“Quit overreacting, it’s just politics,” crow the Trump sympathizers (because truly, anyone who says that, even if they didn’t vote for him, is a Trump sympathizer). Tell that to the Muslim high school teacher who received a note from a student suggesting she hang herself with her headscarf.
“Your headscarf isn’t allowed anymore,” read a flag-adorned note addressed to Mairah Teli, a 24-year-old language arts teacher in Georgia. “Why don’t you tie it around your neck and hang yourself with it off of your neck instead of your head.” It was signed “America!”
Teli posted a photo of the note to Facebook, along with the following impossibly brave and restrained statement:
“I’m a high school teacher and sadly this anonymous note was put in my classroom today. As a Muslim, I wear a headscarf as a practice of my faith. I want to share this to raise awareness about the reality and climate of our community. Spreading hate isn’t going to “make America great again. #DonaldsAmerica #NotIntimidated #HereToStay#LoveTrumpsHate
While it’s all but a given that Teli has received a fair amount of disgusting commentary as a result of posting the note, she also wrote in a separate Facebook post that she’s “overwhelmed and deeply touched by all of the outcry and support.”:
“I can’t even begin to articulate how touched I am to be receiving messages from all over the country with your support. I want to sincerely thank you for your kind words and well wishes. I feel your support affirms that our country is built on morals of compassion and kindness.”
She added that her school has “voiced anger and have been tirelessly working to identify who sent this note.”
If all of us can muster even a fraction of Teli’s strength and poise, it’s possible that we might get through this.