• Jerry L. Burrell

Dear Donald 5-5-20

Updated: May 10

Dear Donald,


Just so you know, I find myself moving between the stages of grief these days. There are some days when I feel like I’ve reached Acceptance and before I know it I’m right back in the Angry stage.

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. I was thinking about his life and his legacy and all that he overcame. I was thinking about how he might navigate the world we live in now with an invisible contagion that has all but brought the world to it’s knees.

Any time I think about our current living conditions with shelter in place orders and mask wearing, I end up being reminded about your failed responsibility to this country.

My Dad was born May 4, 1937 in Spur Texas, you were born June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York. He was born a little over 9 years before you. Even though y’all were born in the same country you grew up in totally different worlds.


A few months after you were born, my Dad at 9 years old along with his older and younger brother were pulling cotton. Not as slaves but as paid workers. On the day of your birth, my Dad's school year had likely ended and wouldn’t start again until some time in August. In my Dad’s community everyone would take weeks off from school to pull Cotton once harvest season arrived in the fall. School would be arranged to be shut down during this time and the students would make it up at the end of the school year. They’d make $2 for every 100 pounds of cotton they pulled. Cotton is not that heavy, imagine how much they had to pull.


By the time they were teenagers, my Dad and his brothers lived on their own and were raising themselves. They had older sisters who helped but at around 16, 14 & 12 years old they were on their own. They worked, they went to school, they figured out ways to get food and get clothes and survive.


What my Dad and his brothers experienced growing up taught them how to be responsible and made them aware that they could figure out how to make things work no matter the odds.


You strike me as somebody who has that awareness also. You come across as someone who gets things done. Someone who makes things happen.


Think about this for a minute.


If my Dad and his brothers failed at working hard enough to have food to eat and clothes to wear, who were they going to blame and why resort to blame anyway, you can’t eat or wear blame. If they failed at school, who would they point the finger at for that? The teachers, the books, their parents, society? They learned that if it was going to happen they would have to do the work and if it didn’t happen, they learned to accept responsibility for it. When you don’t have anyone to fall back on, or bail you out, you learn to take responsibility.


I’m not sure you ever learned that lesson Donald.


My dad and his brothers each became men who married 1 woman who they loved and with whom they lived till death did they part. Even in love you renege and shirk your commitment.


You probably don’t know what it’s like to work as hard as you can but still go hungry. You probably cannot relate to what it’s like to bust your butt and then do without so your brothers or your kids can do with. You probably have never faced the fact that you have likely always had a head start. I am guessing you’ve been trained to believe that you’ve gotten to where you are because of your own skill and talent and intelligence. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you don’t have skill, talent or intelligence. Building your business and becoming president are notable achievements for anyone but it is becoming clear to me now that you skipped lessons along the way and without your head start, your lack of responsibility would have aborted so much of what you believe you’ve done on your own.


Now, here we are in the middle of a pandemic which you were given a head-start on and your lack of responsibility has resulted in death, sorrow, fear, uncertainty and more. You have placed blame at the feet of so many others and have actually stated "I don't take responsibility at all" for the biggest failing of the United States effort to combat SARS-CoV-2: TESTING.


That might be the truest thing you have said since you’ve moved into the White House and appears to me to be one of your core principles.


I don’t take responsibility at all.

–Donald


In case you are not aware, please note that according to the Johns Hopkins COVID 19 Map* as of May 5, 2020 at 11:32pm EST, under your leadership, there are 71,078 Americans killed by Covid-19 and 1,204,475 CONFIRMED cases.


* (copyright 2020 Johns Hopkins University, all rights reserved)



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