Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the “Humans of New York” blog, took to social media today to condemn Donald Trump and the Republican presidential candidate’s divisive rhetoric.
“I realize now that there is no correct time to oppose violence and prejudice,” the letter reads. The popular blogger added that opposing Trump was not a “political decision,” but a “moral one.”
Stanton pointed to Trump’s tweets, some of which have been flagged as racist. He brought up Trump’s refusal to disavow the support from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. He denounced what he called Trump’s “joyful” support of violence.
“I am a journalist, Mr. Trump. And over the last two years I’ve conducted extensive interviews with hundreds of Muslims, chosen at random on the streets of Iran, Iraq, Pakistan,” Stanton wrote. “And I can confirm—the hateful one is you.”
“You are not a ‘unifier.’ You are not ‘presidential,'” he added.
You can read the full letter below or on Facebook.
An Open Letter to Donald Trump:
I try my hardest not to be political. I’ve refused to interview several of your fellow candidates. 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. 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.’
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. 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.