On the election of Donald Trump a teenager writes to her school
The following is being reposted with permission from a friend. Her 17 year old daughter recently sent this letter to her school.
I would like to address the results of this presidential election, and propose a constructive response to the uncertainty it entails. You may praise this email, you may respond angrily, you may simply ignore it, you may respond as you choose. I write this email only in hopes of uniting our student body, or at the very least offering to those who share my frustration, fear, and confusion a voice of hope and sanity. (Besides, if one student can vent his frustrations over a $0.25 raise in Mentos prices to the entire student body, I believe I have the right to reach students who share my concerns in hopes of creating something positive out of an unfortunate situation.)
First of all, I’d like to offer a congratulations to every Trump supporter who may read this; you have truly achieved what was believed to be the impossible. It is remarkable; so remarkable very few could have predicted it. There is a reason political analysts, Clinton supporters, polls, and even most Trump supporters could have never predicted his success, and the reason is this: millions of people who have not voted in nearly fifty years have just voted. For most, Donald Trump has appealed to strong conservative beliefs, desire for change in Washington, and an alternative for those who simply cannot stand Hillary Clinton, an admittedly flawed candidate.
However, Donald Trump has also given a voice to the angry white American. His election is, in the words of political commentator Van Jones, a “white-lash.” Donald Trump himself may not truly be racist. He is however an opportunist. Much of his historic, unexpected rise is due to his violent, racist, divisive rhetoric. Our president in three short months has been endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. He has proposed a ban of all Muslims into the country. He was a key leader in the “Birther Movement.” He has repeatedly treated minorities as monoliths. He has condoned violence against a Black Lives Matter protester at his rally. The list goes on and on and on. There is no longer relevancy in the question, “Is Donald Trump racist?” but rather, “Will he implement the racist legislation he has proposed?” And of course we must acknowledge that the president is a symbol of our beliefs as a nation. I speak for myself, and millions of others when I say, this is not the America I know.
The consequences of this election are still unknown. I, along with nearly half of America, carry great fear in my heart. I fear for our foreign relations, our environment, our safety, and most importantly I fear for the character of this nation. Now is the time we must unite. The country can no longer be split by Democrat and Republican, liberal or conservative, black or white, but rather progression or regression. Donald Trump’s presidency will cause the regression of this country if we do not come together to fight for good. Race relations will continue to deteriorate and divide us, to an unprecedented degree. Progress in gender equality and LGBT rights will be sent spirally backwards. I will not witness the destruction of this country. I will not sit idly by as my country becomes something I no longer recognize. I will not send out angry tweets about the state of the nation, yet do nothing to stop it. I will act. And I will act now.
My goal is to create an organization which would address and work towards defeating issues which divide our school, our community, and our country. Race relations, including those between Muslims and Latinos, gender equality, LGBT rights, and any issue which works against the just character of this nation will be confronted. My hope is to, through public outreach, fundraising, activism, and art, fight for an America in which every citizen is valued; an America which does not give in to oppression, but rather rises above it. If you are interested in joining this group, or you just want to complain about the annoyance of this email, contact me through my school email, (but please refrain from replying directly to this email, as your reply will be sent to everyone, and as we’ve seen from previous Mentos-related discussions, that can get rather tiresome and annoying).
This school cannot single-handedly fix America. But it can create an impact in our own community, which can have broader effects. Powerful movements begin with a small group of dedicated individuals.
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