I haven’t written in quite a long time. Things have been busy. More on that later. For now, I am practicing introvert activism. Here is a letter I just wrote to Donald Trump:
Dear Mr. Trump:
Despite your instructions on 60 Minutes last week to those who would commit hate crimes in your name to “Stop it!” incidents are still on the rise. Recently, a white supremacist rally in Washington D.C. ‘hailed’ you as the president they’ve been waiting for. At Standing Rock, police used a water cannon in freezing conditions in an attempt to disperse crowds protesting a pipeline being built through their land without proper permission by a company in which you have substantial investment. All over our country, the demons of our worse nature are emboldened, and claim your victory as the reason.
In your victory speech, you said:
To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.
If you truly wish to be president for all Americans, you must seek to fairly represent the interests of Muslim-Americans, members of the LGBTQ community, disabled people, women, and Mexican-Americans. You must seek to represent the Muslim man who was not a citizen last week, but got his citizenship this week, whose friends and family members may not yet be citizens. You must seek to represent the children of undocumented immigrants, who were born here, who are US citizens, and who should not be separated from their families. You must seek to represent the woman who chose to undergo a late-term abortion because her baby was deemed “incompatible with life,” who does not deserve to be demonized and criminalized for making likely the most heartbreaking decision she ever had to make. You must seek to represent people like me, who believe that ALL are created equal and deserve the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
In your victory speech, you also said:
For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people… I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.
If you truly seek the guidance of people (like me) who did not support your bid for president, you need only listen: we offer it freely. Here is what you can do to begin to earn our trust:
- Publicly and forcefully denounce racism: Your transition team has released a statement indicating you oppose racism, but this is apparently also not enough to end the deplorable acts I mentioned at the beginning of this letter. Sound bites filtered through a press your supporters do not trust will not convince them. If you truly oppose these acts, it is time for you to make your position undeniably clear in an unfiltered speech directly to the American people.
- Fire Steve Bannon. He is a known racist and anti-Semite, and people of color, Jewish people, liberals, and progressives will never truly support or trust you as long as you keep his counsel.
- Mitigate your conflicts of interest; prove to us that you are willing to make true sacrifices in terms of your businesses in order to lead this nation.
- Urge your supporters in Congress to confirm President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
- Accept responsibility for, and apologize for, your inappropriate comments towards and about women. Pledge to do better.
I implore you to please, take the advice you say you seek, and do your utmost to live up to the promise you made to be a president for all Americans.
There have been a lot of calls for people to call their elected officials and other politicians. I can’t call. So I’ve been writing letters and emails and donating money and signing petitions. Today, I sent a thank you note to Ramsey County Attorney John Choi for charging the officer who killed Philando Castile. I also sent a note of thanks and encouragement to Governor Mark Dayton, who, with the state house and senate both going to Republican control in January, is going to have a hard job over the next two years (at least). I also wrote a letter to the chair of the Congressional Oversight Committee urging him to investigate Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest.