Not Here and Never Again Mr. Divider-in-Chief

Dear Mr. Trump,

I am writing to you as a concerned citizen and parent. I received a very disturbing email from the principal of my children’s school this week. In it, I, along with all of the parents in the student body, was notified that graffiti had been found in one of the school’s bathrooms — graffiti depicting a swastika accompanied by the words “sig heil trump” [sic].

Again, a swastika, with the words “sig heil trump” — anti-Semitic hate speech, in of all places a public school, ostensibly a safe place for children, in New York City, ostensibly the most Jew-friendly town in the entire country. What. The. Fuck?

Now some — even you — might say I’m overreacting to a minor scrawl of pencil on the wall of a middle school bathroom. I mean, we’ve all seen worse, right? Demeaning epithets directed at minorities or women, crudely scribbled pictures of their (according to you) grabbable lady parts. Maybe some silly kid, not meaning anything by it, drew this swastika and wrote “sig heil trump” next to it just to be funny, or on a dare, so who gives a fk?

Well, bottom line, Mr. Trump, your brand, the Trump brand, is associated with racism, anti-Semitism, antifeminism and all sorts of hate. Like it or not, and whether you have specifically promoted these evils or not, this is fact — just Google sieg heil trump. And your silence on this matter is deafening, and inexcusably damaging. Your silence de facto foments hate. It is making America, home of the free and the brave, where we’re told all people are created equal, and endowed with the unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, where our forefathers came to escape persecution, and create better lives, the safe harbor that accepts the tired, poor and hungry, yearning to be free, into a land of hatred, bigotry and fear.

Mr. Trump, sir, do you think it’s too paranoid of me to think something dark and possibly sinister is afoot? I mean any reasonable man, let alone one who considers themself the leader of the free world, and steward of the globe’s largest economy (or second largest) would clearly, emphatically and publicly distance himself from the clear and present hate mongering, declaring loud as the Liberty Bell and in no uncertain terms, “I am not a racist, I am not an anti-Semite, I am not a bigot.” But instead, you have given non-specific, behind closed doors responses to editors at the New York Times: “I don’t want to energize the group.” Used the some-of-my-best-friends defense citing your son-in-law, Jared Kushner. And refused to publicly disavow hate groups. Sheepish. Sideways. Silence.

To be honest Mr. Trump, today is the first time I have ever felt afraid in America.

After we were attacked on 9/11, I wasn’t afraid. But right now, in the same city, sitting at my kitchen table as I type this letter, knowing that when I publish it, my name will be seen, I fear retribution and attack — from the government agencies you now purportedly manage, and short of that, from the bullies and trolls you have emboldened. Fear, for the first time, that my family and I might be harmed by the very government I elect and pay to protect me. Fear I might be harmed by one of my fellow Americans. Fear you have created with your words and your silence.

Presidents, sir, presidents of the United States of America don’t create fear, Presidents don’t seek division. Even the worst of them have sought to create unity — and to lead. So, if you want to be my president, you need to publicly disavow hate groups, prosecute the individuals and groups responsible for spreading hate, and sever any connection to those known or thought to associate with them, or stoke their hatred — for abundant clarity, I am talking about Steve Bannon and and Jeff Sessions.

Until then, you will not, you cannot, be my president. For myself, my family, my fellow Americans, and the America we have long shared and cherished, I will not be silent.