Seventh grader responds to someone who questioned the purpose of yard signs denouncing hate
A seventh grader from Winchester, Massachusetts has become Internet famous for his stellar response to someone who questioned the purpose of “Hate Has No Home Here” yard signs.
After many of the town’s residents joined the nationwide “Hate Has No Home Here” initiative, which started in Chicago to combat hateful rhetoric and behavior stemming from the election, John Natale – a Trump supporter, natch – wrote a letter to the editor of the Winchester Star criticizing the signs. Because, as Taylor Swift sang, haters gonna hate. Literally.
In his letter, Natale whined about the “annoyance” of looking at the signs because he doesn’t believe there is a hate problem. Never mind the increase in hate crimes and the general feeling of fear among immigrants, minorities, and marginalized groups following the election, Natale finds the signs “offensive” and “uncalled for.”
Luke Macanucco, a Wincester seventh grader, took a page from Michelle Obama’s play book – when Natale went low, Macanucco went high.
Instead of responding with a million FFSs and WTFs like we want to, the seventh grader penned a reasoned and persuasive response. Macanucco’s letter was published in the Winchester Star on April 27, and the next day it was discovered by Matthew Segal, a legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, who shared a picture of it on Twitter.
The post has been retweeted more than 11,000 times, including by Chelsea Clinton and Debra Messing, and Macanucco’s response letter has since gone viral – and for good reason, because it’s freaking awesome. He began his response letter by saying:
“I read, with great interest, Mr. John Natale’s colossal misunderstanding of the “Hate Has No Home Here” signs. Natale’s first mistake was claiming the signs read, “Hate has no place in this home.” Mr. Natale is incorrectly assuming that the owners of the sign are finding it necessary to state that there is no hate in their home. But, as the American flag depicted on the sign signifies, the posters are referencing the entire U.S.A., a country that does not tolerate hate in spite of its current leadership. Those people who have chosen to place a “Hate Has No Home Here” sign on their lawn are standing behind their belief that the country should be free of hate.”
Commence the slow clap for young Mr. Macanucco.
He goes on to respond to each of Natale’s questions with precision, intelligence, compassion, and just the right about of side-eye. In his four-part rebuttal (which is nothing short of a work of art), Macanucco tells Natale and his ilk that the sign refers to the actions of bigots trying to take away protections for transgender students, deport refugees, “build a very expensive wall,” and generally hate on perfectly innocent people who happen to be different from the haters. He explained that he’s been called homosexual slurs by students and adults alike. Still need “evidence” of the hate, Mr. Bigot, er, Natale?
Each of Macanucco’s retorts are better than the one before it and with the last question/answer, he put the hammer down.
“Question: ‘Obviously, you are so morally superior that you may declare everyone who disagrees with you a hater (side note: this first part is a statement, not a question). Where, when, and how did you become the Lord High Decider of Morality?’Answer: Never. We just put a lawn sign down. Calm down, dude.”
Calm down, dude is right. And standing ovation for Luke Macanucco.
The attention his letter has gotten in the past few days has taken the seventh grader by surprise, though it shouldn’t because it’s a work of sheer genius.
“He kind of wondered if anyone would read the letter,” Shawn Macannuco, told The Boston Globe. “The fact that it wasn’t only read in our town, but read everywhere — it’s blowing his mind.”
To all the doubters who think the letter was written by Luke Macanucco’s parents, his mom responded on Twitter: “Wrong. He is in 7th grade. And he wrote it. I know because I sat and did a jigsaw puzzle next to him as he typed.”
— Shawn (@smacannuco) April 30, 2017
No good rebuttal would be complete without throwing the appropriate amount of shade, and young Master Macanucco didn’t disappoint.
“[I]f you’re going to ask us to do you a favor and take the signs down, do humanity a favor and take your Trump signs down,” he wrote. “Finally, if you are going to say signs exhibit ‘snowflake sensitivity,’ take a moment to think about how you are writing an angry letter to a newspaper about a lawn sign.”
Two words: Hell.Yes.
We salute you, Luke Macanucco. Perhaps we’ll see you running for office in 2046?