Letter to the Editor: Dear President Trump, thank you for showing me what true bigotry looks like

Dear President Trump,

I would like to thank you for showing me what true bigotry looks like. As much as I hate to admit it, you set out to do what you had craved for so long: you changed the world. You weren’t just a president, you were a figurehead.

For so long, the cracks have been forming in our society, cracks formed in the foundation of our country. Little glimmers of progression attempted to repair the cracks. But it wasn’t enough. To be honest, you weren’t the issue, but you perpetuated something our country and citizenry had been gearing towards for years, decades even. The shatter.

Racism, sexism and classism have plagued our country since its inception. We kid ourselves by thinking we, collectively, have progressed past our ugly history. Small steps like our first Black president, marriage equality and even nominating a woman as the democratic candidate in 2016. But, when you enraptured the hearts of millions, with your wispy locks and bitter tongue, it became clear that our newfound equality was just a pipe dream.

You weren’t just a president, and the political divide you brought to light wasn’t just a matter of difference in policies or a matter of morality. You continuously attacked people of color, calling Black people thugs. And yet, you enabled literal white supremacists. You were given a golden opportunity to condemn white supremacy, something I’d call the bare minimum. But you decided to take the opposite approach, telling the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.

The difference of blue and red isn’t founded in anything other than a lack of empathy anymore. There is no amount of money, tax breaks or charismatic rhetoric that could even make me consider cosigning the bigotry that you sponsor.

I was 15 when you were elected, and I was even younger when unflattering videos of you talking derogatory about women surfaced.

You stand for everything I’m against. In the same way that darkness is the absence of light, you are the absence of morality and sense. Forget the fact that you are simply unfit for the job, unable to pronounce even the simplest of U.S. landmarks. I’m embarrassed to say my country once elected Donald Trump to be president. In 2016, we allowed a misogynistic, racist, xenophobe with an unhealthy affinity for Twitter to be given access to the nuclear codes.

He will be a hideous, orange stain in our history books. Because the truth of the matter is, this chapter is not closed. I’d love to make jokes about his crusty toupees and inability to pronounce the simplest of words, but we’re not there yet.

I wish we could stop talking about Trump. Nothing sounds more euphoric to me than an absence of everything Trumpian for the rest of time, but that’s not our reality. The truth is, 74 million Americans supported him. After he continuously demeaned women, put policies in place to further marginalize people of color, enabled white supremacists and ignored a virus that has changed our world, 74 million still supported him.

When Trump separated families and threw children in cages, 74 million people looked the other way. After women were sterilized, without their consent, 74 million people praised no nonsense policies. Black people begged for their lives to matter and Trump called them thugs. 74 million people cosigned that hateful rhetoric and ignored it on their way to the ballot box.

This isn’t about policy. At this point, it’s not even about truth. Trump has warped what the truth is and made fact and morality a political issue. It’s not, it never has been and it never should be. Morality and ethicality should not be questioned. People of color asking for equality is not a political issue.

A president grabbing women by the pussy is not a fault of character, it is representative of his character as a whole. We should be embarrassed and ashamed.

Ignoring the last four years and reveling in what’s to come is ignorant and painfully on brand for America. The letters thanking Trump for his valiant effort to make America great again are not going to stop being written. Red hats are not going to go out of fashion, and flags aren’t going to be thrown away. An inauguration doesn’t make hate end. Members of congress continue to pedal the unfounded theory that this election was stolen. Neighbors continue to fly their Trump flags.

Classmates continue to write letters to the editor, thanking a literal fascist for being a symbol of unity.

It’s not enough to vote blue. It’s not enough to post Black squares to your Instagram feed. It’s not even enough to denounce Trump and those like him. We have to actively ensure that this never happens again. For those who deny the hell-scape that the 2016 election caused, clutching onto the hope that this isn’t our country—it’s time to let go.

Trump wasn’t a mistake, he was our fate. Ignoring issues like systemic racism, gender inequality and classism landed us in this COVID-19 infested, divided nightmare. A blue congress or progressive executive branch isn’t going to get us out. We need to push for progression in every aspect, call out problematic behavior. This total disregard for the truth and ethicality has become standard over the last four years, but it is not normal. I don’t care if you voted for Biden, if you continue to sweep these issues under the rug, you’re part of the problem.

As those before me have and I’m sure many after me will, I want to conclude my open letter to you. I am not going to wish you misfortune, as you’ve done to us so many times. Instead, I wish you luck.

I hope you come to your senses and realize what you’ve done to this country you claim to love so much. Nothing could repair the damage you’ve done and no sorry could be adequate enough to reconcile the agony that you’ve inflicted on your citizenry.

But, I hope you get at least one thing out of this. It’s pronounced Yo-SEH-MITT-EE, not Yo-SEM-IGHT.

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