Dear Donald Trump Supporters…

dear-donald-trump-supporters-picture
Dear Donald Trump supporters,
Although I am not confined to a Birmingham City Jail, when I happened upon the following Facebook post multiple times by multiple Trump supporters, I decided to write an open letter of my own to you, with the hopes of opening any closed eyes and exposing any hidden hearts to a different narrative, even when there is a chance the narrator doesn’t look like you.


When I came across this post for the third time, I had to pause and wonder if I was having a case of deja vu. And I realized, deja vu it was not. Now, I will be honest with you and say that initially, I felt feelings of irritation and anger, especially after reading some of the comments underneath of this post. But the more I thought about it, the more the anger seeped away and turned into a little sadness. I was saddened at the way some will try to white wash the disturbing things that are happening in this country, because the issues seem too black to see through. I was saddened at what seemed to be the absence of empathy from human to human and the masks that some had in place for so long, were now slowly coming off.  To me, in  an almost poetic way, the lyrics to Alanis Morissettes’ song “Empathy” seemed to be the anthem of Mr. Trumps election campaign:

“There are so many colors that I still try to hide while I paint
And there are so many tunes that I secretly sing as I wait
You come along and invite these parts out of hiding
This invitation is the one that I’ve stopped fighting….”

It seems that Mr. Donald Trump, with all of his brashness and bold, blatant disregard and disrespect for certain cultures and the female gender, along with his lack of self-control, has invited those that were hiding behind masks of humanity, equality and love, to come out of hiding…and to stop fighting their true feelings. And after reading the comments under this supporting post in direct relation to non Trump supporters such as, “the hate was ridiculous,” “no reason for personal attacks,” “we need to talk about the candidates instead of making judgments about the people voting for them,” and a response to those comments that said,  “Truly heartbreaking! We should embrace the differences,” I decided to address the post because  I could no longer be silent in the face of irony.

I know the speech and feelings of non Trump supporters is seen as aggressive, however, speaking as a non Trump supporter that is a BLACK WOMAN in America (which clearly makes me a double jeopardy in Trumps eyes) that has experienced racism first hand, whose husband has experienced racism first hand, whose grandparents LIVED through segregation, to have a candidate that is campaigning to become the President of the UNITED States of America be able to cause such DIVISION, even among his own party, just by his speech, speaks volumes about his misguidance and causes me to do a double take at his supporters. To support a man so out of touch and ignorant of reality that he truly believes that “blacks” are living in  neighborhoods that are “war zones.” And that we “struggle to get by on food stamps.”  And that we see “nothing but failure” around us??? When a candidate makes the following statement addressing African Americans, albeit in front of a mostly white audience, without any statistical data to back him up, “You’re living in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed —…” Have you considered what that must feel like? For the person that you are supporting because you believe he will do “the best job for this country” to have such a narrow scope of an entire race doesn’t concern you at all??? Not to mention, Mr. Trump says that, “ stop-and-frisk could help in cities like Chicago where crime is rising,” even though a federal judge found that the strategy as used in New York broke the law.  Oh well, maybe you’re just focused on the “issues…”

I also wonder about the supporters that have little girls such as I, that will one day grow up to be women? Does it bother you that the candidate you are backing seemingly has no respect for women in general? There are all types of campaigns today about being strong girls and girls standing up for themselves…But what happens if  heaven forbid, when they become women, they were to be sexually harassed at their place of employment? Do we tell them what Mr. Trump would tell his daughter to do? Not to stay and fight for their rights…but to “move on” or “ find another career or find another company if that was the case.” Oh and that she must be pretty and thin other wise she could be referred to as a “fat pig” ala Rosie O’Donnell. Or that she can grow up and become the President of the United States, as long as she doesn’t look like Carly Fiorona because as Mr. Trump stated in reference to Ms. Fiorona being president, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” Is this the type of man you want to model the role of the president? A human dichotomy whose DNA carries irony that seems to be pour out of him whenever he speaks. 

