Humans of New York Creator Pens Viral Letter to Trump - NBC Bay Area
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

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Humans of New York Creator Pens Viral Letter to Trump

The Facebook post was shared over 750,000 times and received 1.4 million likes in about nine hours

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    Humans of New York Creator Pens Viral Letter to Trump
    AP
    In this file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump describes how he was ready to punch a person who rushed the stage during an election rally earlier in the day, as he speaks to a crowd in Kansas City, Missouri, March 12, 2016.

    The creator and author of the wildly popular photojournalist site Humans of New York has penned an open letter to Donald Trump blasting him as "a man who has encouraged prejudice and violence in the pursuit of personal power," and the note has resonated with many of the site's 17 million followers.

    The Facebook post was shared over 750,000 times and received 1.4 million likes in about nine hours.

    In his letter to Trump, Brandon Stanton says as a journalist he has tried not to appear as if he was taking sides in a contentious election, "but I now realize that there is no correct time to oppose violence and prejudice." 

    He continues: "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."

    Stanton goes on to say, "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."

    Stanton goes on to dispute Trump's characterization of himself as a "unifier" and as "presidential." 

    "You are not a 'victim' of the very anger that you've joyfully enflamed for months," he says. "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." 

    Commenters chimed in to agree with Stanton. 

    "I am white. I am a man. I am from the south. I am a Christian. And I am a conservative republican... but it is still BEYOND ME how anybody is in support of Donald Trump," wrote Joe Shelton III.

    Paige Hermansen wrote, "Even if people support Trump because they like his ideas about the economy or believe his promises to create jobs, they need to be aware of the pain and fear his words stir in the hearts of American citizens -- law-abiding and loving people who come from so many different cultures and religions and make our country the incredible place it is.

    "Humans of New York represents the best of us -- the real, honest, and beautiful words of people brave enough to share their stories with the world, and Brandon, you are an amazing human being for wanting to document the best of humanity. Trump and his candidacy are a canvas for the worst kind of ignorance and hate," Hermansen said. 

    Not everyone was enamored with Stanton's words. Stephen Keener said his information was "incomplete and one-sided," adding "You are no better than the biased media attention he gets." 

    Humans of New York generally features a random New Yorker on the street with a revealing, quirky or emotional story. But it also photographs and tells the stories of people in other countries, and recently Stanton posted portraits of people in Iran, Iraq and Pakistan, as well Syrian and Iraqi refugees in several other countries.