Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Op Ed

What Would Trump’s Mother Say?

Mary McLeod Trump was a Scottish immigrant who gave generously to the less fortunate.

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Donald Trump. Photo from whitehouse.gov.

Donald Trump. Photo from whitehouse.gov.

During the presidential campaign of 2016, as I awakened to headlines, tweets, images of the many unconventional, and often, unacceptable, language and behavior choices of the now president-elect of the United States of America, I would be as startled, and maybe, disappointed as many Americans. Each time, as I tried to make sense of the source of his opinions, my thoughts always, and eventually, landed at one question: Who is his mother? Who carried this human being in her womb? Who counted all of his fingers and toes once he wiggled his way into this world? Who changed his diapers, wiped his nose, and nursed his cuts and scrapes? Who is the woman who, most likely, taught him how to tie his shoes, the right way to brush his teeth, how to properly make his bed? What mama rocked him back to sleep when he was awakened by nightmares, or baked his favorite cookies? Whose heart fluttered when he would send a smile her way?

Did she kneel with him at night, by the side of his bed, and teach him how to pray to their God? Did she scold him, upon his returning home from school, with a note from the teacher, explaining what her son had done that day? Did she say to him, “Donnie, you cannot treat the other kids that way?” Did his mother read to him, and he to her? Did they share much laughter? A lot of love? How often did she just reach out, take him in her arms, and hold him? Steal a kiss from him as he grew older? Who is his mother?

I wanted to deeply dislike this man. His harsh ideologies and planned actions, laced with animosity and indifference towards so many people I love, and organizations I support, are reason enough to loath and detest the man who has been elected to the office of president of the United States. Yet, my thoughts kept coming back to his mother. I wanted to know about the woman who raised, nurtured, disciplined, encouraged, helped to mold this man.

Mary McLeod (Trump) arrived on the soil of this nation as an immigrant, 17 years old, a fisherman’s daughter from Tong, a small, remote village in Scotland. She came to this country in November 1929 as a “domestic,” seeking employment, a new beginning, clothed in self-respect, and ready to work. President-elect Donald Trump’s mother made her way to America in the same manner as President Barack Obama’s father. Miss Mary longed for the identical life opportunities as present-day Mexican, Sudanese, Syrian, Burmese immigrants. To be welcomed and to be safe. To find work and be part of a community. To nurture a family and build a home. To be happy. To not be forgotten. To be respected and treated fairly.

After having met Fred Trump, marrying him, and being the woman by his side as he built his fortune, Mary McLeod Trump gave both considerable time and money to causes that touched her heart. She, especially, was an advocate for charities that impacted children and adults with cerebral palsy, and nurtured education and wellness for intellectually disabled adults. As I recall the video footage of the president-elect mocking Serge Kovaleski, the New York Times reporter who has arthrogryposis, a condition causing joint contracture in his right arm and hand, I do not have to wonder what his mother would have said to him. You can hear her, also. Shame on you, Donald.

Almost daily, I awaken to news of stray bullets hitting the innocent, life-threatening carjackings, senseless violence against women and children, abuse of power and positions of service in this, my city. In these, my Milwaukee neighborhoods. As I listen to the horrific details of crimes and abuse that bring me to tears, and stir anger and frustration within me, the same question arises for each of them, too; those who behave in ways that are simply unacceptable: Who is his (or her) mother?

Did she kneel with him at night, by the side of his bed, and teach him how to pray to their God? Did she scold him, once he got home from school, after, yet, another call from his teacher? Did she say to him, “You cannot treat anyone that way!” Did his mother read to him, and he to her? Did they share much laughter? A lot of love? How often did she just reach out, take him in her arms, and hold him? Steal a kiss from him as he grew older? Who is his mother?

I cannot hate our president, even as he has already chosen to use his newly elected position as a “bully pulpit.” I cannot hate him and pray for him at the same time. And, pray for him, I must.

I cannot hate the people in this city who break my heart with each pulling of the trigger, every stripping of someone else’s dignity. I cannot hate them and pray for them at the same time. Pray for them, I must.

