EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a letter my old college roommate sent to the Trump voters in his extended family. Names have been redacted to maintain their privacy.
The minority of people of the United States of America voted for hate, racism, divisiveness, greed, xenophobia, fascism, sexual predation, and misogyny to take the reign of our country’s government beginning January 20, 2017. I am fearful this will take all of us into the abyss from which recovery could take longer than any of us will still be breathing. It happened in Germany. Who’s to say it can’t happen here when it’s already begun.
Now, you may think, “I’m not concerned. It won’t affect me.” That’s white privilege. This could very likely hit, literally, within our home or to our friends, co-workers, and employees. We believe in multi-culturalism. We have black friends. We have Muslim friends. We have Jewish friends. We have Hispanic friends and family. We have gay friends. We are not afraid of people that look, talk, or worship differently than we.
Most importantly, I will remind you all that I am married to a recent immigrant. My boys are not white. They are now susceptible to the hatred and violence that is spreading across the country. It began overnight. You can’t say you don’t see it or hear about it. It is there. It will continue to spread. It will get out of control. And if my boys or wife are subject to any hatred or violence then you’re going to have to explain your position to them.
Let me be clear—I’m not saying that you are racists. But you did decide that racism isn’t a deal-breaker. And this is my confusion and disappointment, you raised us without teaching hate or racism. I am so proud and thankful of that. You should be too.
I’m sure you all think of yourselves as good, church-going Christians. I believe you are. I have no issues with your religion or anybody’s religion. I trust you aren’t learning hate, racism, divisiveness, greed, xenophobia, fascism, sexual predation, and misogyny in your weekly church services or in your bibles. But I fear you’ve been seduced by demagoguery.
I had a very serious meeting with my boys. They are very aware of what is going on. Both of them. I stressed the importance of standing up for people they see being bullied. They won’t just sit and watch. They will act. I will act. Love, tolerance, inclusion–these are the kinds of things I remember the church and the Bible teaching. Not hatred. Not violence.
[My 14-year-old son] at 5:35am on Wednesday, November 9th: “Daddy, why is mommy crying?” [My 8-year-old-son] at 7:19am on the same day; “Daddy, why did Grandpa vote for Trump?” With each question tears flowed from my eyes.
I have no problem with you disagreeing with any of this. I’m not sure how you could, however. If you wish to share your perspective, then please do. I welcome it. I will not fight with you. I will hear you out. Please keep in mind that I am not affiliated with any political party. I am an independent.
We love you and I’m sure you love us. God bless us all.