At a loss

Dear President Trump,

Today I saw a couple of in-the-back-window car stickers that are worth telling you about. The first one read “Keep Seattle Hostile.” I had to read it three times before I could accept that it really said that. The other one had a silhouette of President Obama to one side and words something like “When you are low on hope, get out and DO something.” Going back to the first one, who would want to make a sticker about keeping a place hostile, even as a joke? And who would want to put it in their window and drive it around the city it is referencing? It’s baffling and I am at a loss as to how to think about it.

As I write to you, Laura and I are hanging out and she’s reading me different bits from Twitter. There was one a few minutes ago that feels germane to the two window stickers. Someone posted a note saying that the family of Scott Beigel, the geography teacher from MSD in Parkland who was killed last month in the massacre, has not heard from you, but that they have received condolences from President Obama. It would be nice to have evidence of behavior of yours that would allow me to question this statement, but you are not someone who operates in the realm of decency and compassion. You just aren’t. I could more easily see you saying Mr. Beigel failed, that you wouldn’t have been so lame as to get yourself killed in that situation. As far as the believability of President Obama having reached out to Mr. Beigel’s family and expressed his sorrow at their loss, well, this is consistent with what I observed of his behavior so I have no reason not to believe it.

And so here we are. We have you who thrives on hostility and would probably like to invest in whatever company is making those sick little stickers, and we have to contend with the loss of a president who will DO something to help a bad situation be a little less bad by showing up and caring for people who are hurting. I am so grateful we have President Obama’s example of integrity, dignity, and compassion to keep reminding us that what we have now, in you and your administration, is patently not normal and not ok.

May we be safe from hostility, including our own when are tempted to foist it onto someone else.
May we be happy to insist on integrity, dignity, and compassion from our leadership.
May we have the wherewithal to step up and DO something constructive when hope is flagging.
May we be the change we want to see; may we be the peacemakers.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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