A word to white men

Dec 5, 2016 by

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As a white Mennonite man, I am deeply disturbed by my fellow WMM who voted for Donald Trump. I consider his discriminatory rhetoric hate speech. Voting for Trump reflects a disconnect from ethical Mennonite values, especially nonviolence and respect for all people.

A pattern of white supremacy is running over the fabric of America. WMM have approved this pattern by silence. Trump’s words and actions arouse white-supremacy behaviors. The president-elect is known for his words of hate: threatening to ban Muslims, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, warmongering (“bomb the hell out of ’em”) and degrading women (groping and boasting he can get away with it). Now we see the results: students yelling “build the wall” to immigrants and “go home” to Muslims, white men displaying swastikas. Immigrants fear deportation. Women and LGBT people are anxious. Nonwhite people fear victimization and bullying.

How do we as WMM respond? Our choices are being watched by our children and grandchildren. We are created in God’s image, not Trump’s image. I have resolved to build bridges instead of walls, to choose reconciliation rather than bullying and love over hate. I urge any WMM who voted for Trump to speak out against racism, xenophobia, homophobia and gender discrimination. I challenge us to change our country and our communities through a peace-loving church that reflects WMM of character and wise choices consistent with our faith.

Keith Gerber
Sarasota, Fla.

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