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Over the past 24 hours I received hundreds and hundreds of accounts of men, women, and children who were targeted, harassed, and assaulted by emboldened Donald Trump supporters.

Latinos were told to go back to Mexico

Black folk were told to go back to Africa

Muslim women had their hijab ripped off

LGBT folk were told Trump was coming for them

Many of these were children in their schools

Bigoted Trump inspired graffiti was written everywhere -on windows and doors of homes, on mosques, on store windows, on cars.

People were punched, kicked, shoved, and had drinks thrown in their faces.

I posted many of these accounts on my Twitter and Facebook pages, but this morning I want to read you a letter from a Chicago school teacher that I received. Yesterday he posted a message for his students on his bulletin board.

It said this:

Dear undocumented students. In this classroom there are no walls.

Dear black students in this classroom, your life matters.

Dear Mexican students, you are not rapists or drug dealers

Dear female students, men cannot grab you

Dear Muslim students, you are not terrorists.

I shared the photo of this on my Facebook page and it went viral. Today he sent me this letter.

Good morning Sir.

I am the Chicago teacher who sent you the picture of my bulletin board. I am grateful that you shared it.

I would like to share with you what I plan on saying to my students today. Love and solidarity from Chicago.



Good morning.

78 years ago was Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass”, where groups lead by Adolph Hitler destroyed Jewish communities. My ten year old grandmother in Prague was terrified. She had heard him speak and witnessed the Hitler Youth march through the streets. While she escaped three days before he invaded her country, many of her relatives did not. Six were killed at Auschwitz, one in Dachau.

I talk to my grandmother a lot. She is someone I turn to for guidance and inspiration, but even she has become discouraged. She told me that she sees “creeping fascism” in Trump’s supporters. Yesterday in Philadelphia, several shop windows were vandalized with swastikas and the words “Sieg Heil 2016”. It is an eerie reminder of our not so distant past.

In the nearly nine years that I have worked with youth, I have never been more at a loss for words. There are no words that can do justice to the valid feelings of terror that many of us are feeling. I don’t know what to say to you to make sense of all of this because nothing can. You might say, “But you’re white, you don’t understand.” And to that I would say that you are absolutely correct.

You may remember two years ago when Eric Garner, the black man who muttered, “I can’t breathe” as he was choked, was killed. On December 3 2014, a jury decided not to indict the officer who put him in that fatal chokehold. I was full of rage, anger, and sadness. I wondered what I would tell my students the next day. How do you hold onto hope when things feel hopeless? How do you continue to fight for justice when it does not exist?

The answer is this- there is no other option. We cannot afford to be complacent. We cannot afford to be silent. We cannot afford to be bystanders when groups that we are not a part of are targeted. During Kristallnacht, many non-Jewish German citizens did nothing. They enabled the violence. We cannot afford to do the same, especially for our African American communities, because it is clear that in the United States in 2016, black lives DON’T matter.

We must stand like we have never stood before for all of our brothers and sisters- black, Latino, Muslim, LGBTQ, and all the communities that Trump and his supports have explicitly and implicitly targeted. Silence is not an option.

For many years during our graduations, our eighth grade students sang “You raise me up.” I am reminded of those words today because it is now all of our duties to raise each other up more than ever before.

For when you fight for justice and equality, when you speak for those who have been targeted, when you reject white supremacy, when you fight for your education and learning of your peers, when you no longer close your eyes at the injustices of the world- when you do these things Scholars, it will be you- who will raise all of us up- to be more than we could ever be.


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24 thoughts on “Day 1 After Donald Trump’s Election Is Exactly What We Thought It Would Be

  1. black people and people of colors the LGB community the latino community the mexican community and women’s groups for quality start saving your money don’t buy anything this holiday season for the next 4 years save your money in reality we don’t have a damn thing to celebrate l’m begging you please put off buying that new car only buy what you and your family needs for you to survive save your money and let them see how much they don’t need us stay out of the stores for the first time invest in yourself

  2. Lawson Richburg on said:

    Let me say that I am a Democrat and voted for Hilary. But, this has to stop. I am embarrassed and uncomfortable that the Hispanics refuse to accept a duly elected president. This is unprecedented. The day we can’t have a peaceful transfer of power, is the day we become a third world nation. There have been many bigoted presidents. I suspect most of congress and the senate are racist. Donald Trump is the president. Try again in 4 years.

