Dear Mr. Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

Oh shit. I’m doing this. I’m posting something about my political opinion for the world to see.. on my precious, pure, innocent yoga blog! I swore I would never do this.

But, I am. And here’s why.

What I have to say needs to be heard. Many call me naive, and I’m used to it, but somehow I hope you see this. Mr. Trump.

Let me begin by saying that I respect you. I will not call you any names, and I have no hatred for you. A wise Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” So, while you may not like everything I am about to say, please know that this letter is all coming from a place of love.

No, I did not vote for you. Yes, I did consider it.

Those two sentences each have the potential to make both Democrats and Republicans very mad. But, it’s the truth. I am a very open-minded person and I like to make my own decision. So I weighed out my options. And to this day, I don’t like to label myself as either. Above all, I am an American.

Mr. Trump, I have not personally met you, but my mother has. I still remember the night she told me about it…

“Mommy, you really met Donald Trump?! OMG how cool! Was he nice?”

Her answer was very brief, but she began to tell me how you were not very nice to her or to others around her. She was just doing her job, as a dealer at Caesar’s in Atlantic City.

Her name is Jennifer Tamburo and she was a hell of a dealer. I wish she was still alive to tell me more about your encounter together. It was over 6 years ago, as it will be 6 years since she passed this December. But, it happened.

I have to give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you were under a high amount of stress at the moment or just having a horrible day. Who knows. All I know is that you cannot judge someone from one moment, so I’m trying my hardest not to.

Next, is my dad. He’s on disability. He got into a really bad car accident over 6 years ago and was told he would never be able to walk again. After my mom passed away, I moved in with him, and it was just him and I, along with my dog and my broken heart. If it were not for the monthly checks that he was getting from the government, we would not be able to be provided for. So, I appreciate that you said, “Social Security isn’t an entitlement, it is honoring a deal” in 2011. I also like that you said, “You cannot change Medicare or Social Security and still win elections” in 2013. My hope is that your opinion on the matter won’t change since you have now won the election because my very small family will be in trouble if it does.

And then there’s me.. a woman. I have lived my life as independently as possible. My mother raised me as a single mother and I was single for 21 years, until I met the love of my life. For the longest time, I didn’t believe in love due to all of the unhealthy relationships around me. When you go around, talking about women like they are property, and talking down to them, it shows many girls that are growing up that men can be horrible and that they are simply objects and not human beings. I don’t want so many girls to think that. I know deep down, you are not as vicious and hateful as you may seem.

Even though you said,

“If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’”

So many people are going to begin to look up to you, or at least try to. Do you know how many people are struggling with body image issues? Do you know how many people feel they are worthless and consider suicide because of their appearance? I was one of them. Comments like that need to stop. You are now a huge influence on so many people, and you need to be humbled by that, and watch what you say. People look in the mirror and want their precious life to end because of what they see. You calling another human being, let alone a woman, fat, will only create more and more fat talk and less self-love. Our country needs more self love. Because self love leads to loving others more wholeheartedly. Therefore, self-hate leads to hating others. Do you see how talking like that will slowly, but inevitably, increase anger and hatred?

I also don’t want boys to look up to you for saying, “Be cocky, confident, smart, and humorous and you will be able to get all the women you want.” (September 2008) What about kindness? Honesty? Humility? Communication? Sensitivity? Looking within the person and not just on the outside? Treating them like they are their own person and not property? Healthy families come from healthy relationships and healthy marriages. And it all starts from two loving people coming together with respect. Cockiness does not promote respect. And you saying, “Grab them by the p****. You can do anything,” has created so much damage in the mind of girls and boys. Girls feeling that their body parts can be used to be controlled by boys. Boys thinking that they can control women with their body parts. Not okay. You have a lot of work to do to make up for that.

Listen, I know you love your family. You have said that the happiest people have great families and you have stressed the importance of a strong family and a strong culture of life. You have said that you and Hillary agree on family leave, but the numbers are different. When I raise my family, I want my husband to have paternity leave for more than two weeks while I have maternity leave. If you believe in the high value of family, this should not be a problem. I understand it will not be as graciously long as mine, but I still want more time. Time for us to be a family. A full family, that will create fully loved children to grow up and be fully loving Americans. You see, my becoming pregnant will do nothing but help this country.. this world.  I am going to create the most loving American you’ve ever seen. So, my pregnancy will be anything but an inconvenience for our country.

And now, for all the others out there.

I am friends with many different kinds of people. My first kiss was a black male. A best friend of mine is Arab-African and Muslim. One of my favorite yoga teachers is a black female.  My grandfather was a veteran. (And let me stop right there by presenting the cold hard fact that you and I do not sacrifice as much as veterans do.)

I am only telling you this because I feel extremely privileged as a white human being, as a white female. However, I know that these groups of people have had moments of not feeling so privileged. And I love these people. They are concerned for their well-being. This is what my dear friend Yousra told me..

