To the Editor:

With the horror of the weekend’s mass shootings still fresh in our minds, I found the following tweet from Darien’s first selectman to be disturbing. On Sunday, Aug. 4, Jayme Stevenson tweeted at Donald Trump “Mr. President, if you need help in your mission to end the hate crisis in America, I pledge to help you. No false rhetoric, to misplaced anger and animosity. I will do my part.”

At a time when all elected officials at every level of government need to lead in the efforts to end gun violence, our first selectman pledged her support to someone whose rhetoric whether while talking to reporters, tweeting, or at one of his rallies —is fueling the hate crisis in America. This isn’t opinion. One needs only to look at the seemingly endless tweets and video clips of rallies where he encourages and goads attendees’ chants and chuckles while they suggest violence as an immigration policy to see a pattern of behavior that is shocking, revolting and un-American. That is not who we are.

It’s not clear what the first selectman means by “false rhetoric” or “misplaced anger and animosity.” Perhaps she should explain. One thing is crystal clear however: Donald Trump is not leading a mission to end hate.

Our country is bewildered and terrified, understandably so. What we need are leaders willing to stand up against the vitriol, anger, bigotry and hateful words that flow so easily from the President’s fingertips to his keyboard and from his head to his mouth. We need leaders who are willing to call out his behavior rather than pledge to join him.

Shannon Silsby