I sat in front of my television on one ordinary summer day, and I watched as a man performed for millions, a spectacle of hate hidden behind a veil that read, “Make America Great Again.”
How could a man so negligent with his words and views be one of the forerunners of our presidential election?
Dear Donald Trump,
How could you be so careless? How could you be so disconnected, completely void of empathy for those of us who don’t look like you? How can you be the president of all American people when you only care for a certain type of American?
As a black woman, this letter will be concerning your views on the black population of America, a view that is not often talked about because of your subtle backhanded racism pointed at our people. Instead of outwardly condemning us, as you do to the Muslim and Latinx community, your understated words and actions undermine us in ways that for some are hard to pick up on.
This is an open letter, Mr. Trump. This is my attempt at showing your supporters that your ignorance and lack of support for all of America’s people make you utterly and undeniably unfit for president of the United States.
Mr. Trump, this country was built on the backs of black people. We are far from lazy. Since we have arrived in this country, our people have worked twice as hard to get half as far as our white counterparts. Our disadvantages and fewer opportunities are not a result of a lack of work ethic; they are rooted in America’s history.
I will begin by saying that everyone has a right to his or her own opinions. Mr. Trump, you are allowed to disagree with Obama’s policies or presidency. The problem, however, lies in the racist tendency to view one black person’s downfall as a negative reflection on the rest of the race. We are not simply defined by our blackness, we too have individuality, we too are human.
Never did a person say that Nixon ruined every other white man’s chance at presidency, because white people are defined by characteristics other than their race. When you look at President Obama, when you look at people like me, Mr. Trump, do you only see a black face?
Now I’ll begin by saying, this one hit particularly close to home. I spent my childhood in Baltimore, leaving only this past year to start my freshman year at Columbia University in New York City. You have no idea what it is like in Baltimore, Mr. Trump. You fail to realize that riots are a result of pain and a lack of control.
Those who destroy are not “happy,” they are hurting. They are afraid. They want to be heard.
Our nation’s black people are suffering, and electing a black president didn’t heal the gaping wounds of this country. President Obama’s position of power does not mean our black men and women aren’t being killed in the streets by police officers, it does not mean that we aren’t being unfairly incarcerated, it does not mean we aren’t denied opportunities well-deserved, it does not mean men and women like you don’t look at us, and talk to us, and treat us like we are less than. We will not be reduced to your name-calling.
“Never did a person say that Nixon ruined every other white man’s chance at presidency, because white people are defined by characteristics other than their race.”
“Thug” is not a word to be thrown around and given to every black face that makes a mistake. Look at the historical context and reasoning behind these riots and reevaluate Mr. Trump, because your out-of-touch commentary is in no way helpful to the rebuilding of the nation, or shall I say “Making America Great Again.”
And to Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, also known as Diamond and Silk, I have a message for you: If you are in fact true supporters of Donald Trump, I urge you to truly look at his policies and his past statements not only towards black people but towards women.
When you two stepped on that stage during the Trump rally, note Donald Trump’s command to “do a little routine.” You are nothing more to him than a minstrel show, a joke, his token black supporters. He, along with many of his supporters, are laughing at your Ebonics, mocking your neck rolls, and smirking at your lip smacks.
He does not respect your blackness, he does not have your interest at heart, and he should not have your vote.