I was having a conversation with one of my white friends about what time period we’d like to have lived in, if not this one. He started off on the Viking era, ripped off a bunch of other super white time periods, and finally settled on the 1960s (for all the conspiracies of course). I must admit that I’m a bit of a Renaissance time travelling, daydreamer myself but the conversation eventually landed on American history. I understand as a black man in medieval times my options would have been restricted to slavery or piracy, fuck if I ain’t a noble in my daydreams though. No doubt. But in AMERICAN history, there’s no better place than now for us. So when I hear “Make America Great Again”, that translates to Make America Hate Again to me. I’ll explain why.
In comparison to pretty much every other developed nation, America is pretty young. In fact so young, borrowing a line from Game Of Thrones, “so green it pisses grass.” So when exactly was this GREAT time period we keep hearing of America returning to? I definitely would not have wanted to be in that first group of black people coming to America in the 1600s, so scratch that the time period the FUCK off the list. The 1700s was a regal affair no doubt, you could have found a handful of brothers doing alright for themselves. Benjamin Banneker, Prince Hall and James Forten to name a few. BUT… the 1st recorded casualty of the America Revolution was also a black man, Crispus Attucks. Basically, a premonition of the future for blacks in America, dying for a cause other than our own and hoping to be rewarded for it. The 1800s, just skip that shit completely, hell no. Skip it, NEXT! The early 1900s was a shit show, until the Harlem Renaissance, so I’ll pass on that too. Oh, for all the Irish and Polish homies, now was about the time I’d recommend you start at. I could understand an argument for blacks wanting to return to the 40s or 50s, but for me personally it was just too restrictive. I still couldn’t eat at all the restaurants in town or sneeze on a white man, even in the 60s. The 70s though, now I can dig that. The Panthers, Pam Grier and Shaft. But that’s my point, I have to wait until the 70s, to be genuinely okay in blackness. Fuck that. And if you’re Asian or Hispanic, just start at the 1980s. Please. Oh what a time, to be alive.
So why in the actual fuck, would I want America to be someone else’s type of “great” again? If your idea of great is racism, prejudice and imperialism, I’ll have to pass. Today’s America is the best is has ever been for the nation as a whole. Things are still difficult no doubt, but if you want it, you can get it without the overwhelming racial barriers of past America. I won’t argue with someone who tries to tell me this country was greater and stronger in the 40s during WWII, than it is today. Those are the goggles of a world I am incapable of seeing or dreaming of being apart of. Segregation, alive and well even among soldiers fighting for the same country. Dying for the same country, but unfit to eat, and sleep near one another. 1948. We had to die separate from our fellow “American brothers” ALL throughout WWII. Make America Great Again as a slogan, is disrespectful to every one of those soldiers and any person of color to have died for equality in this nation. America is great NOW, if we fail to recognize this, America won’t be great for much longer.