Yesterday I came across a group of photos that a friend shared on Facebook that depicted a young Black woman working at Home Depot wearing a white hat that says “America Was Never Great”. I’ll admit when I first saw it I wasn’t sure what to think. It even crossed my mind that it was photoshopped. I still don’t know if it was or not.
Someone with a differing of opinion had posted a photo of her and a link to her Facebook profile, along with other pictures of posts to and from Home Depot, all crying that she should be fired, asking them for a statement, and essentially dragging this lady through the mud. Comments calling her a bitch, telling her to go back to Africa, they’ll gladly pack her shit… the worst names, death threats and more… for wearing a hat. Here's just a small sample.
I, for one, was more offended by the reaction of people than I was by the hat. But, putting aside my personal opinions or beliefs, it made me wonder why it gauged such a strong reaction when we literally have a US Presidential Candidate running on the premise that AMERICA IS NOT GREAT. Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan implies that America is not great. So that’s okay?
What exactly is his version, and all his supporters, of the “Great America”? Donald’s Trump answer is the late 1940s and 50s. Surprisingly, it was not the Reagan Era.
Being born in the 80’s, I have no idea what it was like to live in America in that time period. My grandmother was born in the 40’s. What I do know from this time period, there’s no way any PROUD American should WANT to return to these days. Least of all, a black woman. These were the days of “separate but equal” (and I think we can all agree that this was a lie..there was no equality to be found). Black people were not slaves in the sense that we were not owned as a piece of property, but we were not Free. Oppression was prevalent.
Perhaps there was great industrial work going on in this era, as Trump cited. Women rights were a hot topic, as this was the time that women roles were evolving from the homemaker to carving a place in the workforce. Rosie the Riveter, the symbol of all that a (white) woman could be, was created in the 40s.
However, in the 50’s, due to the war being over, it became a cyclical catch 22 for women. They were expected to go back to being homemakers, yet couldn’t afford to do it. They couldn’t get a job, because most jobs were created for men or needed higher education. To get higher education you needed money and you didn’t have the extra money because there weren’t many jobs for women. In addition to the struggle of women in the 50’s, the Civil Rights Movement peaked in the 50’s.
Being a black woman during this time was a double edged sword. THIS is the time that we’re supposed to agree that America was great? The sentiment that American was never great from this woman's perspective doesn't expressly mean that she doesn't think it's possible. One can be proud of where she's come from and what she has accomplished and explicitly embarrassed of crimes her family committed.
So when considering all these things, is it that far fetched that a young, Black WOMAN would feel like America hasn’t been so great to her? Especially to the time that a Presidential nominee wants to return us to?
110Make America DECENT Again111
For those of you who just simply can't understand how a black woman could feel like America was never great, but are proud stans for Trump, I hope you realize that you're no different than her. You're saying the same thing two different ways. Or as my husband, a proud US Army soldier says often “ Why does your 2+2 always have to be what equals 4? My 3+1 works just as well.”