Letter: Books provide insight into dangers of Trump

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To the Editor:

Two things of national political import occurred last week: Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury," about Donald Trump's campaign and, now, White House administration, was published; and in a meeting with congressional representatives on immigration, Trump called African nations "s---hole countries." He might as well have said all other non-white, non-European nations by extension since he explicitly singled out Norwegians as welcome instead.

What a lead-up to Martin Luther King, Jr. observations on January 15.

While all this was going on, and the requisite print and broadcast parsing and commenting that followed, I finished one book and started another, both of which I think are far more important than Wolff's book, from what I've heard and read about it.

One is "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump," a compilation of 27 chapters by mental health professionals, psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers, and advocates edited by Bandy Lee, M.D., M.Div. It is a collective — and disturbing — "warning to the public" about Donald Trump's fitness to serve as president.

Then there is "An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice" by Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Arguably among the most well-known immigrants in the country now, the Khans raised their three U.S.-born sons here after immigrating from a revolution-torn Pakistan. Army Captain Humayun Khan, their middle son, was one of the first Muslim-Americans killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The book is a moving, poignant account of their stories, and a powerful reminder of why we need immigrants to help make our country better, yet Donald Trump dared to disparage them in public.

It should come as no surprise, then, that on the federal holiday that celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr., and observes opportunities for service to others in King's honor, Trump tweeted out a few (benign) words about King — the White House itself was notably silent, with no official statement — Trump spent most of the day on his golf course at Mar-a-Lago. When he returned to Washington, he told a reporter, "I'm the least racist person you've ever interviewed."

An anonymous post appeared on Facebook recently: "It is no longer about whether Trump has any decency, but if we do." The decent thing for us to do is to call him what he is: a racist. And then vote his party out in November 2018.

Genie Rayner

Bennington

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