Dear Mr. Trump,
Your words seem to resonate with many, and your anger reverberates across the world. You espouse a plan to make America stronger, but sir, your plans don’t seem very American.
I’ve pondered this quietly as you recommended banning all Muslims from entering our Country, as you jokingly mocked a reporter with a disability, as you questioned the integrity of a federal judge due to his “Mexican heritage,” and as you attempted to invalidate Carly Fiorina’s entire presidential bid by saying, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?”
No, sir, America doesn’t ban entire classes of people.
America doesn’t mock people with disabilities.
America doesn’t invalidate a judge’s integrity because of his ethnic background.
America doesn’t have a sign on The Office of the President that says “Only Pretty People May Apply.”
America is much greater than that.
And America needs a President who is much greater than that.
And that’s why I’m writing you now.
Sir, you called Omar Mateen “an Afghan, of Afghan parents, who immigrated to the United States.”
Omar’s actions were terrible and evil, driven by hate and prejudice. And while his deeds will be remembered with the horror they deserve, he will not win, and he will not destroy the American idea.
But sir, you might.
Omar was an American. Just.Like.You.
Born in New York, he was by birth and by right a citizen of the United States of America, protected by the Constitution. He didn’t like America, and he committed terrible crimes under American law, but that does not give you the right to call him “an Afghan,” a term you seem to think is inherently derogatory.
That is the height of prejudice, and far below the office to which you aspire.
Sir, a candidate for the Office of the President of the United States of America has to know that what makes you an American is not how long you’ve been here, or where your parents came from, or what color your skin is.
What makes you an American is not whether you’re pretty or wealthy or friends with the powerful.
At least, that’s not what being an American used to be.
But it seems you want to change that.
You want to Make America Great Again, it’s just that your version of America doesn’t seem very American.
This poem is inscribed on a small island just off of New York, at a place where millions of immigrants once entered our Country.
The New Colossus
by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”