Humans of New York Creator Brandon Stanton Takes on Donald Trump in Open Letter: ‘The Hateful One Is You’

Brandon Stanton and Donald Trump
Brandon Stanton and Donald Trump Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images; RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images

This human's outraged. Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton took on Donald Trump in an open Facebook letter this past Monday, March 14, and his post has gone viral with over a million shares in 48 hours.

In his pointed note, Stanton — who oftentimes features immigrants and refugees on his account — says he didn't initially want to get involved in the ongoing campaign rhetoric. But Trump's words have left him no choice.

"I’ve refused to interview several of your fellow candidates," Stanton writes on his wildly popular Facebook page. "I didn’t want to risk any personal goodwill by appearing to take sides in a contentious election. I thought: ‘Maybe the timing is not right.’ But I realize now that there is no correct time to oppose violence and prejudice. The time is always now. Because along with millions of Americans, I’ve come to realize that opposing you is no longer a political decision. It is a moral one."

"I’ve watched you retweet racist images. I’ve watched you retweet racist lies. I’ve watched you take 48 hours to disavow white supremacy. I’ve watched you joyfully encourage violence, and promise to ‘pay the legal fees’ of those who commit violence on your behalf," he continues. "I’ve watched you advocate the use of torture and the murder of terrorists’ families. I’ve watched you gleefully tell stories of executing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig blood. I’ve watched you compare refugees to ‘snakes,’ and claim that ‘Islam hates us.'"

Stanton, like so many others, noted the dangers of generalizing and polarizing groups based on background and religion. "I am a journalist, Mr. Trump. And over the last two years I have conducted extensive interviews with hundreds of Muslims, chosen at random, on the streets of Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan. I’ve also interviewed hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi refugees across seven different countries," he explained. "And I can confirm— the hateful one is you. Those of us who have been paying attention will not allow you to rebrand yourself. You are not a ‘unifier.’ You are not ‘presidential.’ You are not a ‘victim’ of the very anger that you’ve joyfully enflamed for months. You are a man who has encouraged prejudice and violence in the pursuit of personal power. And though your words will no doubt change over the next few months, you will always remain who you are."

In less than two days, Stanton's letter has also garnered 2-million-plus likes and reactions. To provide context, his standard posts average a few thousand shares each.

Trump, meanwhile, remains the front-runner for the Republican party ticket ahead of the 2016 presidential election. On Tuesday, March 15, the real-estate mogul took key states including Illinois, North Carolina, Florida and more in the Republican primaries. Hillary Clinton — who notably liked Stanton's letter this week — led the Democratic nominees.

 

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