Nearly two years ago, Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the 45th President of the United States of America. Almost seventeen months later, in a major upset, he was elected. Since then, he has laid out a blueprint for the next four years which will consist of building walls, repealing healthcare, banning Muslims and abortions, in addition to a boat-load of alternative facts.
In the first few days in office, his controversial executive actions have compromised our country’s values and our constitution, sparking a outrage across the nation. Thousands have filled the streets to protest the new Head of State and his views, expressing their opposition to Trump’s decisions and actions. However, amid the massive protests across the country, the thoughts and views of our children have yet to be heard. While Trump continues with his divisive views and new orders, our children, who’ve spent the last eight years looking up to President Obama, watch on, wondering why Trump has been so mean.
In a video titled “Project Make America Great,” produced by Rutgers alumna Dominique Turner, children between the ages of 6-11 gathered to write letters to Donald Trump. At the time of the video, Trump had just been elected, however, the thoughts of the children remain the same, since his inauguration.
“I think you have a good heart, but sometimes you say mean things,” one student named Karter-Jay, 7, wrote in a letter to Trump. “Treat people like you want to be treated. I want you to be a very good president because bad presidents make bad laws, all the time.”
“I want you to make the world a better place,” Chase, 11, said. “I think you won fairly, but I don’t want you as my president. Stop acting like a bully. You make fun of people for no reason,” he said.
“You could be a good president if you know what to say,” Gabriel, 9, said. “If I could give you advice, I would tell you to be kinder to people and say kinder things on TV. A president should be smart, kind, outgoing, funny, fair and can make good decisions. I hope you can do that.”
“I am worried about you becoming president because you don’t treat everyone fair” Kaden Anderson, 8, said.
Turner’s inspiration for the video came from a Muslim teacher, featured in Huffington Post for making her students feel safe in her class, by allowing them to express themselves. The teacher gave her students the opportunity and the platform to find their voice. The opportunity, ultimately, gave the children confidence to speak up and out against the things they don’t approve of or believe in. In that, Turner realized that although children may not understand fully what is going on in the world, no one ever really asked how they feel, in regards to politics.
“You do not like African Americans and Muslims,” Sumiyah, 9, said, as she wore her hijab. “You want me to leave my home and go somewhere that is unknown to me.
“I do worry about my future and that of my family because I am of Hispanic heritage,” a young boy named Javier, 11, said.
“I hope this letter will change your views, thank you,” Anderson said.
The letters written by the children were organic, with little help from their parents. The goal was to create a body of work that would be a sense of accountability for the President. To send a message showing that everyone is concerned, even our youth.
Activism is not limited to marching and being on the front-lines of the major protests across the country. But also, giving those who have concerns the opportunity to express them. Project make America great is an open letter fro the voices of minority children, our country’s future. #BlackExcellence
Check out the full video below: