Albany hears from George: “No time to remain silent in wake of Trump win”

Albany hears from George: “No time to remain silent in wake of Trump win”

1960’s. Albany Times Union newspaper building, Sheridan Ave, Albany, NY

Recently, the Buffalo News printed George Payne’s letter, “Trump doesn’t understand why America’s already great.”

Yesterday, the Albany Times Union printed, “No time to remain silent in wake of Trump win.”

A graduate of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, George Payne teaches philosophy at Finger Lake Community College and Niagara County Community College.  He is the founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International.


Albany Times Union, 12/25/16 Provided courtesy of Azra Haqqie, News and Information Desk Coordinator

As I see it, the main reason Donald Trump won a narrow victory in battleground states such as Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin (and lost the popular vote by almost 3 million) is because he was willing to pit Americans against each other by exploiting their most superficial differences.

From the beginning, he engineered a political and socialuntitled media campaign based on the manipulation of human biases through a toxic blend of entertainment, distortion of facts, and fearmongering. He played residents on the border against immigrants looking for work, and Black Lives Matter protesters against law enforcement. He played corporations against China, and cities against rural towns. He played the mainstream media against politicians, and Christians against Muslims. He played men’s hatred of women against the symbolism of a female president, and soldiers against their officers.

Sadly, this vitriol has led to real violence. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there have been at least 700 cases of hate-based harassment or intimidation since the election. The Anti-Defamation League has issued a report about a rise in anti-Semitic attacks (especially against journalists), and school administrators are seeing a dramatic spike in bullying across the country. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

I plead with anyone who opposes Trump to speak out. This is not the time to remain naive, polite, hopeful, and silent. In the words of M.K. Gandhi, “All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”


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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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