What Donald Trump Really Said In New Hampshire: An Open Letter

What Donald Trump Really Said In New Hampshire: An Open Letter

Alternatively titled, "How Dare You Exploit An LGBT+ Tragedy To Marginalize Muslims."

Dear Donald,

You recently graced my state with your presence to discuss national security after the Orlando nightclub shooting on June 12th. Crowds of people (mostly white) squeezed themselves into Saint Anselm College in Manchester to hear your opinion on the tragedy, "crooked Hillary," and, more notably, to ostracize Islam.

While I am disappointed that you would use your position in front of a large national audience to spread hatred, I am not surprised (although the irony of condemning one violent act with more violent acts is not lost on me). I've paid close attention to your speeches targeting the Mexican "rapists" and the "lazy" blacks, and even closer attention to your discussion of Muslims. I am both repulsed and offended (as much as a non-Muslim can be) at the accusations and dangerously inaccurate assumptions you preach about Islam.

After cringing through the entirety of your 35-minute long speech about "radical Islamic terrorism," I have a few constructive notes I think you will benefit from.

1. Do not underrepresent the role homophobia played in the Orlando shooting.

You are so blinded by your fear of Islam that you remain ignorant of the real problem which arose from the shooting. You called the attack an "assault" on the freedom of Americans and gave a moment of silence for the LGBT+ community, but you never discussed how the shooting affects the LGBT+ community. You selfishly used the deaths of 50 people (and the injuries of 53+ others) to advance your personal vendetta against Muslims. You exploited this tragedy, a tragedy for not only Americans but LGBT+ Americans, to continue spreading hate.

Not once did you discuss the impact this shooting had on the LGBT+ community. Instead, you used your fame and privilege to denounce an entire religion for the actions of one man. The Orlando shooting was an attack on this community as much as it was an attack on the U.S. You not only failed the global LGBT+ community in your ignorance, but those injured and killed in the attack.

The victims were killed because of a hatred against them, and you have the audacity to continue spreading hatred in their memory. Do not exploit this tragedy to continue spewing Islamophobic hatred. Make no mistake that you do not represent us and you do not fight for us, and your neglect of this community during your speech made that very clear.

2. Stop your blatant ignorance, disrespect and racism toward Islam.

The undisguised hatred you harbor toward Islam is sickening. People have watched you relentlessly attack our Muslim counterparts for months, with no remorse for the carnage you leave in your wake. You insist you are the "least racist person," even as you hold Muslims to an impossible standard (one you neglect to apply to Christians and Jews).

Your quest against Sharia law* and "radical Islamic terrorism" is frivolous because of your ignorance toward the religion. You fail to grasp a basic understanding of and respect for Islam, and in doing so you are alienating an already vulnerable population.

*which is not what you think it is, and not all Muslims (especially not "99 percent of all Muslims") believe in its modern use.

You continuously spread Islamophobia and discrimination against the Muslim community, and then question why "Islam hates us" (which, by the way, they don't). You are so entranced with your own delusions, you fail to recognize that your oppression of Muslims is helping organizations like ISIS grow. The misconceptions you spread are dangerous and irresponsible.

3. You do not speak for us.

Every time you stand at a podium or step in front of a camera to address the world, you claim you are speaking for the American people. I do not know if you are more pathetic or more delusional to believe that we agree with your bigotry, your racism, and your misogyny. I've watched your speeches and skimmed through your Twitter, and every time I am left angry. I'm not angry at the minorities you scapegoat for causing all the "problems" white Americans face; I'm angry because you're wrong.

You repeat the same buzzwords at your rallies to energize your crowds, with no deeper understanding of their meaning. You incite violence and spread hatred, and then have the intrepidity to question why shootings like Orlando happen in the first place. You use your privilege to exploit the socioeconomic and political positions of women and minorities and expect praise for your "renowned" observations. You're not clever for stating what "everyone else is too afraid to say;" you're just a xenophobic cretin.

What you fail to recognize is how out-of-touch you are with American values. The U.S. is not a country of hatred, or racism, or misogyny. We do not believe in the oppression of people, and we do not believe in the obstruction of freedom. We are vulnerable now, and you are preying on our insecurities to steal the 2016 presidential election. You think you represent the American people with every asinine fallacy you yell at the camera, but you do not.

You are not one of us, Trump.

Cover Image Credit: ABC News

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Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Yet another school shooting in America, still nothing done. We are dying.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018: We are all heartbroken to hear about another school shooting.

At Great Mills High School in Maryland, a 17-year-old male is pronounced dead at the scene after shooting two other students and a school resource officer. Just before their first period started, at 7:55 am, Austin Rollins shot one male and one female student with a handgun before being shot by the school's resource officer. While the 16-year-old female is in critical condition, the 14-year-old male is currently stable. This is the 17th school shooting in 2018. That's 17 days out of the past 80 that parents have gone to bed with their children in body bags as a result of gun violence.

I don't care what political party you associate with, gun violence is completely out of control. I am a registered Republican and completely agree with stricter gun laws. Learn the difference between a gun ban and sales control. Concerned citizens are not trying to take away your guns, but are trying to take away the rights from those that are risks.

Could you imagine legally having to send your child to school but never coming back? You've packed their lunch, maybe with a special note, and gave them a kiss before they left for school, not knowing that it was their last. No matter where we go, we are not safe. We can't go to malls, movie theaters, schools, or even churches without having to worry if it will be our last trip. Our homes, our places of worship, and our schools are supposed to be the places where we feel safest and, instead, our children are filled with fear. Instead of focusing on the political views that divide these groups, why don't we focus on what unites us? Why don't we focus on protecting our kin?

Everyone has had an opinion on the walkouts that have been happening around the country. Everyone has had an opinion on the 17 minutes of silence for the 17 children lost in the Florida shooting. I've seen people disgusted that Nickelodeon had 17 minutes of broadcast cut because it "interrupted the only program [I] let [my] children watch".

If your child was shot at school, you wouldn't have to worry about what programs they watch, but rather where to bury them and how to afford their memorial.

I've seen people saying that it's no wonder that Millenials are dumb. They "find any excuse to cut class". Have you thought about the fact that they are genuinely worried about going to school?

Personally, I've experienced both a shooting scare at my high school and a bomb threat at my college. I shouldn't have to worry about my life ending. I'm legally forced to go to high school and get an education or I'm putting myself into a lifetime of debt to get a degree.

We are all too young to stress about gun violence. Our school years are supposed to be the times our of lives, but they're being wasted on worrying about dying every day.

Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives in shootings, not only this year, but always. Hopes, thoughts, and prayers go out to their loved ones. One day, we will unite and find a solution.

We need to work together and forget the labels of parties and cliques in school and look out for one another instead. There is no kind but mankind.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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The Republican Versus Democrat Stigma Needs To Slow Down

We Need To Be Individual Again

We as a society have developed an unnecessary need to place people in a specific party based on what could be a single value out of many. This is a letter for those who do not define themselves as one or the other; for those whose values range between conservative and liberal, for those who feel the unfortunate pressure of society to choose one even though your values do not fit just one.

The political parties at one point generally just meant “these are my basic beliefs, so this is the candidate I will vote for because they most closely represent them.” Party affiliation was harmless. Republicans and Democrats could get along fine, differing opinions not getting in the way of relationships and alignment. More importantly, you did not have to be part of a specific political party to be an active member of society. Your opinions and principles were yours.

Over the years following the last two election races, political parties gained a much more significant and defining meaning in our lives as individuals and as members of society. There is a newly developed stigma behind political opinions. You are almost pressured to feel one way or another about every single topic. If a majority of your values are of the conservative agenda, you must be a heart-and-all Republican. In contrast, if you are more liberal-leaning you are docked as a set Democrat. We as citizens are being labeled according to what may be a few hard-values. And dishearteningly enough, can be ridiculed for what we value. Even if you might not value everything the same as your determined party.

There exists those of us that hold values from both parties. It is possible to value women’s rights and also value a traditional marriage. It is possible to be a gun owner and also active in keeping children safe in school. You do not have to just submit to every belief of one party. You can value aspects of different parties and still be a functioning member of the American society. Do not let the looming obligation to declare yourself as strictly one or the other. You do not have to pretend you agree with everything Democratic or everything Republican; you can have your own values. And you should. Our society is messed up in the way that values are pushed on citizens. We are meant to be free individuals with our private values.

It is not fair to those of us who value different things. Not every American is a to-the-bone Democrat or Republican. It is possible to hold liberal beliefs as a conservative person. And Vice-Versa. We need to stop labeling one another as one or the other, conservative or liberal. We need to stop silencing each other because we have differing views. We need to accept not everyone is perfectly one party, and diversity exists. Open mindedness exists in Americans, despite the seemingly growing generalizations. We need to be able to agree to disagree on certain topics.
Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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