And speaking of irony, I cannot help but to find the Facebook post by Donald Trump supporters and the comments that I mentioned that went along with said post, to be ironic. In the post you state to non Trump supporters, “If your dislike of a candidate (Trump) causes you to speak in a condescending and downright hateful way to their (Trump) supporters, many of whom you call “friends”, then maybe you should reevaluate your approach.” However, Mr. Trump, who you support and believe will “Make America great again” has seemed to build his entire campaign with hateful, condescending, racist diatribe, with personal attacks as his platform. Lest we forget how  Mr. Trump spoke of Ben Carson and compared his “pathological temper” to the condition of a child molester. Or when he said “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” And how about when asked a press conference about the Black Lives Matter movement and the threat of possible violence at his rally, he said among other things, “…If black lives don’t matter, then go back to Africa. We’ll see how much they matter there.” This candidate whom you support as the best person for the job, displays the same behavior as the people you think should “re-evaluate” their approach. And yet you are willing to have him hold the highest office in the land and represent the United States of America.

I ask you to think back to the very first person who you were counting on and they disappointed you. Think back to the first time your heart was broken. How it felt like your heart was physically being broken, piece by piece. The pain so sharp and deep that it runs down into your epidermis, the deepest part of your skin and wraps itself around your joints as it makes it’s way up to grab a hold of your heart while simultaneously bumping into your lungs as it squeezes the larynx in a death grip, effectively cutting off the air supply to your vocal words so that you can’t speak. And your voice has been lost. Experiencing racism and prejudice for the first time and every time after, feels just like this… times 10. And it affects and effects a person to the core and their view of the world is forever changedAnd it gets harder and harder to believe in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And yet, we have to march on.
My husband and I have three children, one of which is 19 years old and is currently serving in the United States Air Force and this will be the first election she votes in. And someday, our two youngest will have to cast a ballot. We strive to teach our children about the inclusion of all man kind and not division… and yet the potential leader of the free world, the man who is asking African Americans like my family, to vote for him, is exclusionary in thinking. So what do we do? What do you propose we tell our children?

In your post you say that after this election, you will just “move on, as you have always done.” And that we are “luckier than most citizens of the world.” So I ask you, are “YOU” apart of the “WE” that prays in earnest everyday asking GOD to protect your husband and son? To keep them alive and to bring them back home safely to you?  To remove any target that is on their back because it seems as if it is open season on the men and boys of your ethnicity and they seem to be hunted like animals? Because I do. And if you don’t, please understand that I am initially going to feel a certain something when I see the very people that engage with me and laugh with me and talk with me, supporting a candidate that has time and time again displayed without hesitation, his intolerance of other cultures and the female gender.

And while you will seamlessly move on with your life no matter the outcome of the election, it will not be so easy for others to just move on. Donald Trump has opened a political Pandora’s box that has long held secrets of discontent, racism and sexism. Only now it has been released and allowed to spill into many different communities and to remain, instead of coming together to clean it up.

I hope you receive this letter with the heart in which I have sent it. A heart that is filled with love for all people and beats with faith and hope for a better future…a hope that one day, all of mankind will stand together united and knit by love…giving hope  to generations to come that America truly is the ties that bind…

Sincerely,
Taria…

Sometimes a Beautiful Bride… can become an Ugly wife…

fullsizerender-11

I remember that beautiful, sunny, perfect weather September morning like it was yesterday. My bridesmaids and I, walking out of my Grand mom Mattie’s front door, and stepping ever so gently off of the low porch step toward the two beautiful white stallions that had taken the form of shiny white limos, waiting to take me down a road that would lead me from bride…to wife. And I remember my mom saying, “You look so pretty Taria.” I remember at our reception, while floating on a cloud of white satin and tulle happiness, guests would say, “You are a beautiful bride.” And I felt like a Princess wife. And I remember thinking to myself, “If I make a beautiful bride, I’m definitely going to be a beautiful wife.” And I have to say that 15 years later, through trials and many errors, I am finally on my way to becoming that beautiful wife that I was meant to be. I am finally on my way to being the kind of wife whose actions make my husband a king. Proverbs 12vs. 4 KJV  says, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…” But before I could even begin to travel down this road of beauty, away from ashes, there were 2 big lessons that GOD had to take me through (some of them multiple times), to teach me how to be the kind of wife that reflected him…

