Dear President Trump
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Welcome to Greenville — a growing city with an extraordinarily diverse population of citizens, many of whom came here as immigrants. It’s good for you to know that institutions like Vidant Medical Center and East Carolina University have attracted such gifted persons and their families. They enrich our cultural experience beyond what we could expect or imagine. Our growing networks in eastern North Carolina include many who are vulnerable, good, gifted, resourceful, hard-working people struggling in our rural towns to simply keep their head above water economically — in need of health care. For them, universal health coverage is a hospital emergency room. They need you to put partisan politics aside on behalf of the common good.
I wish in your visit here that it would be possible for you to meet with some of our neighbors who live in the shadows of our community — good people, many of whom are fearful of either being suddenly deported or having a loved one in their family taken into custody. I doubt many, if any, will be on hand to cheer you on. The collateral damage to so many of our immigrant neighbors who suffer terribly the loss of families ripped apart by your barbarian policy needs to end. Please Mr. President, let Greenville be the city where you “find yourself in good company,” where you no longer fuel fear of “the other” — but do what we hope and prayer you truly are: a symbol-bearer for all of us — a reconciling leader who can help bring a healing and hopeful message to a broken and divided country.
As one among a trusted network of interfaith religious leaders in Greenville and our surrounding counties, we are committed to building bridges of trust — not walls which divide. I wish you could be part of how we have come to affirm and recognize our differences as gifts which enhance our humanity in ways which truly make America great in a new and much different way than it was when my white immigrant grandparents came to America.
Welcome to Greenville! Surprise and inspire us with a sincere and compelling message that breathes new life into what it means for us to be one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for ALL.
The author is a member of the group Interfaith Clergy Standing for the Community.