By Susie Zeiger
The opinions expressed in this post are strictly those of the author and do not reflect opinions or positions held by Indivisible Northampton.
Dear President Biden,
I didn’t vote for you in the presidential primary. Bernie was my man. But of course I voted for you in the presidential election. ABT was my mantra: Anybody but Trump, any Democrat that is. I’ve never in my life voted for a Republican and never will.
I listened to what you had to say Wednesday evening after the insurrection we witnessed on television. I was disgusted, repulsed, angered, but not surprised by what I saw. Unlike South Africa, we have never faced our past, never had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, never acknowledged our killings of Native people, stealing their land, our enslavement of Africans, our segregation, our Jim Crow laws, our redlining, our police brutality, our occupations of other countries, our arrogance, our so-called exceptionalism. The history that most American students learn is predominantly lies, which hide the many ugly truths of what we have done throughout history. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done some things right, but this you know, and so do I.
I disagreed with you when you said something along the lines of “This is not who we were, we’re better than this.” Sorry Joe, but this is who we are. Thankfully, not all of us, but too many Americans agree with the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol building. I fortunately do not know any of these people, living in the bubble of western Massachusetts and spending most of my life in New York City, where Donald Trump is from. By the way, he was hated in my fair city, except of course by the uber rich and the likes of Rudolf Giuliani.
I so wish that the 25th Amendment had been invoked, but Republicans are still afraid of the monster who ruled this country or they agree with his heinous actions. The second amendment to the constitution, written I might add, by the founding fathers, several of who were slave holders, allowed for the bearing of arms, a huge and tragic mistake.
Please tell your dear wife Jill how much I appreciated her trip to Matamoros where she met with asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico due to Steven Miller and Trump’s cruel policies. That so-called president headed to the border likely extolling his border wall, which should never ever be completed. I am holding you to your promise of immigration reform and promise to badger you until you do this. I belong to a small group of activists for immigrant justice. You’ll be hearing from us. We went to Matamoros just last February to show our support and concern for the asylum seekers, mainly from the Northern Triangle Countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, countries the U.S. supported when their military dictators were in power. I hope and pray that your administration will grant their asylum cases.
Here’s my list Joe, of everything I want you to do or not do:
- Immigration reform
- Hefty pandemic relief for all those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic
- Decrease military spending which I guess is a pipe dream of mine especially since your wife is so gung ho on the military. Tell her she’s wrong!
- Do NOT compromise with the Republicans, something the Obama administration did way too much of. Since the Democrats will now have control of the House and the Senate, there’s no excuse to even try to placate them.
- Make the White House, this house built by slaves, the People’s House. Have concerts, which your boss Barack did, and have Black musicians perform. American music owes so much to Black music.
Lastly, I want to wish you a hell of a lot of luck and strength. You’re lucky to have Kamala to back you up. She’s tough and younger than you. I’m not being ageist here. I’m seventy-three and I know how tired we seventy-somethings can be.
One more thing, before I forget, be brave. Step out of the box. Call out racists, sexists, homophobes, insurrectionists, white supremacists, and the like. I’m counting on you.
You’ve already shown yourself to be a mensch at times. Ask Kamala’s husband what that means. Be sure to be brave!