“From the start Trump has used his hateful rhetoric to bring out the subconscious bigot/sexist/racist/fascist/misogynist in his supporters. They were connected to him because they felt his ability to use a political platform to make outlandish comments somehow made him “transparent” and more trustworthy than his opponent. It’s a shame because those comments and mindsets impact people such as myself, an Arab-African Muslim American. My parents sacrificed so much for my siblings and I to live peaceful lives filled with opportunity in the USA, but I now have to think twice about the people I interact with on a daily basis and wonder if they voted to oppress people like me. I genuinely hope Trump’s election into office is a wake up call to the deficiencies in our system and the resentments in our people – and I hope the outrage we feel galvanises people into collective action to unify NOT divide.”

People who do not have an Arab-Muslim best friend probably wouldn’t understand how impacted they are, but I do. You cannot generalize Muslims as terrorists. Yousra is no terrorist and neither is her family. They are the literal opposite. It is not fair and not right for you to treat “her people” the way you are treating them. You have made some outreach to African-Americans, Latinos, and LGBTQ voters, but zero to Muslims. I am aware that Hillary refers to Muslims as “them” and the rest of us as “we,” but this isn’t about her. This is about you. You are our president.

I understand that I’d be dreaming if I wanted to ask you to treat all people with love and respect, to look at all people equally. You want your borders up, and you want them up good. You want to keep people out.

“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

Why would Mexico pay for something that you are creating? I understand our drug problem is big. But you think that the drug pourage from the Southern border is getting bigger and bigger and that is only true with Meth. Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows that the total amount of drugs seized at the Southwest border dropped from roughly 2.5 million pounds of drugs in 2011 to about 1.5 million pounds in 2015. That’s good to hear, but you and I both know it is still a problem. More importantly, your  “wall” plan will not completely fix that problem. Traffickers smuggle drugs by digging tunnels underneath the borders, in submarines, and through airports.(The Washington Post, 2016.) So, a wall will only cause hate and debt.

And most important of all, as a yogi, (I hate to say as a democrat or a republican) I live by the mantra, May all beings everywhere be happy and free. And I know that I am in the minority by believing in that. People want security and borders and separation. Instead of connection. Instead of looking to the root of the problem. Instead of communicating and looking at people’s intention. Instead of looking at psychology. Why people want to hurt others. All lazy people want to do it put the walls up. They don’t care why people hate people. They just hate back. And that is the problem. We are only creating more hate.

I believe the reason we have terrorists is 100% because of their childhood and upbringing. “This view of a world split into good and bad joins with a strong sense of hopelessness felt by those who become terrorists, research shows. For many children who later join terrorist groups, the sense of hopelessness turns into burning rage, according to data collected by Rona Fields, a clinical psychologist in Alexandria, Va.” That is from an article entitled, The Roots of Terrorism are Found in Brutality of Shattered Childhood. I could not agree more with that title.

And lastly, the reason why I started writing this blog post gone research paper..

I have many gay friends and they are in tears. I remember you saying that you would “strongly consider” overturning the Supreme Court’s decision to give same-sex couples the right to marry. I would love it if you would comfort many people who I have love for by telling them that you are not going to overturn any laws we currently have in place on marriage equality. I think they are scared because our soon-to-be President, the Senate, and the House are dominated by Republicans. But, I have hope that you are not interested in trying to undo any hard work our country has out in. I have hope that the court won’t feel a need to revisit the matter. I know that you have it in you to make sure that all people are treated with respect and dignity. Maybe you are just putting up a mask because you are scared. Because you haven’t been exposed to people who are different from you, that have less money than you, that have a different skin color than you, that have a different religion than you. And now you have to work with these people instead of staying in “your world” where these people are not. But, you HAVE to work with these people now. You cannot diminish them. They are human. You have to see this. I must make you see this. We are all born equal, and then life happens. But, now you have a power over our life. Every word you say on television affects the people who watch you. Every small and big decision you make affects us all. So, do me a favor. Invest your money in a yoga studio membership. It will help you to look deeper within yourself. Ask yourself where does all that hatred come from? What happened in your childhood that made you view others as inferior to you? Besides the money. Besides the fame. Look deeper. And then do the work. Make the change. For you. For America.

Are you starting to see that everything is connected? How we grow up, what we’re taught, how we love, how much time we spend with family, how happy we are, how we treat others, how we see others and then what goes on in our country? It’s all connected.

It starts from the moment we are born. But, here we, long after our birth into this country, into this world. And you are going to be our leader. And I respect you for the time you have put into this election. But the most important time is right now. Before you are inaugurated, I beg of you to look within yourself. To see the person that lies deep within. I know he’s there. I know there’s love in there. It’s just buried by all of your experience. It’s time to dust it all off. To peel off the layers and layers of hate.

To find love.

I am love. You are love. We are love.

With nothing but love,

April Tamburo

Resident of New Jersey

Resources:

  • NYTimes.com
  • Washingtonpost.com
  • Ontheissues.org

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