An Open Letter to President-elect Donald Trump

11 Nov

An Open Letter to President-elect Donald Trump,

President-elect Trump, congratulations on your victory. I understand that you’re busy planning for your new administration, but there’s something happening right now that requires your attention. Not even President Obama has the power to intervene as you do, so I’m asking for your help.

Have you seen the Twitter feed “Day One in Trump’s America”? I’m asking you to read and watch the content, however partisan the perspective may seem, because regardless of Insanul Ahmed’s politics (which I don’t actually know), he can only curate what’s being posted. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find about how some people have celebrated your election.

President-elect Trump, your name is being invoked in the name of racist threats and violence. These people include citizens, hard workers, students, the elderly—and children. Brown and black kids—Middle Eastern, Asian, Latino and Black—in my community are being taunted by some of their white peers, who, at the news of your election, began jeering at them: “You’re gonna be deported,” “You’re gonna be sent to a camp” and “Go back home.” I can only presume these white children mean internment camps, as opposed to recreational summer sleepover camps. And that it doesn’t matter to them whether they’re talking to someone who is home already.

This is happening not just in high schools and middle schools, but in elementary schools and preschools. This is not just one child or a few children. And this is not just playground banter. There is no response to “You’re gonna be deported” that is equal in power, privilege and the ability to terrify.

Yes, this is happening. In your name.

Mr. Trump, I need you—we need you—to take action. What action?

Please don’t just disavow the racist slurs, threats and violence, as if this is someone else’s problem that you have nothing to do with or about. You are our President-elect. It is your name being invoked.

Please don’t just say you’re shocked, and these are not the values you stand for.

Please don’t equate these acts with the protests about your election. Protesting is, as you tweeted today, part of the US democratic process and culture, and you are not the first elected official whom some in this country have disowned as “not my president.” But while protesting is part of US tradition, terrorizing citizens and guests of this country is not.

Please tell the people who are acting in your name to stop.

Please own your part: finally, meaningfully address your own campaign rhetoric about Muslim, Mexican, Black, Chinese and other non-white people, and let your supporters know—let all of us know—whether you meant to authorize, incite and unleash violence against some of us on the basis of our race, religion or immigration/citizenship status.

You declared in your victory speech on Tuesday night that you would “be a President for all Americans.”

The time to keep that promise is not January 20, 2017. The time to begin delivering on that promise is now.

Please. We need your help.

Note: I attempted to submit this letter on the official Donald Trump website, but the “submit” button wouldn’t submit. If anyone can forward this to the attention of the Trump campaign/transition team, please do. Thanks.

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