Wake Forest students write ‘Dear Donald Trump supporters’ letters

Buckley Report
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — “Dear Donald Trump supporters …” starts the letter. Oh, boy, this could get sticky.

It’s an exercise in the class called “Invoking The Public Theological Voice Into Public Discourse,” a class for graduate-level students in Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity. And a little divine assistance is what some are asking for after last November’s election.

“[I] was filled with a lot of hate and sorrow to the opposing side as to how I voted,” student Meagan McNeely said.

Another student, Pamela Mitchell put is even more succinctly, saying, “This class has taught me restraint.”

Byron Williams teaches the class and he describes the exercise this way: “Whoever you voted for, I want you to write a letter to the opposition – you can say whatever you want to say, but you have to affirm their humanity.”

Because until you do that, says Williams, we’ll never get anywhere.

“The moment I arrogantly assume that I’m in sole possession of the truth,” Williams says, “there’s not going to be any discourse, right?”

Most of the students were, indeed, diplomatic.

“Dear Trump supporter,” wrote Darrell Hamilton, “First let me begin by saying I do not hate you.”

But that doesn’t mean there is a lot of love there.

What there is, hopefully, is a willingness to listen.

“I wrote this letter to begin a conversation because I think that talking about our differences is the only way to pursue healing, to become a whole nation again,” McNeely said.

And Hamilton adds, “I think it’s a lesson in humility that all of us need to learn.”

See what you think in this edition of the Buckley Report.

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