I am connected to them by the power of their own mothers’ wombs yoked with mine. Always, at all times, I am Mother.

Each of them. All of them. Every one of us had or have mothers who wanted us to live happy, safe, fulfilled lives. Even if they were not the ones who could show us the way, a mother, deeply, wants her children to make life-giving choices for themselves, and others. She wants her child to be a good person. When we fail at that, at being the better man, or favorable woman, our own mother hoped we might one day be, the village steps in, holds us accountable, and guides us to a better way.

At least, it should.

If we are going to give Donald Trump the power to polarize us, then let the point of polarization be our love for and allegiance to one another, and all of humanity, and not a hatred and disgust of him. Let our devotion to the well being of our families and our neighborhoods strengthen the work we are already doing. We will, collectively, hold this incoming administration, under a new president, accountable for what is needed in our schools, responsible for all that is necessary to create more family-sustaining jobs, liable for the changes required to cleanse judicial systems, local and nationwide, of corruption, answerable to the resources we will request to strengthen our neighborhoods. I hope we would have done that no matter who was elected. Right? We have never needed ignorance or apathy to fuel our sense of justice for our people.

I do not know if Mr. Trump has forgotten some of the values his mother surely taught him. I have no problem reminding him of her immigrant beginnings, and thus his, and how those Scottish roots connect him to every African, Mexican, Middle Eastern, European human being, entering this country, who has the same dreams for their lives, and their children, as his mother had for hers and his. Mary McLeod Trump expects nothing less from this Mother.

Venice Williams is the director of Alice’s Garden and The Body & Soul Healing Arts Center.

This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

6 thoughts on “Op Ed: What Would Trump’s Mother Say?”

  1. Karen says:

    This is a lovely statement about our common life experiences and I applaud your willingness to remind yourself, and us, that somewhere, way back when, Donald Trump was perhaps a kind, feeling human being. I fear his father’s influence may have offset that of his mother. But, again, your effort to focus on the positive of joining together to offset this political madness is to be admired and emulated.

    P.S. Your article is beautifully written (I am a writer/editor, so my eye is pretty critical!).

  2. Kristina says:

    Dear Venus,
    Your very thoughtful piece gives pause to what is happening around us and reminds us of what is really important. I found myself stepping back, thinking, appreciating that which is good and also being reminded of why it is so important to put one’s heart and soul into standing up for that which is good. Your writing comes from a place not much written about today–I really appreciate the Mother’s perspective. I forwarded this to many of my friends and already comments are coming in on how grateful they are to receive it. Thank you for your gift to us. Love always wins!
    In Peace, Kristina

  3. Andy Andre says:

    As I understand it, it was his FATHER that taught him all about greed and selfishness, after the older son decided to be a airline pilot, “merely a bus driver” as his father put it. The selfishness and greed displayed among some of my American born cousins, whose parents immigrated from Balkans during WW2, is simply astounding! But isn’t THAT EXACTLY how we measure success in America, by personal wealth and power over others? As a kid growing up in a Balkan country ravaged by Nazis, I often wondered how could Germans elect someone like Hitler? Later as a naturalized American, I wondered how come Hitler didn’t come from U.S.A… Maybe we got one now…

  4. Venice says:

    Thank you for your comments. Always, we must be about healing the divides. As mothers, I hope we understand this in all of its fullness, even when it is difficult. Peace and Blessings, Venice

