An Open Letter To President Donald Trump

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Walter Smith

Part I of II

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations on becoming the 45th President of the United States. You have vanquished all competition for this office and that was no small feat.

Barack Obama, his administration, and your presidential opponents are now in the past, with their legacy yet to be determined by history while yours is yet to be to be initiated. No criticism, nor personal bashing of your past opponents, will enhance your performance as the POTUS.

Barack Obama has established his presidential legacy and you must work on establishing yours. You will be measured after your tenure as to what you do, rather than what you say.

When Barack Obama took the oath of office in 2009, the United States was on the brink of a great depression. On the night of his inauguration 15 members of your party met in the Caucus room restaurant in the nation’s capitol and pledged to thwart his every proposal or initiative, to insure he was a one-term president.

In spite of these vicious roadblocks and attacks on his political acumen, he managed to accomplish many things. Winning a second term in office spoke well of his governing prowess. The myriad of legislative accomplishments by Barack Obama in the face of constant and vicious opposition is nothing short of a miracle.

Your negative and offensive campaign rhetoric should be put aside and you should move on to govern all US citizens evenhandedly under the law. You are in charge now and the people of the world will be directly affected by your words and actions. The American voters who put you in office represent a fraction of the world’s population who will be looking to you for leadership and will be affected by your presidency.

Some indisputable facts about your campaign and subsequent election:

You ran the most negative, vulgar, and divisive election campaign in the history of the nation. As president-elect, you took office with the lowest approval rating of all U.S. presidents. Your inauguration had the lowest attendance of all U.S. inaugurations. The Women’s March on Washington attracted over 300,000 more participants than did your inauguration. Your inauguration speech was rejected by the general public because it was too divisive.

You make public statements that have no basis in fact. You claim 1.5 million attendees at your inauguration but facts suggest it was less than 250,000. You claim your face appeared on the front cover of Time magazine 13 times, more than any president in history. That was not true; the distinction belongs to Rich- ard Nixon. You appeared on the cover 10 times

Your election is being questioned by people around the world, as witnessed by the protest marches on January 21, 2017. Your vindictive nature is driving you to destroy the legacy of the nation’s Black president, Barack Obama, to placate your failure to de-legitimize him as a U.S. citizen and an intellectual scholar.

Barack Obama signed legislation for humane reasons such as health care, home buying assistance, protection for undocumented immigrants, climate control, and a host of others, which you have pledged to reverse. As to Russian president Vladimir Putin, America’s military might, NATO, and our various allies around the world are the only deterrent to Russia’s worldwide aggression. Russia’s ultimate goal is to become the single most powerful nation on earth.

When you consider national security and U.S. Armed Forces, you’re not only talking about Americans of European descent, its about all American citizens, this reservoir of human warriors from every corner of the earth. America is home for all of us.

Mr. Trump, your campaign rhetoric was like none other in U.S. political history. Your campaign slogan was to “Make America Great Again.”

I am an 82-year-old Black man who has never seen America greater than it is today. “Great Again” depends on what “great” period you’re referring to. I’m not sure I would like to see any period in my political or civic life recreated. “Again” implies returning to some past state.

I was born in the decade of the 30s when my parents who resided in the state of South Carolina were denied an education and prohibited from voting by intimidation, poll taxes, and literacy tests. I never want to see those days “Again.”

In the decade of the 40s, all public facilities were separate and unequal. We had “White” and “Colored” water fountains. Our paid bus fare did not entitle us to a seat. All printed material used in our classrooms were handed down from local “white” schools. There were no “colored” elected officials. I never want to see those days “Again.”

The decade of the 50s saw the beginning of the “Civil Rights” movement, with Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man, and the Brown vs Board of Education decision. Southern Democrats created the “Southern Manifesto” which encouraged resistance to any and all legislation designed to benefit “Colored” people.

Protesters, and civil disobedience were met with deadly force by local police departments with attack dogs and high powered fire hoses. Fourteen-year-old Emmit Till was taken from his grandfather’s home in the middle of the night by white men, and murdered for calling a white woman “baby.” My uncle, McKeithian Smith, was savagely beaten by six Darlington, SC, policemen simply for standing his ground against rabid racism and unbridled bigotry. I never want to see those days “Again.

Walter Smith

Publisher, New York Beacon

Mr. Smith concludes his letter in next week’s issue.

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