We who have been torn apart
are best suited to repair your battle wounds.
Our type is people with scarred arms,
broken hearts, and shattered minds,
crawling to make it back to whole.
Their wounds tell their beautiful stories and
all our damaged places are mirrored in them.
Our specialty is stitching them back together
and letting them leave with pieces of us.
There are days when
we cling to their shadows by our fingernails.
Like birds with healed wings,
we are nervous to release them.
Skin to skin, scars aligned, and then let go.
There are moments when our clothes smell of the blood
we have washed from others’ injuries,
long after the stains have been scrubbed from the fabric.
We believe we can fill the cracks in their hearts and minds,
love them enough to smooth their rough edges.
Sometimes they are sharp enough to make us bleed
but we can’t help ourselves.
Sometimes when we say goodbye it’s a lie on our lips
because we expect that someday
we will say hello again.
The one who heals you can’t be your forever;
they have seen too much of you.
We are no one’s forever,
for we are the forever healers:
Stitching you back to whole
so someone else can think you’re perfect.
We who have been torn apart
Dear Mr. Trump,
I am writing this because we all owe you an apology. We, as Americans, need to apologize. For letting you get this far. For allowing your ego to get so vastly out of control. For reaching a point where you honestly believe that you should hold the most important job in the United States. For giving you that power. We as Americans should have taken this seriously a long time ago, all the way back when you announced your candidacy. For awhile, I think everyone thought it was a bit of a joke. Ha ha, the crazy rich guy wants to lead our country. By the time it became clear it wasn’t a joke, we watched nervously, the way you stare at a car crash on the side of the highway. Ooh, that’s terrifying, I’m glad it didn’t happen to me.
But you are happening to all of us. Your actions, whether we voted for you or not, now represent the views of this country — at the very least, the Republican half of it. The day they gave you the title of Republican nominee, you began to represent the views of the majority of Republicans. I’m not a Republican, Mr. Trump, but there are Republicans I respect; you are not among them. None of your views are ones I recognize from that party.
It doesn’t matter whether we’re Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents….I think political affiliations are almost irrelevant here: the words you use are not based on the core values that hold this country together, and they are not words that I accept — from either party, ever. They do not represent the America I know.
I am writing this because I have seen comparisons between you and your opponents, in which your misdeeds are listed, simply, as “said mean things.”
Not a single one of your political rivals are perfect; they all have significant flaws. They are human, after all.
But why are we minimizing the power of words this way?
You’ve made comments about many groups: Mexicans, Muslims, African-Americans, members of the LGBTQ community, the disabled, and others; anyone who is different, anyone who is not like you. You’ve told people at your rallies that you will pay their court costs if they get arrested for violence on your behalf. You’ve thrown protesters out into the cold without their jackets because they disagree with you. You have said you could walk outside and shoot someone without losing any voters. You’ve said that if a woman is sexually harassed or assaulted at work, she should quit and work somewhere else.
Are these words not powerful?
Are words not indicative of future actions? Of our beliefs? Of our ideals and values?
Are we really saying that words cannot impact the way we feel? The way we act? That “mob mentality” does not exist? That leaders do not rise to power by voicing their beliefs and policies?
Are we actually saying that “said mean things” is as trivial as they attempt to make it sound?
If words have no power, why do we have campaigns?
If words have no power, why do we hold debates?
If words have no power, why do we make speeches?
If words have no power, why do we record so many of them?
And we have recorded you, Mr. Trump. This election has afforded you an unprecedented opportunity for all of your “mean things” to be heard.
It’s your comments on women that I take the most personally. I wouldn’t presume to speak for the LGBTQ community, or for Mexicans, Muslims, or any other minority you’ve attacked. But I can speak as a woman. I can denounce you as a woman.
You ought to be more careful, Mr. Trump. We women make up more than half of the US population. We outnumber you.
Let’s take a look at your views on women, shall we?
- “I would never buy Ivana any decent jewels or pictures. Why give her negotiable assets?” (Vanity Fair, 1990)
- “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” (Esquire Magazine, 1991)
- “There are basically three types of women and reactions. One is the good woman who very much loves her future husband, solely for himself, but refuses to sign the agreement on principle. I fully understand this, but the man should take a pass anyway and find someone else. The other is the calculating woman who refuses to sign the prenuptial agreement because she is expecting to take advantage of the poor, unsuspecting sucker she’s got in her grasp. There is also the woman who will openly and quickly sign a prenuptial agreement in order to make a quick hit and take the money given to her.” (Trump: The Art of The Comeback, 1997)
- “Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part.” (Trump: The Art of The Comeback, 1997)
- “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” (Daily News, 2004)
- “A woman who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.” (The Howard Stern Show, 2005)
- “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” (ABC News, 2006)
- “So when he had plenty of money, she liked him. But then after that, not as good, right?” (Access Hollywood, 2008 – in reference to Anne Hathaway’s divorce)
- “You have to treat [women] like shit.” (New York Magazine, 2009)
- “You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting.” (to the opposing lawyer in a courtroom, when she asked for a break to pump breast milk, 2011)
- “It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.” (Celebrity Apprentice, 2013)
- “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?” (Twitter, 2013)
- “I mean, we could say politically correct that look doesn’t matter, but the look obviously matters. Like you wouldn’t have your job if you weren’t beautiful.” (To a female reporter, regarding Miss Universe)
- “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” (Rolling Stone, on Carly Fiorina, 2015)
- “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” (Twitter, April 2015)
- “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.” (CNN, August 2015)
- “She’s playing that card like I’ve never seen anyone play it before. All I’m doing is bringing out the obvious, that without the woman card, Hillary would not even be a viable person to even run for a city council position.” (Today show, April 2016)
- “She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was real problem for us.” (Twitter, on former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, September 2016)
- “I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married. And I moved on her very heavily… I moved on her like a bastard, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.” (Access Hollywood, video footage released October 2016)
- “I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything……Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” (Access Hollywood, video footage released October 2016)
Have you heard enough?
So have we.
You’ve been saying these things for longer than I have been alive, Mr. Trump, and it is one of the greatest tragedies of this generation that you have been allowed to get as far in this system as you have. A country hailed as “the land of the free and the home of the brave” should not have a racist, xenophobic, homophobic misogynist standing at its helm.
You do not represent me. I do not agree with a single thing I have heard out of your mouth since the beginning of this race, or before it. I reject you.
You do not represent the two-party system. I do not accept that you were the best the Republican party had to offer. I reject you.
You do not represent women or minorities. I reject your closed-minded ideals and instead refer you to those engraved on the Statue of Liberty, who represents what the United States was born to be:
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
As an American, as a woman, as an LGBTQ ally, as a member of this “melting pot” of cultures that our country was meant to be, as a caring and compassionate human being, I reject you.
You do not represent America. I refuse to accept that America is full of people who agree with the toxic hate spewing from your mouth every day. I am putting my faith in the American people to put a stop to your poisonous words and actions. My America does not resemble the picture you paint of her.
I won’t even mention the other names on the ballot because I don’t need to; when November rolls around, I would vote for every last person on it before I would vote for you.
An American Woman