Community Voices

Column on Trump concerns elicits both positive and negative feelings

AP

Three weeks ago, on Thanksgiving Day, I wrote a column about my concerns about our President-elect Mr. Trump, making our country "great again." I said a better theme would be to "make America greater."

I mentioned my age and the fact that I had lived at a time when America wasn't so great for people who looked like me. I reminded Mr. Trump of an era when lynch mobs ran rampant and it seemed to be open season on black men, when opportunities weren't so great for minorities. I mentioned my concerns about the men he has already put in place to help him run the country.

While I got a lot of positive feedback from the readers of my column, I also got some negative feedback, too.

A lot of stuff happened since I wrote that column. I was out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday and the day after I returned I had a very bad reaction to one of my medicines and had to be rushed to the hospital.

So, this is the first opportunity I have had to respond to some of the letters publicly. But before I do, I want everyone to know that I appreciate your comments, even when you don't agree with me. That's one of the things that helps to make this a great country — our freedom of speech and the right to voice our opinions.

Here are some excerpts from some of the emails I received:

Mr. Trump has blatantly proven to be a self-centred, and divisive individual. Such personality traits have plagued his campaign since he decided to run for the POTUS position. However, I concur with your statement: We must work shoulder-to-shoulder with those who voted for him for the good of our nation. Nonetheless, how do we interact with some of his supporters? Many of these "Americans" wear hooded, white robes with the Confederate flag as a bandana. Some simply belittle minorities like you and me because they feel Mr. Trump has instigated hatred, encouraged racism and created legal polarization... God help us! And please help our next POTUS realize that America will always be great with our without him. - Simon Palacios

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I, for one, am so disappointed that we as a country have elected a man so reprehensible and arrogant. Even more shocking is finding out that friends of mine voted for him. God Bless America... and all you hold dear. - Mark Bender

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Thank you for your column where you have addressed President-elect Donald Trump. I grew up not far from where Mr. Trump came from in Queens, NY. My late parents of Blessed Memory, wanted my brother and I to experience a diverse neighborhood so that what makes us different, makes us interesting. Our neighbors were Italians, etc.... As a Jewish, openly gay man, I too, am concerned about who President Elect Trump is surrounding himself with. Mark and I are legally married and we have many friends who are Hispanic, black, Jewish and gay. We are all concerned... All lives matter. We just hope and pray that all lives will matter in the future. - Stuart Geller

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Wow... That is the first word that pops in my head after reading your column today. On a day that I was hoping that we can put aside all of the sad things in this world, I actually felt like popping a Zoloft after I read your article. Bea, there was no love in your heart... I am a 50-something year old female that voted for Hillary. So please don't assume that I am a "Trump hater." I am just one of the few that accepted what happened but I am ashamed of the behavior of so many folks. I do hope you have a nice holiday and pray that you can find some happiness to be thankful for. - Susan

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Ms. Hines: I read your article... and find it to be hateful, bigoted, disgusting and a true Liberal Democratic attack on our next president. GET OVER IT! He is your 45th President. Trump will not bring you back to the days of black lynchings. He will not pass laws to prohibit blacks from drinking at white water fountains. Nor will he allow any law that will prohibit a black from sitting in any vacant seat on a bus. What he will do - if you and your liberal friends will allow, is: (1) Improve living conditions in the inner cities. (2) Provide jobs and opportunities to the jobless and (3) Lower the rate of black incarceration. In summation I ask, Give Trump a chance! - Stan Cohen

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Thank you so very much for your letter to Trump. I am a white, blonde, blue-eyed German that came 18 years ago to this country. We had special programs in our schools to make sure that Germany would never ever let anything like that [the Holocaust] happen again. We created a society that tries its best to be inclusive and kind to people of all color and religious backgrounds. I came to the U.S. because my husband, who is American, had a job opportunity here. To this day, I am saddened to see how segregated this country is and how little is done to remedy this. But with President Obama we slowly moved into a better direction and there was hope to slowly create a better atmosphere in our daily lives. The roadblocks thrown at President Obama were a painful thing to witness. I am convinced that most of it was based on racism. We have to take the words of Trump and his henchmen seriously. Don't think for one minute that what happened in Germany could not happen here. - Angela Rosario

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Bea, you usually come through as a positive person... It's sad . You are attacking Trump already, and he is not president yet. You are celebrating Obama for the whole and only reason that he is black. I am also a minority . A certified oppressed one, by your standards... You are wrong. Trump will look after the country. - Jaime Basagoitia

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I read your column... and wanted to tell you how much it moved me. I feel as if this election is a move backwards in so many ways. I, too, am frightened by his [Trump] choices, and horrified by the things some of his followers are doing... I feel sure that as he plows along he will self-destruct and many of the people who voted for him will realize they were conned. - Sonja Davis

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I would like to congratulate you on your courage and wonderful column regarding your plea and prayers for our president-elect. I am a Jewish Cuban American that has lived in Florida since 1961. I am now 66, and have never experienced the despair and concern by so many of our fellow citizens as the result of our elections. Thank you so much for your input. - Reinaldo B. Winer

And there were more, but I don't have the time or space to share them.

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In other news, the Education Department of the Inter-American Chapter of Hadassah announces its 2016-2017 cultural program, "Something Old, Something New," with an event called "Dancing with the Stars" at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Fred Astaire Studio, 1055 Kane Concourse in Bay Harbor Islands.

If you go, you will dance with professionals while wishing Olga and Jose Weiss a happy 60th wedding anniversary.

Sponsors of the event are, Esther and Tzvi Litvin(cq), Rachel Neuman(cq), and Jeannie and Boris Rosen(cq).

Admission is $15 per person to Hadassah at the door. For more information contact one of the following committee members: Beby Gambach, 305-866-4700; Martha Olchyk, 305-867-5887; Lola Order, 305-534-7034, or Esther Litvin, 786-539-8115.

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The Bahai Center of Miami Dade County at 9300 S. Dixie Hwy, Suite 209, will host a Community Fireside event at 7 p.m. Saturday at the center. The topic will be "Questions and Answers: An Introduction to the Bahai Faith."

According to Thomas Carsey, a spokesman for the center, "The Bahai Faith is the newest, fastest growing and second most wide-spread of all the world's major, independent religions, embracing more than five million members from many nations and tribal groups around the world."

The event is open to the community and admission is free. Refreshments will be served. Call 305-323-9967 for more information

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A warm Neighbors in Religion salute to the Mormon Church's Miami Lakes Stake and the members of Carol City United Methodist and Opa-locka United Methodist, who put aside religious beliefs recently to come together in love.

In September, more than 100 Mormon children, teenagers and adults participated in a service project for the two black Methodist churches where the Rev. Joann Brookins serves as pastor of both churches. The Mormon members came with shovels, rakes, garden tools, hammers, brooms and a pressure cleaner to help clean the two churches and plant shrubbery to beautify the properties.

Said Brookins: "You are a blessing you can't even imagine." And in a gesture of pure friendship, Brookins' church choir attended the Miami Lakes Stake on Dec. 11 to sing Christmas hymns.

According to Matrina Barry, a spokeswoman for the Miami Lakes Stake, "This was a joyful day of togetherness of fellowship - the African American community holding hands with the Mormons..."

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email bea.hines@gmail.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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