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 changed. And 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…