×

Words matter

To the editor:

I am not going back. Really.

I’m an immigrant, and I love America. When I arrived in the U.S., I didn’t speak English. I was fluent in Hebrew and Polish. But I learned quickly. Just a little more than a year after my arrival, I won a $25 bond for an essay I wrote about Abraham Lincoln, “My favorite American.”

I love language — books, poems, novels, essays. I became a librarian. Today I am an author. And I write in English — not Polish or Hebrew.

I love my country, but I don’t like our president. I cannot stand his hateful, superior attitude. I’m put off by his racist comments and put-downs, his chants of “Lock her up” and “Send her back.” His obnoxious, disgraceful language does not represent the America I have come to know and love.

Day after day, violent, dehumanizing words come out of his mouth referring to immigrants, to women, to LGBTQ, to blacks, to Latinos. He treats everyone except his grandiose self like garbage. He has no regard for truth; according to the Washington Post he has told 11,000 lies since he took office. He uses words to mislead and con people.

I watched him mock a disabled person in front of a crowd. I heard him call the city of Baltimore a “rodent-infested mess.” I listen to daily insults as he attacks and demeans various groups of people, calling our elected officials stupid and crazy and making up pejorative names for them.

As a writer, I understand that words matter. When our country’s leader calls people “filth” and refers to other nations as “s***hole countries,” I’m ashamed and angry. Why is it suddenly OK to take verbal potshots at people and think nothing of it? What message does it send to other nations? What message does it send to our children? How do we respond?

I am an American. I’ve lived here for most of my life and more than half a century. I have voted in every major election and many minor ones since I turned 18. I have supported candidates and marched in our streets because our words matter. We need to speak up for what we believe and make our voices heard.

I long for a world of cooperation and peace, but I watch helplessly as he builds a world of fear and divisiveness.

America is the land of opportunity. It is the land of the free. It is the home of the brave. It has been a great nation.

I want to work for an America where all people — regardless of sex, race, color of their skin, or faith — are valued, where all are created, and remain, equal.

Yvona Fast

Lake Clear

COMMENTS