 

1-I have to protect the heart of the matter…

“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Genesis 2 vs. 22 KJV I have read this verse many times and never really thought too much of it, other than the fact that Eve was created from Adam’s rib. But one day, as I was reading (probably for the 100th time) about this Proverbs 31 woman, verse 11 literally jumped off the page to me. It says, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…” The Amplified (AMPC version) says, “The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely…” I started really meditating on this verse while at the same time, thinking about Eve, (the mother of all) and how she, the 1st woman, was made out of Adams’ rib. I became curious as to what the function of a rib actually is (human anatomy was mannnnyy moons ago for me, and one that I was never really interested in, as it relates to science anyway.) I read that the ribs have three important functions: support, respiration and protection. One of the main things the rib does is encloses and protects the heart from external injury. In that moment of reflection, I realized that as a wife, I needed to make sure that my husband could trust me to protect his heart from anything outside of our marriage. I needed him to be able to tell me the things in his heart, his worries, fears, his weaknesses along with his hopes and dreams, confident that I would hold these things safely and securely at all times, even in the midst of tension and strife between us. I also realized, that no matter how frustrated I was with him, outside of GODLY counsel, I should only be speaking about these things, to GOD, in prayer for my husband…I understood that just like in the natural body, if I didn’t protect the heart of my marriage, if I allowed external entities to get past the rib (me) and reach his heart, if I injured his heart, I risked my marriage suffering cardiac arrest… and not recovering. I had to protect his heart…

2-Misuse of my wifely influence can cause my family dire consequences…just ask my Great Great Great Great Great Grandmothers…Eve and Sarai/Sarah…to name a few…

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 3 vs. 6 KJV Although Eve knew which tree they were not supposed to eat from, because GOD had spoken that to her husband, Adam, she thought it looked good and ate it, and then just gave it to Adam who ate it…Talk about the power of persuasion…without saying a word…

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. Genesis 16 vs. 1-2 NIV Sarai’s slave Hagar ends up giving birth to a son, but something else was also birthed, jealousy, envy and division on Sarai’s behalf. Sarai ends up being blessed to birth her own son, but the two brothers are divided into separate nations. After reading these two stories, I was struck by the fact that both of these women were clearly able to persuade their husbands into following their plan, because in their minds the end result would turn out great for their family.

After giving the side eye to Eve and Sarai, GOD clearly reminded me of times when I was able to persuade my husband to do what I, Taria thought was best for the family, even though he had already told me how he felt about the matter. This is not to say we don’t have a discussion on the matter and that I don’t have a voice because I definitely do, and there are times when he says, “What do you think we should do?” But I am speaking about the times when different things would come up as it relates to the household and my husband was very clear in his position as to how he felt led to handle things. BUT, because I felt like we could handle things a different way, I would lay out a plan of what I needed to say to get him to just agree with me and do it my way, with no consideration to how that made him feel.  And I admit shamefully, there were also times when I went ahead and followed MY plan first, and then laid it out to him after. As different scenarios throughout our marriage flooded my mind, GOD showed me that I couldn’t continue to look to HIS word as the blue print for how to be a GODLY wife and how to build a strong marriage if I was going to constantly write my own plans in the “revision block” and consistently try to reestablish the scales of the blue print, that GOD had already laid out, when I felt like it. GODs word is very clear, “And the Lord GOD said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2 vs. 18 So whether he wants to save up a certain amount of money for retirement, put extra money towards a college fund or pay off a particular bill, I will meet him at that area and be a help, not become a hindrance and cause a divide.

I want to encourage all of you beautiful wives reading this to remember, your power doesn’t come from being the “perfect wife” or the “pretty wife”…your power comes from being a “Praying wife”…

I love you and thank you for reading…

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31 vs. 30 NIV

P.S. “A Handsome Groom can also become an Ugly Husband”…But I’ll save that topic for my husband…he may want to tackle that in a guest blog post 🙂