Is this the America Donald Trump wants to return to?
There is no way to whitewash this; When Trump says he want to “Make America Great Again,” what is meant is “Make America White Again.”
There has been a lot of talk about diversity this election year. Trump supporters are all for it – that is as long as it’s all white.
In the great cultural cauldron of 20th century America there was one basic ingredient to being an American – Caucasian. Well apparently that old-fashioned recipe for prejudice is still being used by many Trump supporters, those disenfranchised, patriarchal loving, nativist white Americans.
Variations of a Theme – Look Closely
“No two families are alike” announces the headline to this mid-century advertisement that is the centerpiece of my collage “American Diversity – Whitewash”
Yes, there is great diversity in America the ad seems to imply … that is, as long as you are white, middle class, and Protestant.
White diversity is demonstrated by the multitude of white paint chips framing the illustration. The variations of whiteness range from “American White,” “Lily White,” “Strong White” to “Spanish White” and “Indian White.”
Who said being white isn’t diverse?
Whether in advertising, children’s schoolbooks, or television, mid-century America was a very black and white world.
Trump seems to want to restore the American Dream and the middle class back to that mid-century mythical place, a conflict free, whiter than white America.
The Republican presidential candidate is strategically stoking the racial fears and hate of a solid segment of white America that fundamentally rejects a diverse American future.
These retro Republicans long to go back to those good old days.
The romanticized illustrations of the American dream family that we saw in ads and illustrations portrayed eerily homogeneous landscape of smiling, prosperous, Anglo-Saxon families. This is the America Trump followers pine for.
But the sweet sentiments of those romanticized times belie the fact that these years were far from fair to Blacks, Latinos women or gays.
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.