It is not uncommon for me to hear about a swastika being drawn on a desk at my high school.
It is not uncommon for me to hear a peer making a "joke" about someones "Jewish nose" or someone being cheap because they are a Jew.
It is not uncommon for me to hear that someone has doubts about whether or not the Holocaust actually happened.
It is not uncommon for me to be afraid.
For me to wonder, is anyone listening when we say "never again"?
On October 27th, a gunman opened fire on a synagogue, killing 11 people and injuring six others. The ability of people in our country to so easily obtain and misuse guns is now a part of our culture. At this point, I think I might be more shocked if a week went by without a shooting then if a week went by were one did happen. You, Mr. Trump, said that this could have been avoided if the synagogue had an armed guard at the building. But, if the shooter was never able to purchase a gun, he would have never been able to senselessly kill a group of people, who were just trying to pray.
The shooter said to police "all Jews need to die". This was a hate crime.
The Anti-Defamation League released that there has been a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents nationwide last year compared to 2016. It seems as if today people feel a whole lot more comfortable publically displaying hatred.
This doesn't come as much of a surprise, considering the amount of subtle encouragement these people are getting from the one person that is supposed to be our greatest role model.
President Trump, this isn't an attack on your policies. This isn't based on "fake news." This is a question of character. This is simply a plead.
Your encouragement of complete party polarization, your victim shaming in the Kavanaugh case, your vilifying of immigrants and "feminazis". It has to stop. Whether it is intentional or not, this hate will be and has been escalated by people who intend to act on their ideologies. When you use the mob tactic of rallying people over a shared hatred, it does not go unnoticed. When citizens see their own president using his freedom of speech to spread hate, it makes it okay.
It makes it okay for someone to openly hate a race, a sexuality, a gender.
It makes it okay for someone to want my entire religion wiped out.
Whatever the conservatives are trying to conserve, it sure isn't love and equality.
So, Mr. Trump, you finally made it. All of your wealth and influence has led you to the most powerful position in our country. Now that you're here, we're all watching. Children, who will naively follow your every word. Adults, who have seen this country evolve, and now see new opportunities for their freedom of speech to be used.
We're all watching the man who is supposed to be our role model. The President of the United States of America. It's up to you now. Will you be that proud American that treats everyone with kindness and an open mind? Or will you be a foolish child; a bully on a playground, so insecure of someone overpowering them, that they kick whoever they need to to stay on top?