My 7-Year-Old's Response to Trump's Alleged 'Sh*thole' Comments

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

I was running late this morning and trying to get the kids to school on time. I watch “Morning Joe” on MSNBC most mornings but turn on The Disney Channel once my children wake up. The news is too hard to bear lately and certainly too scary for my kids to handle.

I forgot to turn the channel and heard the words “shithole.” I went into the living room and saw both my children looking at the TV with a weird look on their faces. They heard the story about the comments Trump uttered in the DACA meeting (though he denies making the remarks).

At first I didn’t know what to say and regretted not changing the channel, but after speaking to them, I was glad they’d watched.

My daughter is 12 now and hears about the news at school and from me sometimes, so I thought she would be able to grasp and handle the situation. My son is 7 years old, and though he gets the picture on his own that Trump is not a very nice person, I think he was shocked to hear what he said.

My daughter said to him, “Trump just said those bad things about people in other countries. Many of them have brown skin and have suffered a lot.”

My 7-year-old son responded, “I learned about Martin Luther King at school, and he and others were treated bad because of the color of their skin. That was not nice, and it is not OK what he (Trump) just said.”

I was never so proud of my kids. They both had looks of disgust on their sweet little faces. They both got it.

I frequently feel like I’m a failure as a mom because I am chronically ill and unable to participate in many things. I have to lie down a lot and am in pain most days. I am grumpier and not as much fun as I used to be. But I try hard to instill a sense of what is right and wrong on a daily basis. I consistently speak of how important it is to help others as often as we can.

I tell them how we are all equal and should be treated that way. No one is better than anyone else, and if they ever see someone being mistreated for who they are or what they look like, they should speak up or tell a teacher or adult what has occurred.

I tell them they can not truly understand what it is like to walk in a person of color’s shoes but that they should listen, show compassion and walk forever beside them.

They should never use their shoes to trample upon others, and if they have extra pairs they should donate them to someone in need.

I struggle like most moms to get my kids to listen to me and for them to get ready properly and on time. I worry they won’t remember the safety rules and little bits of wisdom I try to tell them.

Then sometimes mornings like this occur and I am overcome with emotion and pride.

We cannot sit back and say nothing. We have to use our collective voices to speak up and help those who experience injustice.

I will include my children in current events more often now. I have learned an important lesson this morning.

I cannot shield them from a world full of injustice, nor remain silent any longer.

I can help them become good little citizens who on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day may just help bend “the arc of the moral universe” a little more toward justice.

As a mom, I pray every day for a better world for them. A world where “unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” A world where all of Dr. King’s words still resonate and point us in the right direction.

Let’s try our best to raise good children and walk this path together.

Editor’s note: This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

illustration of a woman with her hair pulled up and wrapped in colorful scarves

9 Positive Aspects of Living With Chronic Illness

The list of things that can go wrong when you have any disability is beyond long. Here are 10 positives that can come from our struggling. After spending my entire childhood and adulthood in and out the hospital, I’ve learned a few bits of wisdom at a young age. 1. Stillness. I’ve learned to be [...]
three fuzzy hot water bottle covers and stuffed sloth

19 Cute Comfort Items You'll Want on Days You're Stuck in Bed

Living with chronic pain, fatigue and discomfort from illness or a disability means making yourself a comfortable spot on the couch or in bed isn’t just a fun thing to do when you’re home on a cold day — it’s often a necessity. When you’re in a flare or in a lot of pain you [...]

How We Handled My Major Surgeries to Help My Kids Cope

I had my leg amputated in 2014. During that time, I was in the hospital for a total of six weeks. My son was only 2, so he doesn’t remember it, but my daughter was 4 and remembers it like it was yesterday. It amazes me all the details she can remember. I will never [...]
woman cuddling with her husband on the couch in front of the fireplace

To the Amazing Husband Behind This Chronically Ill Wife

Behind every great man is a great woman, or so the saying goes. Let’s flip that on its head a little. Behind this chronically ill wife is an amazing husband. A husband who has become a full-time carer. A husband who has gone beyond the call of duty. A husband who has become my legs, [...]