Making America great again

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In 1935, Langston Hughes once said in his poem “Let America be America again, America never was America to me,” referring to the minorities, the women, the poor, and the countless others, who never truly experienced the idea behind the land of the free. Our nation has never been more socially conscious than it is now, and yet we still need to address a multitude of unjust parts of our society.

In 1935, Langston Hughes once said in his poem “Let America be America again, America never was America to me,” referring to the minorities, the women, the poor, and the countless others, who never truly experienced the idea behind the land of the free. Our nation has never been more socially conscious than it is now, and yet we still need to address a multitude of unjust parts of our society.

To strive for “the good old days” would be a cruel mistake because it implies that our world was a better place when people were treated as property based on their skin color, or when women did not have the right to vote. Attempting to bring back America’s past discounts the crucial leaders that sacrificed their lives to bringing change and justice. While there is so much to be proud of in American history, these proud moments brought us to where we are today and moved us closer to a real American dream. An American society where everyone could benefit from equal rights and treatment, throwing away the stigmas from the past and pushing to move forward.

It is easy to get caught up in the idea that there was a better time, but an idea is not reality and can be incredibly insensitive to those who faced and continue to struggle against oppression and inequality. Patriotic symbols, including our flag and anthem, represent the historic achievements and pride of our country, but if we forget to place the utmost value in justice and equality then the symbols no longer represent the America we hold so high. We can look to the past with pride and inspiration on how to progress, but we should not be modeling our future on a past that was desperate for change and is especially unacceptable now.

Personally, I feel so fortunate that as a girl I grew up knowing I could be an astronaut, lawyer, or doctor and I had a platform to make a difference. Less than 100 years ago my purpose would have automatically been to serve male superiors. According to Women’s Policy Research, in 2015, for every dollar a man earned on average women made 80 cents. Women are just one example of the abused groups that fell in between America’s stars and stripes. While, we have made undeniable progress in equality, with a society still littered with discrimination it is dangerous to idolize a flawed past.

Hughes explained through his poem that the freedom behind America has been extremely biased throughout history and in present day the poem still captures the damage that would be made if we move backwards. America is great. We should always work towards making America great. However, making America great again, implies far more than a simple slogan and involves all of the efforts and struggles that have made America into what it is today.