“Make America Great Again” was the campaign mantra for president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign. It drew much controversy and conversation. It was a controversial statement for many because of the words “great again”. Some talk about the greatness of America based on its economic freedoms and military power compared to others countries. Others believe America was never great based on its failure to uphold its constitutional promises of equality and freedom of ALL men.
As an African-American from Selma, Alabama where the scene of the picture on THIS BILLBOARD was taken, I actually agree fully and wholeheartedly that we must make America great again!
Was America great when it massacred the natives of the land? Was America great when it instituted slavery and held blacks as property? Was America great when it treated women as second class citizens with a right to vote? Was America great when it kept blacks from voting? Was America great when it persecuted people for their sexual orientation or identity? Was America great when it persecuted people for their religious beliefs? No, this is not what I mean when I say, let’s make America great again.
THIS BILLBOARD tells the story of what I believe is the true greatness of America.
America was great when citizens stood up against the system that was oppressing them and denying them their constitutional rights. America was great when commonplace men and women used nonviolent, direct action to change the laws of the land. America was great when citizens refused to accept inequality and injustice towards any person. America was great when citizens would stand up when told to sit down. America was great when citizens would sacrifice their jobs, homes, children, bodies and their lives in hope to see America fulfill its promise of “equality and justice for all.” .
Yes, as I said let’s make America great again!