Dear President Trump,
I may have missed it, but I checked online yesterday to see whether you’ve made a statement condemning the nooses that keep showing up in public spaces and I didn’t see anything. I googled “Trump noose” and the only things that came up were how there’s been a dramatic increase in hate crimes, including nooses, since you took office and one story about an angry veteran who put a noose around the neck of a Trump dummy he made and how mad the people in his community were at him. Down below at the bottom of the page where google shows related searches there were a slew of entries about President Obama and nooses, which made me feel especially sad. But there was nothing coming from you to the nation about this awful unleashing of racist posturing and threat mongering. Just silence. You’ve got boatloads to say about terrorist threats and violent illegal immigrants, all of which are whipped up exaggerations meant to scare people into thinking you can make us safe. But you have said nothing constructive about the real threats to Americans’ safety and sense of safety. You have said nothing that reassures me you care whether African American people are being terrorized by white supremacists invoking the specter of lynching. You have said nothing that reassures me you care about whether I am safe from harassment and assault either as a woman or as a sexual minority person. You have said nothing that indicates you care about whether all Americans have safe drinking water. The list could go on indefinitely.
This morning when I was saying my metta prayer for all beings I kept getting stuck on the first line “may we be safe.” I never did get to happiness, health, and our lives unfolding and intersecting with ease because I kept having to repeat the safety passage. It’s hard to pursue happiness when one’s life and liberty either are in jeopardy or feel as though they could be in jeopardy at any minute. Some of us have the luxury of being able to set those fears aside but an awful lot of people are trying to go about their days with nooses hanging in trees outside their dorm rooms or on their desks or in museums they go to for enrichment. This is unacceptable and we need you to step up and be presidential in condemning these sick tactics rooted in hate.
May we all be safe.
May we all be happy.
May we all be healthy.
May our lives unfold and intersect peacefully.