I am working on a project that has required me to comb back through old emails in search of my writing that I may not have saved anywhere else. I just found an essay and a letter I wrote a few days after the 2016 election. I, like so many people, was in shock and trying to process everything that had happened. After living through the last (almost) five years, it is haunting to read these words again. Sadly, the message and the lessons are still relevant.
The emails I found were my submission to the Op/Ed department of my city's newspaper. The letter below and the essay in Part 1, are being shared exactly how they were submitted. I have not changed a word.
Submitted on November 11, 2016
Dear President Elect,
You proudly stated in your acceptance speech that you want to be “the president for all people”. I must remind you that means you have to be a president for the protesters and the “NeverTrump”ers and everyone else who is not on your side. You don’t get to forget about us because we don’t agree with you. We were a country divided before this campaign; I have known that for many years. But your words and actions have incited something in all of us. That is a powerful position to be in, what will you do with that power?
If you want to be our President, you need to take a good, long look in the mirror. You need to understand how your words and actions have caused so much damage and pain. You need to surround yourself with different people, people who are invested in this country and represent the very groups you have offended…you need to sit humbly before them and ask “What can I do differently?”. You need to ask and be ready for the answers.
We would love to have a “president for all people”, but we can’t believe those words until they come along with action. Until then, we will continue to fight for the country we believe in.
Crystal Rose McGinnis
(A.K.A. – American, Black, White, Woman, Heterosexual, Middle-Class, Human Being)