It's been nearly two years since NBC's hit sitcom Parks and Recreation went off the air, but recent events have forced the lead character Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, back into the limelight. While this character won't be coming back to the small screen any time soon, Leslie Knope did "write" an open letter to women everywhere, after Donald Trump was elected as the President of the United States. While this iconic character may be gone from the small screen, it's clear her legacy still lives on.
Vox released the open letter, which was actually written by a member of the Parks and Rec writing staff, as part of their ongoing essay series dubbed "First Person." The letter begins as she reveals that her close friend Ann Perkins (played by Rashida Jones in the series) suggested that she write a letter to get her thoughts on the Presidential election out into the world. She spoke about going through the five stages of grief, before revealing that she does not "accept" that Donald Trump is the President of the United States. Here's part of her open letter below, where she apologizes to young girls everywhere for what happened.
"I acknowledge that Donald Trump is the president. I understand, intellectually, that he won the election. But I do not accept that our country has descended into the hatred-swirled slop pile that he lives in. I reject out of hand the notion that we have thrown up our hands and succumbed to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and crypto-fascism. I do not accept that. I reject that. I fight that. Today, and tomorrow, and every day until the next election, I reject and fight that story. I work hard and I form ideas and I meet and talk to other people who feel like me, and we sit down and drink hot chocolate (I have plenty) and we plan. We plan like mofos. We figure out how to fight back, and do good in this infuriating world that constantly wants to bend toward the bad. And we will be kind to each other, and supportive of each other's ideas, and we will do literally anything but accept this as our fate. And let me say something to the young girls who are reading this. Hi, girls. On behalf of the grown-ups of America who care about you and your futures, I am awfully sorry about how miserably we screwed this up. We elected a giant farting T. rex who does not like you, or care about you, or think about you, unless he is scanning your bodies with his creepy T. rex eyes or trying to physically grab you like a toy his daddy got him (or would have, if his daddy had loved him). (Sorry, that was a low blow.) (Actually, not sorry, I'm pissed, and I'm on a roll, so zip it, superego!)"
She goes on to add that Donald Trump is the worst possible role model for young girls, adding that it's now the job of young girls everywhere to "bust out" and be seen and heard. She ended her passionate letter with a call to action for girls and women everywhere. Here's what she had to say below.
"You are going to run this country, and this world, very soon. So you will not listen to this man, or the 75-year-old, doughy-faced, gray-haired nightmare men like him, when they try to tell you where to stand or how to behave or what you can and cannot do with your own bodies, or what you should or should not think with your own minds. You will not be cowed or discouraged by his stream of retrogressive babble. You won't have time to be cowed, because you will be too busy working and learning and communing with other girls and women like you. And when the time comes, you will effortlessly flick away his miserable, petty, misogynistic worldview like a fly on your picnic potato salad. He is the present, sadly, but he is not the future. You are the future. Your strength is a million times his. Your power is a billion times his. We will acknowledge this result, but we will not accept it. We will overcome it, and we will defeat it. Now find your team, and get to work."
The letter ends with a brief bio for Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope, who, at the end of Parks and Recreation's run, was working fro the United States Department of the Interior's Midwest branch, in her hometown of Pawnee, Indiana. She also asks that for those who have the means to do so, to donate to the "ACLU, the International Rescue Committee, or the charity of your choice, to help the country and those most in need." Parks and Recreation ran for seven seasons on NBC, between 2009 and 2015, spanning 125 episodes. The series also starred Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins, Aziz Ansari as Ron Haverford, Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer, Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate, Retta as Donna Meagle and Jim O'Heir as Jerry Gergich.