  5. Amaleeya Andersom says:

    This article is both ridiculous and sad. First, I am not a Trump supporter. Second, truth is truth.. And it betrays no one. If people would bother to do their own research, then they could put certain prices together and see everything as a whole. Unfortunately though.. People have only used their emotions rather than their brains concerning President Trump. On those occasions where people have accused Trump of physically mocking the ‘disabled person(s) ‘..if the SJW’s (Social Justice Warriors) would do some video research on Trump and his quirks, if you will.. Would have noticed that when he’s repeating something someone said or did, when he’s just being a goofy guy, when he explains things and/or the situation going on, Trump is very animated. Almost everyone is animated when they speak. Myself, for example, my animations are these.. I use my hands, my arms, my eyebrows.. Mostly my left one. Those are MY QUIRKS. Whether I’m happy, angry, sad, excited, distraught, being goofy, and when my Dorkisim kicks in.. Causing me to say off the wall words in a convo that most people would never think to use in sentances.. This is my animation quirks I’m garenteed to use while talking. Discribing things, explaining things, Dorkisim at it’s finest, ect.. If one would be willing to research President Trump on his many on camera interviews before he ran for Prez.. One would see the QUIRKS he’s known for before his run for office. He flaps his hands and arms discribing people, even his family members. Mostly when he’s passionate about what the talking subject matter happens to be. We all do that…weather it’s a happy, angry, sad, funny, serious, ect.. People show their passion in their own ways explaining or talking with others. Some convos are less animated, where Trump and other people, like myself use hand movements and facial expressions more toned down, volume and voice toned differently. Again, I’m not his supporter, but I accept him because he was elected. I was no supporter of Killary Clinton either.. WOOF😡I’m greatfull she didn’t get in. So when he was speaking of the disabled woman for example.. He was animated and went with his natural, personal quirks. I do hope people will be willing to put their emotional responses aside and research his physical quirks on video, before he announced his running for the Prez.. YouTube has many vids of Trump.. Interviews and engagements and functions, random “just because” videos, even as far back as the early 80’s.. Maybe even further back.
    Next.. On the immigration issue. It would seem that those who are so upset at Trump are letting their emotions rule over them and it’s keeping them deaf and blind to what Trump ACTUALLY is saying, explaining, and doing…so because of this, all the issues people areupset and down right minachally angry over.. Like immigration has caused so many SJW’s to seek revenge on a human being who, up until January 20th 2017, hadn’t even done anything to warrant the atrocious behavior directed at him.. Including assination threats directed to him and his family. Revenge is all that fules these people. Revenge for things he’s not done.. Revenge for the things that these people THINK he’ll do, even though Trump hadn’t even hinted at some of the things that the SJW’s THINK and BELIEVE he’ll do or not do.. With no proof whatsoever. People have let their own emotions dictate their missions and behavior. Screaming idiotcies like, “Love Trumps Hate! and Trump will destroy America!” But these creaming these and MANY other nasty, vulgar, hateful, bigoted, biased, single minded, selfish, evil, discusting things.. Are the ones out there rioting. There’s a HUGE difference between peaceful protest, which is one of our rights as Americans, verses RIOTING. Peaceful protests are just that.. Peaceful. No one hurting other people.. No one distroying businesses, places people call home, racebaiting, accusing others if being a racist.. Even though they just walked up to that other person, because of the tint of their flesh.. Having never met eachother let alone have had a conversation.. Then nit just accusations fly, but so does the rage, hate, cruelty, almost like evil demonic, posessed voices using words that no person should ever say.. Let alone to an INNOCENT person/persons being accused of such things, again, never having met before the incounter. Then the fists, arms, legs and feet join in the evil, demonic fray. 4 on 1, 7 on 2, 25 on 3….ect. Many carrying a weapon of some sort. Then setting buildings, cars… Even people and one video I saw at least.. Of an innocent dog, hanging by his neck from a pole, burned to death. Blocking traffic, attacking people while they sit helpless in their cars.. Surrounded by a demonic, wrathfull, RIOTING wall of SJW’s, who want nothing more than an excuse to hurt, kill, destroy, mame.. An excuse to be evil demonic pitbulls, using President Trump as a ligit REASON and justifying their EVIL actions, declaring themselves and their choices as, “OUR 1st AMENDMENT RIGHT TO FREE SPEACH!! ” But the