I ain’t been rhyming like Common since”

If many celebrities, especially popular musicians, can influence people to wear certain designer brands, have suburban kids imitating an image they know nothing about, and influencing little girls to make it a goal to be bad bitches ..then why can’t more use their talent/influence to drastically speak out on what needs attention in this country?  Perhaps, accumulating more wealth is far more important or safer than risking it for a much needed change in our society. Maybe many just don’t care that deep enough. And, perhaps it is also us, the listeners who needs to analyze our mindsets as well.

J. Edgar Hoover Deemed Them The Greatest Threat: Vintage Footage of Black Panther Party’s Youth Learning Centers *Edited*

J. Edgar Hoover once called the Black Panther Party for Self Defense ”the greatest threat to the internal security of this country”. Um,okay. At first I was looking at this quote from just one angle, but if you think about it they stood for a lot of things that many Americans with a mindset like Hoover did not want. So, they were a threat but definitely not a negative/bad one. One definition of ”internal security” means upholding the national law and defending against internal security threats. Yet when I analyze Hoover’s quote, what he really meant was ”keeping the order of things the same way”  and not acting, disturbing, or speaking out against unfair mistreatment/ racism in our society. The Black Panther Party were not about being racist or spreading a hateful message, but they believed in being revolutionary/rebellious concerning the mistreatment/societal issues in our country. In Hoover’s mind this was a great threat to our country’s internal security. Of course, just like all other organizations there were some members who were not really for the party’s cause, however the Black Panther Party were doing great things in the community like helping children learn, get healthy breakfasts, and basically following a belief that is totally fine with me and makes a lot of sense: Self Defense. The problem is, since they were black, armed, and speaking out against the horrible things happening on a mass mainstream level to African Americans and other minority groups….it was a problem. They were a younger generation who did not want to necessarily follow Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s method ,had revolutionary mindsets, and this was threatening to many. Unfortunately and sadly, COINTELPRO  and other illegal projects caused total destruction to the Black Panther Party, which included assassinating people like Fred Hampton, harassment, and etc.  This video is a great example of how The Black Panther Party For Self Defense had learning centers and positive resources in inner city communities. But nevertheless, Hoover said this was the greatest threat to the internal security of our country. I wonder why.

America: Two Options For Me

Racism will always exist and so will brutality among humans.  However,  we can decrease and minimize this, but the question is….can most humans be on the same page and actually want to achieve this? What I mean is,  some people just don’t value or really care  about certain groups and their lives. Some people don’t really care for change or progression.  The justice system (among many other things) in America has alot of flaws like other places, of course,  and we can either decide to help change this or move out of the U.S. It’s funny how we can complain about America,  but alot of us will never move to another place.  Do you know how many people who have free will to go, complain and passionately hate America….yet they probably will live and die in the same nation that treats them unfairly?  As an African American who is not okay with the current state of the U.S, I feel as though I have two options: move out of America and become a permanent resident somewhere else, or help be apart of the change that I want to see. Just complaining is not an option for me because that doesn’t solve anything.  Some people don’t have faith in America because of its history, but there have been good people who’ve left influential/postive marks on this land. The problem is,  we need more people with that mindset….So I have a question for all of us who do not like a lot of the things that happen in America.  Since we’re here….. What are we going to do to better America? Or, are we just going to point out problems and complain?  And if you feel like America is damned & can’t become better….then put yourself in a position to leave.