Make America Great Again?

By Atiba Madyun

I knew as many of you did, that racism would rear its ugly head under this president. This is why we were disappointed when we learned that some of our friends and even family members were complicit in the scheme to elect this president. 

America’a history is mired in an ugly past. My ancestors from Africa came here unwillingly. They didn’t give in to slavery, they fought it. Often losing their lives within seven years on America’s soil. Their restless souls and mental capacity couldn’t allow their physical bodies be subjected to something so evil and cruel. Some lost limbs, others were killed to keep the others in order. But they rebelled. Slave masters and their families were killed. But history books leave this part out of the books used in schools. Make America Great Again? 

To my friends who voted for Trump or against Clinton because you said she was unfit for office, do you still believe he is fit?   

The ugly head of hate and oppression is showing itself again. The ugly splinter of hate is showing you what we already knew, racism and sexism are alive and well.

Tomorrow is the start of the NBA basketball championship. Even the winner will be called world champion. This in itself is a mockery to the game and to the world. When our athletes will not have played international teams.  

America has a unique way of making it appear that we are the greatest nation on the face of the planet. How is that so, when the game features millionaire superstar African American athletes, descendants of slaves playing for teams owned predominately by white billionaire owners, whose ancestors made money off of free Black labor?

These owners are no different in many respects to the slave owners. It is a hard way to look at basketball. But it is the truth and can be said about football and other sports too! 

The best way, I know to address what we see with this administration is to confront our past. This requires serious introspection and uncomfortable conversations.  

The Chalkboard is a safe space for us to have some dialogue but the real meat will be in confrontational dialogue face to face.  

It requires serious dialogue to address questions that will make all of us, even the descendants of slaves uncomfortable.  

Can we reconcile our past? Only if we are willing to confront it! But it starts with letting go this get over it mentality, that Make America Great Again has perpetuated in incidents like LeBron James home being vandalized. Like countless unarmed Black men being killed by overseers masked in police uniforms.  

To my friends that voted for Trump or a candidate other than Clinton, I still have love for you in my heart because that’s how I’m built. I still have love even for Trump. This will surprise many of you. My love for both is masked in this simple belief. That this had to happen for us to get to a place to have these conversations. I knew then that the death toil would rise. That insecure men would surface thinking they were doing something in the name of Making America Great Again.  

It is necessary for this to happen to let the racism and sexism of insecure men come to the surface. It’s not pretty. And you are complicit in this crime against humanity.  

LeBron has my utmost respect. Not for what he and his family endured. My Jewish and Muslim friends at their synagogues and mosques across the nation are feeling what LeBron has. He has my respect as do these religious institutions for standing up with love in the face of hate.  

Hate will only divide us, love will truly liberate us. 


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