Dear Mr. Trump,

I’m sure you receive tomes of correspondences every day, including hate mail, people begging for jobs, and hairdressers offering to fix your flipped back, combed-over receding hairline. This is neither of these. This is a thank you letter.

For a the past seven-and-a-half years I was worried that after the presidency of Barack Obama was finished, the melanin-deficient portion of America would clap their hands and collectively say, “Well, we had a Black president, I guess that means we fixed racism,” and saunter off into the sunset of a post-racial America. But thank you, Mr. Trump, for making sure that won’t happen.

I know America hides from racism with the intent and tactics of an infant playing peek-a-boo: If it puts its hands over its eyes and pretends it doesn’t see something, then—even if only for a second—it must have disappeared. After Obama packs his bags and swaggers off into the horizon, I could almost hear the rest of the country warming up for another round of the infantile game.

I’m sure you’ve seen it, Mr. Trump. Even though a ProPublica study showed that Black male teens are 21 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than their white counterparts and twice as many unarmed Black people have been shot and killed since January 2015 as white people, police officers still Kanye shrug when confronted with charges of racism. No logical person believes that all cops are racist, but it is monumental stupidity, or an evil ignorance, to believe that there are no racist police officers. Yet, the “All Lives Matter” people willingly place their hands over their eyes and put the “myth” of racism in the same category as unicorns, mermaids, and Ryan Lochte robberies. But your candidacy showed them a possible future filled with coliseums full of people waving Nazi signs and elbowing Black people in the head while they chanted, “Nigger go home,” explaining to cameras they “might have to kill one the next time.” For that, I thank you.

Even though you may be the same color and shape as Garfield the Cat, you proved to the world that Black people were not playing “the race card” when we pointed out the insidious undertone of racism and hate that we still feel, decades after Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream was snuffed out on a Memphis balcony. We were beginning to grow tired of the dismissive guffaws and accusations of Black paranoia when we brought up the systematic inequalities that exist. When we brought up the fact that a Black college graduate has the same chances of getting a job as a white high school dropout, they laughed at the insinuation that there were enough racists in the country to affect job statistics for Black people. But you made it impossible to ignore racism when 35 to 40 percent of this country is willing to vote for someone whose entire platform is built on scaring people into believing people of color are what’s wrong with America. No one would have believed us if not for your teeming masses of hate-spewers. Gracias, Mr. Trump.

When we proclaimed that there were companies who won’t hire Black people and teachers who disregard Black students because racism makes some educators and employers believe that Black people are inferior, White America gave us the side-eye (until I pointed out racism, I had no idea Caucasians were even capable of the side-eye). They would explain that there might be a few redneck Klan members and neo-Nazis still around, but smart, educated, normal white people weren’t racists.

But now America sees that much of your support comes from the Alt-Right, whose existence rests on the premise that Black people are genetically and culturally inferior to Europeans. You have exposed the fact that that one of the biggest movements in politics and sociology is the “racialist,” alternative right—racial truthers who hide in cubicles and offices across the country, only exposing themselves in internet comment sections, who believe that White people have higher IQs and that anyone who doesn’t adhere to the principles of white, Western civilization should be shown to America’s back door and kicked out.

No one would have believed us if we said it, but you, your word-stealing wife and chinless sons have revealed the dark underbelly of American hate that believes Mexicans roam around in rape gangs while Muslims are in Syria dodging bombs and figuring out how to become a refugee so they can extinguish white lives in the name of Allah.

You are a blessing to me and my people.

If not for your idiotic eschewing of economic policy and international relations in favor of solving America’s problems by booting out non-Christians, barbwiring out Spanish-speakers, and reigning down some dog-whistle version of “law and order” upon the pesky Negroes, the rest of the country would think racism was a relic of the past.

In conclusion, I want you to know that your friends (or is it employees?), Omarosa and Reverend Mark Burns are not the only two Black people who appreciate you. I have a special place in my heart for your tangerine suntanned skin. If not for you, America would have lulled itself into the false belief that she really is the land of the free and the home of the brave.



P.S. This weekend I see that you will be in Detroit at a Black church. If you really want to reach out to Black voters, make sure you get the church organist to lay some shouting music behind you as you read from your prepared script. Or just announce that you’re going to march through the city’s Eastside without Secret Service protection. We’d love to see that.

Michael Harriot has contributed to EBONY, Deadspin, VerySmartBrothas, theRoot as well as his own daily blog NegusWhoRead. He also hosts The Black One podcast and tweets at @michaelharriot