As an outsider, (non- American) looking in, I am astounded at the bias displayed by Trump supporters wanting to “Make America Great Again” known as MAGA.
As a black woman, I followed closely with concern the unprovoked attacks on black people, while they were driving, sleeping, having coffee, and generally just living! I couldn’t fathom why I was uncomfortable with the many incidences of police brutality! I recall when I visited America that it was a dream come true for me. I had watched so many Hollywood movies and having grown up during Apartheid in South Africa, I wanted to visit a country that I had seen, in movies, of black people being free to live, unlike the life I was given. One of my goals was to visit the Yankee Stadium and listen to the National Anthem being sung! In short, America presented the type of freedom I had only felt in my dreams.
I left America sad that I had to return to a country that had never offered me the freedom I had seen when I visited America. I had every intention of visiting again and quite frankly, coming back to the country of my birth, I couldn’t contain my sadness. In short, I envied black and brown people living in America and wished to be a part of them. Then Trump was voted in, and at first, I never paid much attention to his antics.
One day while aimlessly scrolling Facebook posts, I saw videos of immigrant children locked up in cages as if they were nothing more than rabid dogs. I cried as I heard parents’ testimonies of their children being wrenched from their arms to be placed in these cages. I waited in vain for the United Nations to intervene and saw and heard nothing. The killing of George Floyd was a turning point in my view of America and its people. I am not protesting his innocence, but for me, the worst aspect about his killing was the fact that the police officer, who had his knee on George Floyd’s neck, had a deadpan, distant, unemotional, look on his face while snuffing out a man’s life. He was utterly detached in his actions, and even the presence of being filmed did not deter him from killing.
My rose-coloured spectacles were slowly being removed when black lives matter supporters were treated harshly even when they were peacefully protesting. Trump was not silent on the matter, but his tweets and speeches and resultant actions indicated his support for a more militant approach. Trump chose not to see the hurt and anger black people were feeling and made it abundantly clear that to him and his right-wing followers, black lives did not matter.
The pandemic that struck the world in 2020 could not convince Trump or his supporters that the virus was real, and people were dying. Instead, they sniggered when he called it the “China virus” and as a direct result of his racist words, Asian Americans were being targeted by white people in the country.
Despite all of this, and more, including the lack of health care, and test kits for Covid19, I thought America would become “normal” again; that it would magically “switch” to the America I had visited! I was wrong! Trump lost the election to Biden, and so the “madness” escalated! Amid his almost maniacal tweets, he refused to assist Americans with Covid19, and the death toll rose, and people started dying even more than before. However, Trump was concerned about a second term in office, not his people or the state of the country’s economy.
My hope in America started dwindling rapidly, and I lost all hope when I saw that Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill, broke windows, forced doors open and demanded entry into what was always not “open” to the public. A supporter waved a confederate flag which was banned, but the banning meant little to the man. People died and were injured, not because they fought for freedom or in some civil war, but because they believed Trumps lies about voter fraud.
So, tell me Americans, how do any of these actions make America great? Is America great enough for you to put on your MAGA caps and accept the election results or do more people need to die? When do you wake up and understand that Trump’s actions were never about making America great again, but about saving his own hide?