Dear Donald Trump,
We are living in a world controlled by fear and hatred – we are scared of each other, of change, and most of all the unknown. In your campaign, you capitalized on the nation’s fears of national security, a declining economy, and the possibility of a woman as president. You made reckless claims of building a wall between Mexico and the United States, banning all Muslims from entering the country, and threatening to have Hillary Clinton prosecuted. To both my shock and horror, your tactics worked and somehow, you, a sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynist was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.
Over the past few weeks, we have seen these threats come to life through the implementation of an executive order on immigration that has banned citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries. This ban will prevent citizens from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen over the next 90 days from entering the country. Additionally, the order has suspended the entry of all refugees over the course of 120 days. In your speech, you explained that the reason behind this order was to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America”. However, since 9/11, no one has been killed in a terrorist attack caused by anyone who has immigrated from (or whose parents immigrated from) any of the countries that are currently being banned. This begs the question of whether this edict was formed with the intentions of making America “greater” and “safer”, or simply created out of intense racism and fear.
As a 15-year-old girl living in Canada, it is likely that many of these policies and executive orders will not directly impact myself or my family. However, as a strong believer and advocate for women’s’ rights and many other social justice issues, it is demoralizing and heart wrenching to witness so much hatred in our world. It is incredibly frightening to live in a society where someone who has continually promoted misogynistic ideas about women can become the President of the United States. This election has proven to me that the activism that I have embraced is very important and needed.
As President of the United States, you have the most impactful and powerful job in the world. While you and I may not agree on most issues, I believe that these are some of the important ideas that are key to “making America great again”:
1. Be inclusive
America’s history is rooted in immigration – there simply would not be a United States of America without it. When countries open their borders to others, EVERYONE benefits.
2. Help those in need
It is vital that America acts as a safe haven for refugees and all people who are fleeing war, terror, and violence. We simply cannot live in a bubble of privilege, while countless individuals are suffering in the face of adversity.
3. Build Bridges, Not Walls
When you think about history, building walls have never helped anyone. With the amount of money it will take to create a wall between America and Mexico, you could bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, and make America a more inclusive, diverse, and “greater” place to live.
It is clear that the key to a well functioning and prosperous democracy is when the voices of citizens are heard loud and clear. I know that Americans believe in equality and justice, and the government’s actions must reflect that.
As President of the United States, it is vital that you remember that the power of love and acceptance will always trump hatred and ignorance.