Brandon Stanton, the curator of the immensely popular blog Humans of New York, makes his living taking pictures of ordinary New Yorkers and letting them tell their own stories. On Monday, the subject of Stanton's blog was no ordinary New Yorker but Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
In an open letter posted on the Humans of New York Facebook page and Stanton's personal Twitter account, the journalist condemned Trump and explained how the candidate's rhetoric convinced him it was necessary to share his opinion on the 2016 election.
"I try my hardest not to be political," wrote Stanton. "I thought: ‘Maybe the timing is not right.’ But I realize now that there is no correct time to oppose violence and prejudice. The time is always now. Because along with millions of Americans, I’ve come to realize that opposing you is no longer a political decision. It is a moral one."
Stanton went on to criticize Trump's polarizing positions on immigrants, refugees and Muslims. He also accused the candidate of inciting violence at his rallies — a Trump rally in Chicago was canceled Friday after a clash between Trump supporters and protesters turned ugly.
"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," wrote Stanton. "I’ve also interviewed hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi refugees across seven different countries. And I can confirm — the hateful one is you."
See Stanton's full letter in the tweet below:
— Brandon Stanton (@humansofny) March 14, 2016
The Humans of New York blog usually refrains from editorializing. Stanton posts multiple times daily, sharing pictures of everyday New Yorkers with their own, quoted stories published in the caption section. The blog has over 17 million followers on Facebook.
Even President Barack Obama is a fan. The president has, on occasion, commented on Humans of New York posts via Facebook after reading some particularly moving stories. In February 2015, Obama was interviewed by 13-year-old student Vidal Chastanet on the site. Obama had previously seen and commented on Chastanet's own Humans of New York post with Stanton.
As for Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner dominated the news cycle over the weekend as his opponents and many in the media accused the candidate of inciting violence at his rallies with his rhetoric on the campaign trail. Trump has consistently denied culpability and played down any incidents. He and the rest of the GOP field face primaries in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina on Tuesday.