billboard shows what ‘make america great again’ really means

November 21, 2016

Resistance through public art is one of the most poignant and powerful forms of resistance. Artists have always been at the center of the revolution, using stark images and thought provoking words to ignite the fire within the every man and push us towards higher consciousness. For Freedoms, the first Super-PAC started and run by artists, has caught nationwide attention for their public art installation on a billboard in Pearl, Mississippi. The billboard bears the slogan of the now president-elect’s presidential campaign, “Make America Great Again” superimposed on the legendary scene at Selma on Bloody Sunday. In the scene, white police officers confront those who are apart of the march, warning them not to move forward. This is the meaning of “Make America Great Again,” to the artists behind the billboard and to many of the passersby. It means that progress has stopped here. It means that whiteness, white supremacy, and police brutality go hand in hand with the oppression of the day and of old. It means to go back is to literally go back in time and that is why we cannot allow it to proceed. For Freedoms website reads, “Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms from 1941, our super PAC aims to subvert a “Rockwellian” nostalgia for a “simpler” America while co-opting a visual language that is accessible to a wide audience of viewers. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.” We’re in full support of the collective of artists and thinkers using their intellectual and artistic prowess, as well as their dollars to raise the political consciousness through art.

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor

Photo courtesy of For Freedoms

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