Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hey, Dad! -- A Message to Republicans (Guest Post)

One of my children just sent me the following. I post it here as a guest post for your consideration:

Hey Dad,
This was the best way I felt I could express my feelings. It isn't anything super eloquent or exciting, but it is what I believe and how I feel. If you want to publish this on your blog I give you full permission. I don't plan on publicly sharing this, unless it is through your blog, but I am probably going to send it to a few others that I know and who I feel would appreciate what I have to say.
Love you,

I’ve been pretty quiet about what’s happened since the election. I don’t feel that I’ve had my thoughts together enough to express what I’m feeling about everything. But now I think I’m ready.

To my Republican friends and family-Please stop defending Trump, and trying to make us support and rally around him. He has not once demonstrated that he is a man that can be trusted. He has shown that he is a racist and a bigot. First of all, how many of you even once did the same for Obama? I’m pretty sure that number is close to 0. In fact, I sat back for 8 years and let your words roll off my back when you would make fun of Obama or criticize him or make rude comments about him and his amazing family. It was your right to do so. But now that there are people who suddenly criticize YOUR President-Elect, you suddenly feel the need to stranglehold us and accuse us of being hypocrites. If anything, we’re being JUST LIKE YOU, not hypocrites. I saw a post that I liked, that it’s not about us not accepting the results of the election, but rather it is about us making our voices heard that we are frustrated with everything that is happening in our communities since Trump was elected. And to those of you who keep saying ‘These things were happening before this’, yes, you are correct, but you’re also more wrong than you realize. These things have been increasingly more prevalent ever since Trump became the nominee. When he won the presidency, the amount of people being harassed and abused has skyrocketed. And if you can’t see that, check out Buzzfeed’s ongoing list of reports since the election. It isn’t even all the things that happened, and it is an enormous list already, and keeps growing.

To those of you who are mad at us protesting, why? Why shouldn’t we exercise our right to speak out against the status quo? What’s so wrong with us speaking our mind? The President-Elect has already tweeted that its all a ploy by the media and they’re paying these protesters and it’s unfair. He can’t even accept that people are allowed to exercise their 1st Amendment rights to free speech, and to peaceably assemble. And you’re right about one thing-when these protests turn violent it isn’t okay. I don’t support that and neither should you, nor should anyone try to incite violence especially at protests.

One of the other things that really gets to me is the way many Republicans choose to treat other people that are different, and how wrong that is. All of the harassment and violence and threats towards the LGBTQ, Muslim, Immigrant, and Minority populations has got to end. The President-Elect was absolutely horrible during his campaign, constantly urging his supporters to turn against those that are the reasons why this country is already great. The blatant racism, sexism and general disrespect towards these communities is deplorable. This is not going to make America great again. America was already great.

I work in a Title I school, or a low income school. 85% of the students in the school are on free and reduced lunch programs. 85% of the student population is Hispanic, with the next 10% being part of minority populations. Many of those families are recent immigrant families. I have had many students come to me because they’re afraid of what might happen to their family in a Trump presidency. I’m fortunate to have such a large minority population at my school because the acts of hate have not been as prevalent at my school. That’s not to say they’re not happening to minority populations everywhere else. I’m also afraid of what Trump’s plans for education would mean for my school and my job. If there are cuts made to the education system, my school could potentially lose the government funding that allows these students the same opportunities that other students take for granted all across the country. Also, it could potentially cause us to lose funding for those students to have free and reduced lunch. 

I’m sorry if you feel that I am ranting and accusing you of all of these problems. I’m not some eloquent writer. I don’t do well in discussions or debates. But I am passionate about compassion and protecting those that are undeserving of hate and prejudice. So my dear Republicans, please listen. What is happening through our country is not okay, and we all need to stop being a part of the problem and work towards being part of the solution. I’m going to start by wearing a safety pin every day I go to work. My students deserve to know that I am someone that believes in them and advocates for their rights as citizens of this country. They also deserve to know that I am someone they can trust. I will fight for them. I will protect them. And I will not sit quietly anymore. 

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