first Amendment right DOES NOT include all the evil I’ve already mentioned. It DOES NOT give anyone the RIGHT to CHOOSE the behavior of an evil demonic pitbull who hunt in gigantic packs with other people choosing the same hate fuelled propaganda agenda, joining into the SJW’s Evil Pitbull Pack’s ranks of validating their own need to hurt, kill, destroy, and abolish any and all peace that all people are intitled to.. Preying on whoever happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.. Or even being attacked in their own homes and businesses. Innocent people just shopping or at a park with their kids, ect. People want revenge, but for what exactly? Why is it that these Demonic Pitbulls can not find a valid reason to even protest, let alone riot? Why is it that when their asked, “What policies of President Trump did you not like and why? ” and the most popular answer on the “policies” they don’t like are immigration and the supposed “Way he treats women” which is not a policy BTW.. And on the question of “Why?”..why do they almost NEVER have a fact based, personally researched, educated answer? They stammer and studder, tripping and stepping on their own teeth and tongues TRYING to find an answer that’s educated and valid, but they have nothing more that what the lying Mainstream Media tells them to beleive… Believing what our ever so lovely Government wants us to beleive, and ordering all of our News outlets and Newspapers.. Even some magazines to lie to us all. To keep us Sheeple deaf, dumb, blind, and in a coma to what’s REALLY going on by this Government, that WAAAAY too many people have put their trust, reliance, and faith even their love into the evil Establishment of our US government leaders. The lies, along with people’s CHOICES to do so much evil.. Hurt, kill and destroy ..makes the line, “Love Trumps Hate! ” a redamndiculous statement and an un-chant-worthy line of spewed crap! Where has the “LOVE” that this one liner, dripping with distain and douchebaggary gone? I, like sooo many others see, hear, and feel nothing but HATE? Evidence being painted in blood and distruction on camera nearly everyday now, clearly demonstrates and proves that HATE TRUMPS INTELLIGENCE AND ALL SENSE OF PROPPER REASONING SKILLS!! Revenge, for invalid reasons, is just that.. Invalid. Revenge is NEVER a valid reason…. It’s an emotional response. A person CHOOSES his/her reactions and actions.
    On President Trumps immigration/deportation policies and decisions.. I’m truely thinking that all of the SJW’s pitchin a hissy 24/7 …has never actually sat down and actually listened to any of his speaches from start to Finnish without opening their mouths, all the way through, before shrieking about even just the smallest thing that they may not agree with (Like the one inch height difference on his drivers license) but literally shut their yaps completely for the entire speach, and actually LISTEN to what he SAYS. Not how he sounds, or how orange people think his skin is, or his hair.. Nor anything about his physical being.. Just every word he says when he’s talking of his policies and plans to pick this country up out of the Hell Obama but us, kept us, and left us all in. Again I am not a supporter of his and the reason I’m not is because on a personal level, I have trust issues with our Government and nearly all of the branches and people in government. I know what’s really going on. But President Trump’s immigration policy and the ban on refugees continuing to reach our shores is very simple and smart as long as people shut up long enough to fully listen and grasp what he’s saying.. To fully comprehend his words.. Which requires one to put away their personal bias and hear him..Not just listen, but HEAR him.
    Stopping the refugees from comming here UNTIL they are fully VETTED.. For our Government to know whether or not a person or persons trying to get in has been in trouble for violent tendencies and behavior in his/her own country. I truely wonder if people are paying attention to what’s happening all over the European countries.. The reign of terror that goes on in the UK and Germany.. Sweeden just to name 3, by the VIOLENT refugees that have exploded because of their “open borders”..I emphasized “VIOLENT” nearly to exclude the non violent, peaceful refugees who TRUELY need asylum from the tyranny of the people if their own countries.
