I had this conversation with my son last fall, when Donald Trump was just one — albeit the most provocative and colorful — of the Republican presidential candidates:
“You know if there were no immigrants, I wouldn’t be here.”
As he often does as we walk home from school, my 10-year-old was telling me about what happened at recess. Only this time it was not four-square or tag or getting yelled at by the yard duties for running on the blacktop. He was replaying his comeback to a classmate’s comment during a schoolyard debate about Donald Trump.
“Not you,” the other child had told my son. “You’re like third-generation.”
But I knew something about the conversation had gotten beneath his skin. It’s not the first time I’ve talked about Trump with elementary school students. Before Halloween, I was chatting with a group of kids and asked them what costumes they were planning to wear.
“Donald Trump!” one boy proclaimed.
“That dude’s racist!” another boy responded.
Fast forward nine months. He is now the GOP nominee and running in a dead heat with Hillary Clinton. This is what’s at stake this election, and my concerns about the kind of damage this man might do as president –not just to people like my family, but to the vast majority of Americans (Blacks, Muslims, women, probably not even the working class white people who are so enamored with him), as well as to the ethos of our nation itself — feel even more real.
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