Editor’s Note: This letter by a teacher, which reflects the pain of his student’s in a constructive way is haunting and profound. I am including it here as a guest column.
My students were upset by Mr. Trump’s victory in the Presidential Election. Students at my school actually walked out. I decided to create a lesson that would engage the students in my class that didn’t walk out, in a constructive way.
I told them to imagine that they suddenly had the power to write Mr. Trump a letter and, tomorrow morning, when he woke up, he would be the things that they put in their letter. I got some rather profound responses. What I have done below, is to recreate the opening paragraph of the letter and plugged in some of the most profound things students put in their letters.
Dear Mr. Trump,
Welcome to your new life. You have awakened today with some new attributes. These attributes will make you a more understanding and compassionate person. You have the toughest job in the world and we, the children of the United States of America want you to be able to gain insight from the point of view of many in this great nation who live on the margins of society.
You are poor, so you can understand what it’s like to be without a health care and sometimes, without food. You are a minority, a part African American, part Hispanic and part Asian, female so that you can understand what it is like to be discriminated against and to have your life options limited. You live in a horrible neighborhood and your educational opportunities are limited, so chances are, high school is as far as you will go. Your ability to get a job and to advance within that job are limited as well. You are gay so that you can feel what it’s like to be ridiculed everywhere you go. You are Muslim so you can see what it’s like to be hated for worshipping the same God in a different way. You are an illegal immigrant so that you can know what it’s like to be worried about being discovered and deported back to the nation you left because your future and even your life was in danger there. You are a child, so no one listens to, or cares about, what you have to say.
Next year, you will be deported and you will be a Mexican National so that you can understand what it is like to live on the other side of the wall you are going to build.
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