Who I am.

I stand with all those who support the family of George Floyd as they grieve his death, and with every person who has ever suffered unjustly. I stand with all those who are putting themselves at risk to peacefully gather and protest systemic racism. And, I stand with every individual and institution that seeks to use their power and privilege to create a free, and democratic society, and a healthy and just world for all.

Why we need to stand up to President Trump.

We live in a country whose Commander in Chief is decidedly racist. From 2011 to 2016, Mr. Trump was a leading proponent of the already-debunked “Birtherism” conspiracy theory claiming President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

In a racially charged criminal case, Mr. Trump continued to insist, as late as 2019, that a group of black and Latino teenagers were guilty of the 1989 rape of a white woman in the Central Park jogger case, despite the five males having been officially exonerated in 2002, based on a confession by an imprisoned serial rapist that was confirmed by DNA evidence.

In 2016, Mr. Trump launched presidential campaign with a speech in which he spoke about Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” He tweeted and retweeted false statistics claiming that African Americans are responsible for the majority of murders of white Americans, and in some speeches he has repeatedly linked African Americans and Hispanics with violent crime. He clearly used and continues to use the fears of the white working class voters.

Mr. Trump made comments following a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, that were seen by critics as implying moral equivalence between the white supremacist marchers and those who protested against them.

In 2018, during an Oval Office meeting about immigration reform, Trump allegedly referred to El Salvador, Haiti, and African countries as “shitholes”, which was widely condemned as a racist comment.

In July 2019, Mr. Trump tweeted about Democratic congresswomen of color: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”

Teach your children.

Although American society was founded on freedom from religious persecution and on tolerance of differences in beliefs and cultural heritage, the current climate of divisiveness has created a veritable state of hate as evidenced in the rising number of hate crimes. For those of us living in Florida, our state ranks second in the nation of states with the most hate crime groups – California is #1 and Texas is #3. The U.S. also faces a bullying epidemic wherein 90% of students in grades 4-8 nationwide report having been harassed or bullied. According to Maureen Costello (Southern Poverty Law Center), “The children in our schools are simply reflecting the divisions we’re seeing throughout America. The danger is that children may learn that hate and extremism are normal, and that bullying and violence are acceptable.”

We need true leaders.

We need leaders today who will take a stand, who will raise their voices against injustice and racism. We need leaders who will inspire us to be more tolerant and kinder to each other.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Related Reading:
Mattis tears into Trump: ‘We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership”
Donald Trump: Textbook Narcissist
The Trump Effect – Southern Poverty Law Center