    But once the refugees are fully VETTED and deemed safe and non violent.. President Trump will allow the VETTED to come into America, but the violent Jihad ISIS types will be denied entry. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that policy. We need our homes safe. The violent refugees are raping little girls and boys.. Women because their plan is to breed out ALL Western Countries. On YouTube you can find SEVERAL videos of these VIOLENT refugees screaming that it’s “Death to the UK, Death to America! We will take your women as our slaves and your little girls and they will have our children! This is not your country anymore, it belongs to us! ” plus many mire horrible things. Do the SJW’s pay attention to all of that? Not if their only swallowing what Government and the Mainstream media tells them, hook, line, sinker, fishing pole, fisherman and his boots! On camera a violent refugee Muslim leader having a meeting with others who beleive the same, screamed out their agenda for all of us I’m western countries, killing all the gay, LGBTand those that won’t worship their god. Their killing and terrorizing.. Raping so many people every single day… And Obama Killary Clinton wanted the borders open even wider.. Dosent that bother people here in our home? If they continue to come in(the violent ones) then soon, if Trump dosent VET them first… We will become the next France, Germany, Netherlands.
    So I like his immigration policy. As for the illeagl immigrants here… The ones who have already been in trouble with the law.. Violent crimes.. Merder, ect.. But did not get deported, Trump will deport. If one actually think about it, American citizens when they commit crimes, their “deported” from their cushy life of freedom to a place with no freedom. For some its a shorter time than others, but if we put away from the innocent our violent offenders from our own country.. What’s so bad about deporting the violent illegals who have lived here free to murder, rape, rob, assult and abduct women and children for their deranged fantasies? And as for the non violent illegals here.. Trump said he would work with the non violent illegals who have contributed to our society and help them acheive citizenship. I love the idea for the wall.
    And on that stupid “locker room talk” of Trump B. S.-ing with a friend about grabbing a woman between ther kegs 14long years ago… Oh come on!!! When guys get together in a locker room, bar, strip club, golf course, ect.. That’s how they talk!! Women are worse then men with that when we get with our friends.. But with Trump, someone who either recorded that convo or had the copy more than likely figured they could make some money and waves by releasing that info tothose MSM liars. BOTTOM LINE…. people need to stop gulping down everything their fed by our Government, media, friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, cabdrivers, ect.. And take their words as absolute truths. Ask Questions.. Question EVERYTHING!! Do your own personal information research. I encourage all who read this to check out everything I spoke of for yourselves! Truely pay attention to everything that’s being said.. Even if you don’t like the person personally. The better informed a person is, the better ones choices are.
    The violence needs to stop!! If the SJW’s knew who was really behind all the bad that’s going on.. The ones responsible for feeding them lies that they have ALLOWED these Puppetmasters to play them, use them and turn them into violent pitbulls.. If they’d only quit shrieking and screaming about injustice and ask questions.. Research what their being fed before making a choice and decision.. If they could sit long enough to become informed, to be educated on what’s really going on around them.. If they only took the time to find out the truth, then they’d finally know how bad they’ve been played and deceived. They would know who used each one if them to bring out into the open Agenda21 and Agenda 2030..unclassified documents that was brought to life and light after hours, at night by Obama so not many would know of it’s existance unless they were searching for another document on The Freedom Of Information Act website ..and accidentally came across these unclassified Agendas and coppied them all and put them all over the internet and YouTube. REX84 and JadeHelm as well. Lots of info about the nearly 800 FEMA concentration camps in the USA. On YouTube one can look up ‘A map of the FEMA camp locations in America’ ..look up the planned Martial law that’s comming and the ‘Agendas’ that I mentioned tells us what orders Obama gave to our military to do to all of American citizens… It’s all on video on YouTube.. One needs a few months of non stop YouTube watching to see it all. It’s so scary and it’s hard not to just shut it off and bury your head in the sand and try to pretend that you didn’t see what you’ve just seen.. That’s hard to see all the video evidence and accept that there’s nothing anyone can do because it’s just to big. The New World Order is ready to make it’s move. Elite bankers like George Soros and the Rockefellers and many others are pullin all the strings. President Trump is trying to stop the NWO.. He may be able to stop it for a time.. But not forever.
    Anyway.. All I ask before you comment…. Is research ALL I have spoken of.. Be informed, stay informed, and share the info you find with all who will shut up long enough to HEAR and listen….

  6. victoria samolyk says:

    Thank you, Venice, for your enlightened perspective on Donald Trump. It is not always easy to show compassion for a person who exhibits such narcissism and greed, but you take the higher ground.

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