Hi, guys. If you know me, you know it's no surprise that I'm not super happy about the election results. But I recognize that you have just as much right to exercise your voice as I do, and you did just that. I'm not here to sling extreme rhetoric at you. I know that's a problem on both sides of the aisle and I don't want to add to it (although I did write about it in another letter).
I have close friends and family members who voted for our President Elect, and if that's you, I want you to know: I LOVE YOU. So, so much. I trust you, and because I trust you I trust that you voted your conscience, and that I will never begrudge you.
There are a lot of reasons you voted for Trump. Many of you were voting platform, or because you did not want Hillary, or because you believe he's a good businessman, or any number of reasons. I understand, and I'm not here to attack those.
But even as you're excited and celebrating this morning, I want you to know: You have a Responsibility. There are a lot of problems with Trump -- I'm sure most of you will agree to that. There are problems with every candidate. But you did decide that those problems were worth risking when you cast your vote for him (the same way I decided Hillary's were worth risking when I cast my vote for her). And so you do have a Responsibility to own and address those risks.
Many Muslim American citizens are afraid for their safety. This is largely thanks to the anti-Islam sentiment of many of Trump's supporters. If you do not agree with those sentiments, say so. Speak out, and speak peace. Assure your fellow citizens that they are safe. That you will stand with them if they are in danger. I know not all Trump supporters are racist. Speak out and prove me right.
Many women are afraid for their safety. Trump is on record saying that grabbing a woman forcefully by her genitals is just 'locker room talk.' There are a LOT of accusations from women saying he has actually done things like that. I can only assume that you voted for him because you believe he has changed, or believe that this doesn't matter as much as the other issues at stake. Either way, the fact that he has been elected means there is more room for this behavior in our culture. That is part of the platform you elected, and so you have a profound responsibility to help stop it. Step up, speak out, and help put a stop to sexual assault. I know not all Trump supporters are sexist. Please speak out and prove me right.
Many Mexican immigrants are afraid for their safety. Many children are afraid for the safety of their parents. No matter what you believe about immigration, the reality is these are real people with real lives and real hearts and real families. There are many Trump supporters who call names, use racial slurs, intimidation, and threats to bully those of Mexican descent. That is not okay, regardless of whether an immigrant is legal or not. Can we at least agree on that? That as Christians, we are called to treat fellow humans with love and respect, whether or not we believe they should be in our country? I know not all Trump supporters are racist. Now is the time to step up, speak out, and prove it.
Many members of the LGBTQ community are afraid for their safety. No matter where you stand on any issue, again -- it is our duty to treat fellow humans with respect and dignity. Many Trump supporters are sending words of hate to this community. If that is not you, you have an obligation to do more than sit back and not say anything. I know that not all Trump supporters are homophobic. Now step up, speak out, and prove it.
I could go on -- those who are disabled, African American citizens, our very children -- many, many people are frightened right now. And your vote elected the man who frightens them. I know you -- I know that you are not racist, sexist, or hateful. I know you are loving people. But the truth is many Trump supporters aren't like you. If you are silent, your vote for him will be a vote for them, because they are not silent. So speak out against hate. Show grace and support to those who are afraid. You can, I know you can, because I know you are wonderful people. I know you, and I love you, but this cannot be the end of your political action. This is not a vote you can cast and forget. You have a responsibility to follow through and take ownership for this administration.
Trump said in his acceptance speech that it is time for us to come together, and I agree. Show us who the real Trump voters are -- be noisier than those who are hurtful. Help us build a culture of peaceful diversity. Speak out in love towards those you disagree with. Do not add to the rhetoric of gloating, do not allow the rhetoric of meanness. That's not who you are, and that's not who we are.
If you simply sit back quietly, now that your vote has elected this man, you are allowing the noisiest of his supporters to create His America. Don't allow that. You elected Trump, and good things can come from that -- but bad things can come, too. So step up, speak out, and stop them.
You have a Responsibility.