Cultural Lounge's aim is to promote an atmosphere for sharing ideas, thoughts, and concerns on issues relevant to the Black Community in Austin.
November's Cultural Lounge is “Theorizing Trump: Race, Class & Politics in America Past, Present and Future."
Cultural Lounge features Theodore Francis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History, Huston-Tillotson University and Jacque Smith-Francis, Ph.D.
During the 2016 presidential election campaign candidate Donald Trump held the attention of millions with his promise to, “Make America great again!” The slogan, together with Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, struck a chord with many Americans and in typical political fashion it was emblazoned across the front of t-shirts, bumper stickers and the now infamous red hats. Yet Trump’s claim that he would, “Make America great again!” was more than the average politician’s promise to do something better than his opponent. Rather, it was a succinct three-layered statement connecting the past, present and future. By promising to, “Make America great again” candidate Trump was reflecting on an unspecified period in the past when America was ‘great’, and then contrasting this period with the present which in his opinion was ‘not great’. Following this logic, Americans that accepted this comparison would be inspired to vote for candidate Trump as president, so that he could restore the greatness of America in the future.
Therefore, Donald J. Trump was promoting himself as ‘the restoration candidate’ by staking his political future on a project of restoring an unnamed and bygone era of American greatness. After winning the election in November 2016 and being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in January 2017, President Trump has maintained the slogan as a mantra for his presidential agenda. Yet what does it mean for the United States to have a ‘restoration president’? And couldn’t the answer to such a question hold different meanings depending on the period(s) that the president is seeking to restore? In keeping with the three-layered nature of the president’s political slogan, Dr. Jacque Smith-Francis and Dr. Theodore Francis present “Theorizing Trump: Race, Class & Politics in America Past, Present and Future". This audio visual presentation engages the historical and contemporary dynamics of race, class, gender and politics in the United States in order to understand the historical past(s) that President Trump seeks to restore in the present and future.