Hey, Uncle Martin. It’s been a while. I’m writing you today because things are not OK. Our current state of America reminds me so much of your era, and like your Letter from Birmingham, I’m writing Letters from Donald Trump’s America as a form of healing and resistance.
So, Donald Trump is our next president. The president of the United States of America. He is seriously going to be inaugurated on January 20, four days after we celebrate you and everything you stood for. (Yeah, you have your own national holiday now — you lit.) Uncle Martin, he is a horrible man and it makes me sick to my soul that he is the leader and symbol of our nation.
Since you’ve been gone, a lot has happened. We elected a black president — twice. Women are making strides towards smashing the glass ceiling. Gay marriage has been legalized. Our nation has become way more diverse with people from all over the world. Our economy fluctuates, but we haven’t had a major depression. Our country is kinda OK. Or so we thought.
Donald Trump’s campaign was based on hate, violence, xenophobia and intolerance of anyone who was not white, male, Christian, heterosexual and wealthy. He is so horrible. He thinks it’s OK to assault women. He has been accused of rape by so many women. He belittles folks who are differently abled. He wants to deport immigrants because he thinks they are some sort of threat to the American society when they should be the last of America's worries. He has been endorsed by our national enemies. He wants to build a wall between America and Mexico and this just makes so many idiots happy. Can you believe that? He is so horrible, and yet he is in power. So many people voted for him and I am baffled.
After your era, so many legal and societal changes have come about and that has upset a lot of people. These changes have been steps towards equality and tolerance, but the white nationalists have been enraged by these changes. They’ve buried their anger and hid it behind systematic racism and microaggressions. But "The Donald" has brought all of that to life. He has made it acceptable to be outright hateful and now it’s time to fight.
Uncle Martin, how did you do it? How did you remain humble and humane when most of society wanted to hurt you and didn’t acknowledge your humanity because you were different from them? Why weren’t you mad? How could you be nonviolent when outright violence is everywhere around you? Were you not afraid? So many people wanted to hurt you, how did you do it? How did you fight without falling to pieces? There is so much hate, I find it hard to focus on the people who are up in arms fighting against it because hate always seems to win one way or another.
Did you have traitors among your own people? People who tried to deter you from fighting against the oppression when they face the very same oppression. People who are so, I don’t know, dumb, and who do not see the bigger picture. People who are just indifferent and who are not only complacent but try to stop you and your fight. How did you fight when the very people around you, who are supposed to be in your corner, were against you?
You once said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." I’m going to hold you to that. I am not going to let the darkness around me engulf me and turn me into the hate that I am fighting against. I will fight with the light in me and the light around me. Your legacy still lives on. Even though we are still judged by the color of our skin in so many aspects, we will let the content of our character lead us through. It won’t be easy, but we come from fighters, your legacy will carry us through. Donald Trump’s America may have won this election, but they won’t win the bigger fight!
I can’t promise that I won’t slap anyone – but I will try not to.
Thank you for everything you’ve done, we’ve got it from here.
Much love always,