    Black people should keep out of this!

  3. Divajourney on said:

    It’s a mixed bag family…I wpuld never say ALL whote people can’t be trusted BUT I do u understand the viewpoint of those who feel that way…We should be focusing our attention on forcing the left to revamp its strategies to TRULY include US, keep the damn alt-right from completely taking over and getting EVERYONE to vote!!!! We r still so misguided about voting in our community…hate white people all you want but they voted and they got what they wanted!! Black people, we gotta catch a clue!!!

    • Do you really think only white people voted and got what they wanted? Would it be a big surprise for you to learn that a lot of black folk voted for Trump Too? They also got what they wanted.

      • Lawson Richburg on said:

        Nope, I wouldn’t be surprised. A lot of Blacks stayed home because they weren’t going to vote for Hilary and weren’t ready to vote Republican. Some Blacks voted for Trump. It makes me really angry when CNN says, “The Latinoes got out and voted, it was the Blacks who stayed home.” They just take our vote for granted.

  4. Blame your media who’s paid to spin to incite race wars. It’s like saying God is responsible for thieving pastors. When people depend on these propaganda machines they call news channels, why wouldn’t we have idiots taking things to the extreme. Not Trump’s fault, Americans are violent by nature. This is a violent country that was acquired through violence. Tell me again why you’re surprised. I work in news media, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to news spin to incite.

  5. Yes, yes, yes, Deacon!!!! We MUST stick together as a race and stand up to the bullies and racists in this woebegotten country that was built on our ancestors’ backs!!!!
    Remember- God does not like ugly!

  6. ButterPecan on said:

    Such powerful spoken words! We must continue to denounce racism and fight for equality in our country for all people but especially minorities and people of color!

  7. I have not trouble with who became President. we all voted, I hoe and the outcome is what it is. Actually, my life has not drastically changed under any President. So, get over yourselves, stop crying and acting like a bunch a heathens burning down businesses and get to work. We are very lucky we do not live in some countries, may would dead in the streets.

  8. An Open Letter to White America
    We Don’t Trust You
    You bought me hear and put me in a life of slavery. I did nothing to you. When I asked for my freedom I was lynched, shot, dragged behind horses and wagons and put to death in the most unimaginable ways. I did nothing to you. When you finally said I was free you enacted laws to keep me down. I did nothing to you. When I fought for you and freedom in America I came back and could not work in certain areas of employment. I was paid less than my white counterpart and could not live where I wanted to. I did nothing to you. When you undereducated me and kept me out of good public schools and colleges. I did nothing to you. When you said I used all the drugs and was the cause of welfare and called welfare queens. I did nothing to you. When you said I committed all or most of the crimes in America. I did nothing to you. When you killed me while walking, talking, eating, standing and sitting while black, I did nothing to you.
    Now that you’ve voted a documented overt racist as president now I am going to do something to you.
    I am never going to trust you again. Know this. Every black person you see does not trust you. Every black person you talk to does not trust you. And we will never trust you again. And we’ve done nothing to you.

      • Lookpassmyskin….”Lookpassmyskin”….. think about that, let it sink in. There is an irony here I’m quite sure you’re missing.

    • None of what you mentioned has ever happened to you. A person will travel in direction their eyes look to. Keep looking backwards and you’ll never progress forward. Every black person not trusting white people? Fortunately, you don’t speak for all black people.

    • Very strong words from the mindset of self awareness, heart, and a poet, something that needs to be shared, and I think that, now is the time to stop burning down their businesses, because they have insurance, but instead stop supporting their businesses.

      • Very good. I agree totally. Burn down their business, they get the insurance and build bigger and better. Let’s not help them.

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