Making America Great…Again???

Making America Great…Again???
Hardy L. Brown. Photo by Benoit Malphettes

Hardy L. Brown. Photo by Benoit Malphettes

With all the crazy things that Donald Trump has said and done and with what some of the young uninformed Black Lives Matter activists are saying right now, I decided to write my opinion in response to the nonsense. 

I did not grow up under slavery in this country but I did grow-up under government sanctioned Jim Crow laws and people like Democratic Governor George Wallace of Alabama, Democratic Governor Lester Maddox of Arkansas and the infamous Sheriff Bull Connor. While Donald Trump is a Republican, he has a good share of young and middle aged White men who are Democrats that are supporting him, so don’t get hung up on the political party. It is what he is saying that is attracting them. 

So to Black Lives Matter and those die hard Blacks who cannot support Hillary, I want you to think about our history in this country. I’ll share mine. My great grandmother Jane McDaniel Williams was born under slavery back in 1847 to White slave master Adonijah McDaniel and his slave Amy Hill. According to the 1840 United States Federal Census Adonijah McDaniel listed that he had five slaves, 3 males (1 under the age of 10), 1 age 10, and 1 age 23, 2 female slaves ages 10 thru 23. And there were 2 free White persons living on his farm, he and his wife. 

My great grandmother’s sister was Harriet McDaniel Williams who was also fathered by Adonijah, and much of that family’s story is told through Freedman’s documents when in February 21, 1871 down in New Bern, North Carolina after the end of the Civil War Harriet made a claim. Harriet’s husband Bryant Williams was killed in battle as a Union soldier in South Carolina during the Civil War. This information was taken from Harriet’s application for widow benefits from the government. 

I want Trump and BLM to know and understand that we have labored in the fields and cities to build this country; we have fought and died to establish this country against the British. Crispus Attucks, a Black man, was the first to die in the American Revolutionary War. We fought and died for emancipation during the Civil War. We fought and died to free people we did not know during World War I and World War II. My uncles and cousins have told me of their experiences in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. 

I grew up under Jim Crow so when Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again, my question is “for whom”? He is talking about a country’s history where Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Indians, women or Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals or Transgender or certain religious faiths had no legal rights and Black Lives really did not Matter. 

Just to illustrate how crazy this Donald Trump, “Make America Great Again” thinking is: my white ancestors and Black ancestors are buried in separate cemeteries in Jones County because it was the law and still the custom today for us to be separated even in death. Is that great? My father was the caretaker of the White cemetery and my grand father and many current cousins still take care of the Black Cemetery. 

To the Black Lives Matter young people while it sounds and feels good to say, “I won’t vote and hand the election over to Trump” just to make a point is ludicrous. If you think your lives do not matter now, just wait to see how it will be under a Donald Trump administration. Donald says, “It's a very exciting time for America. Your voices represent a bright new future for our great nation full of more opportunities for everyone, not just a select few. Together, we have created a movement that continues to gain momentum. Together, we are making history. Together, we are bringing back the American Dream. The time is now. Together, we WILL Make America Great Again!” Yet he has not stated one thing that he will do other than build a wall, ban Muslims, work with Russia, insult veterans, women and people with disabilities and berate the media. 

What I have described earlier will be nothing because you have not lived under those kinds of legal restrictions. Black people during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s were hung for the right to vote but they kept fighting and are still fighting to vote without obstacles being in their way. With a Trump Administration the fight will be harder. 

Just as Khizr Khan challenged Donald Trump to read the constitution I say to all of us learn about the United States history of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, women, religion and the LBGT people in America before voting in November.

About The Author

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