A Letter to Donald Trump Supporters

Dear Neighbors,

I write to you in the aftermath of the May 30th New York state court jury verdict that found Donald Trump guilty of committing 34 felony offenses of falsifying business records in order to conceal a conspiracy to interfere with the 2020 U.S. presidential election. I write as a fellow citizen of the United States, a native of the American South, an African American pastor in the religion of Jesus, an honorably discharged former U.S. Army officer, a retired state court trial and appellate judge, a husband, father and grandfather.    

Above all, I am your neighbor.

We hold differing views about the role of government. However, I hope we agree that falsifying business records is wrong. 

I hope we agree that people should not lie, cheat or entice others to do so. I doubt you routinely entrust your personal affairs to people who lie, cheat, and steal.

I doubt you encourage your children to cheat in sports, on their schoolwork or in other endeavors. I suspect you do not view people who lie, cheat and steal as honorable, decent or commendable. 

You do not trust people who habitually lie, cheat and steal to care for your children, service your automobiles or manage your finances. Many of you profess to hold religious beliefs.

Yet, you are Donald Trump’s most determined followers.

Perhaps you embrace Trump’s values and consider them necessary for national leadership. Perhaps you disapprove of Trump’s values, but consider his celebrity and character necessary for achieving your social, political and cultural goals. I do not know.

However, you and I know that a guilty verdict means that a person is not innocent of a criminal charge, as a matter of law. A jury found Donald Trump guilty of 34 felony charges. He is now a convicted felon, regardless of what we think about his political values and views.

A convicted felon is legally disqualified from serving in the U.S. military.
A convicted felon is legally disqualified from working for the U.S. Postal Service.
A convicted felon is legally disqualified from being hired as a public school teacher.
A convicted felon is legally disqualified from receiving a student loan.
Convicted felons are not allowed to enter the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Cuba, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Macau, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

If Donald Trump were an immigrant, he would be legally barred from entering the United States. He would be legally barred from becoming a citizen, voting and owning a firearm in the United States.

Yet, you are determined to elect Donald Trump as president of the United States. You are unwilling to accept convicted felons as voters, but are determined to entrust a convicted felon with the power to preside over the nation.

You are unwilling to allow convicted felons to live in public housing (other than jails and prisons) or even in private housing on your street. However, you are willing to have him live in the White House.

You refuse to license convicted felons to work in many professions of trust, but insist that Trump is trustworthy despite having been convicted of 34 instances of falsifying business records for the purpose of influencing an election.

You refuse to license convicted felons to own a rifle, shotgun or handgun. Yet you are willing to entrust Donald Trump with the authority to command the entire U.S. military arsenal, including nuclear weapons.

You believe that naked, authoritarian, deceitful, cruel and cold-blooded power wielded by a wealthy white convicted felon poses no threat to national security, unity, justice and global peace. Your sense of right and wrong begins and ends in ruthless devotion to white supremacy and especially white male supremacy.

I have never held that belief. I will never share that belief.

The nation and world deserve better than that. Above all, God deserves better than that.


Wendell Griffen

Your Neighbor

Previous ArticleNext Article