American Diversity?

“American Diversity – White Wash” Detail collage by Sally Edelstein


There is no way to whitewash this; when President Trump says he want to “Make America Great Again,” what is meant is “Make America White Again.”

Trump’s Make America White Again white nationalist agenda has never been more evident than in his cruel, zero tolerance policy of separating migrant children from their families seeking asylum. These immigrants and migrants desperately seeking asylum are not part of Trump and his base’s  vision of America.

Heartened by our racist in chief who not only surrounds himself with like minded sycophants he has given a wink and nod to the darkest elements of our society with white nationalists crawling out from beneath the rocks where they have been hiding in wait to bask in the sooty air.

Is there any surprise that Fox news hosts are spewing white nationalists rhetoric about  illegal immigrant invaders” pointing to “their goal to change your country forever.”

Simply put, the browning of America is making many white nationalists turn a whiter shade of pale.

American Diversity in the Age of Trump

There has been a lot of talk about diversity. Trump supporters are all for it- that is as long as it’s all white.

The president wants to set the country back generations by promoting a homogeneous white society. That mythical time period when America was Great

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.

Is this the America Donald Trump wants to return to?

Variations of a Theme – Look Closely

art collage by sally Edelstein

” American Diversity- Whitewash” collage of appropriated vintage image and paint chips. by Sally Edelstein

“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.

Trump 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.


My collage “American Diversity- Whitewash” will be on exhibit at Ceres Gallery , NYC “13 National Juried Show”

At a time when Trump is stoking the racial fears and hate of a solid segment of white nationalists that fundamentally rejects a diverse American future this piece feels particularly timely.

Ceres Gallery New York

547 West 27 Street, NY NY 10001

Ceres 13th National Juried Exhibition

June 19 – July 14, 2018

Opening Reception:

Thursday, June 21, 6 – 8 PM

Sara Softness, JUROR, Assistant Curator, The Brooklyn Museum

Hours: Tue-Sat. noon – 6pm


© 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.




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