Trump, you have to take the first step

By Dr. Karalyn Humphrey | Guest Columnist

Dear President-elect Trump,

Let me begin by expressing my sincerest hopes that your time as our president will be successful. While I did not vote for you, I believe that we all want a prosperous country. And because I believe that we all want this, I stand ready to lend my full support to those policies that will bring jobs back to this country, raise people out of poverty and reinvigorate our middle class. What we are witnessing in the aftermath of this election, however, goes far beyond economics.

Many people are frightened right now, Mr. Trump. When you get past all the protests and the hashtags, all the heated rhetoric and sweeping generalizations, what is left is fear. We, myself included, are highly concerned for the future of this country. We are concerned because elements of our population take your slogan of “Make America Great Again” and read into those words their agendas of hate-mongering and intimidation. They read it as permission to make America their version of great – white, patriarchal, heterosexual and their particular brand of Christian. They see your successful election as vindication of their agendas and permission to act out against all those they perceive as “other.”

Meanwhile, those of us who fall into any of those “other” categories feel unheard. We feel unheard because there has not been a strong condemnation from your campaign or its supporters of these groups. We feel unheard because you name as a top adviser someone who is well known to have disparaging views of “others.” And we feel vulnerable, believing that your administration is going to target us and the rights we currently enjoy as fellow citizens of this country.

You are a businessman, and you know that a successful business requires all the people in that business to work together — from the CEO to the general worker and every level in between. This is what makes a business great, and it’s what makes America great as well. If you truly believe in your slogan — to make America great again — then it is going to take all of us working together. You have taken the first step — you have urged us not to be afraid and have told those groups who are targeting people to “stop it.” But many more steps are needed. And not just words, but actions. It took months of brutal campaigning to get us to this point of being afraid, and it will take months of solid words and actions to get us away from this point of being afraid, and to the point where we can come together to further the collective prosperity of our county.

I will say again that I will fully support any policies you put forward that create jobs and benefit our economy. But I will not support any policies that accomplish this at the expense of our rights, nor will I support any social policies that threaten to reverse rights that we currently enjoy. I will stand up and defend anyone targeted or intimidated because we are all citizens of this country and what is done to some is done to all.

I very much want to see a successful 45th president of the United States and want to support you as such. Please give me reason to do so.