American Magic: The Musical

HAMILTON set the world on fire.

The best kind of fire: fire of the mind and of the heart. Not only was Hamilton: An American Musical the most-sought after ticket of our lifetime, but, overnight Lin-Manuel Miranda (and his spell-binding cast) inspired a rabidly enthusiastic and passionate fandom across the internet with an unmatched fervor for learning. Upon seeing the musical with the original cast (I can die happy) it really is no wonder why; I’ve been lucky enough to see Broadway shows and original stage productions across the country my whole life, and I have never experienced a show where each cast member steals the show. After all, this is the one and only show where that ol’ Broadway decorum rule book got tossed from the train; As each cast member claimed their place in the revolution on stage, the audience would absolutely lose their shit. Lin-Manuel Miranda literally had to wait for a full minute before he could begin performing. The cast painted the stage with the color of their souls. It oozed from the walls. I didn’t move from my seat at intermission.  As the show drew to a close, I looked around Richard Rodgers and took in his weeping audience. We stood in ovation for a long time.

When everyone has a seat at the table revolutions take place.

The chaos, the fun, the gathering in the street. It was beyond. Also, I saw Oak and Daveed after the show!

This is the magical message I received from HAM. It makes complete sense that we are rediscovering a powerful and unstoppable connection to the revolutionary language of 1776 as America has been and continues to be stabbed in the back by an insatiably greedy ruling class. But, now more than ever, I believe we need to hang on to the hope this moment contains. Our revolution is one of color. We are a rainbow species. Not one of us is the same as another and that more than anything is to be protected, preserved, and expanded upon. We have the opportunity to completely institute that future. We were thirsty for this music. We were desperate for their voices. In them we found hope. In them we found our power as “The People” once again. This is a “war” cry. A “war” cry for independence, once again, from a mechanism designed to dehumanize in order to ravenously profit. We know now how much danger democracy is in, and we will not throw away our shot at saving her. Just you wait.

resist

I very much struggled with sharing this image.  But, now more than ever we need to know there is nothing special about neutrality.  Neutrality is on the side of the oppressor.  If your differences are hateful and steeped in racism, bigotry, misogyny, etc., I accept nothing of you.  I am an educated, progressive, intersectional feminist, not a pushover.  This isn’t to be dramatic, it is to honor the historian within me.  I simply cannot ignore how easily legitimized hateful rhetoric can backslide into physical reality and genocide.  And that is why I share this image of Nazi conglomeration.  It’s a warning.  It’s my way of peacefully rejecting everything this president-elect embodies with his actions, appointees, speech, and silence.  The Germans let stand this horrid space in Nuremberg to remind us all:  We must extinguish every last vestige of othering anywhere on Earth.  Germany looked their darkest hour right in the face and left remnants of Nazism standing so that everyone is able to see and touch the reality of what happens when fascist, white nationalism/supremacy takes root.  Is it not a moral responsibility to make sure a regime of this nature cannot and will not flourish anywhere else on Earth again?  Samantha Power wrote a book about genocide in the 20th century called “A Problem from Hell.”  In it she details the reason for committing genocide across the world are as basic and shallow as hateful people are.  My question then, to those telling us liberals to “calm down,” about a Trump presidency is this: Humans have long been committing genocide in the past for no reason whatsoever, what kinds of atrocities will be committed against humanity when there’s no more clean water?  No clean air?  No farming?  We have but one life.  Why spend it hating?  Why spent it othering?  Today, I have the privilege to call out hate and hypocrisy, and so I will.  That is the moral responsibility of an educated global citizen with the right to freedom of speech.  So, I hope this picture is painful to see.  I hope this picture elicits rage, pain, and utter shame.  And that is exactly how I feel about my country legitimizing hate.  How many times will we say as a human race, “Never again?”
How many?

one world

When the math teacher came down the hallway screaming, I thought there was a school shooter. Naturally, we stampeded the door and left our geometry books behind. She led us into the library where a live news broadcast of New York City was on TV and we witnessed a plane fly into the second World Trade Center tower; while the first one burned right in front of our eyes. My heart aches for those we lost, for those who risked their lives to save others, who stayed behind to die so others could live. My heart aches for all the trauma endured from losing the one you couldn’t possibly live without to those who practice a religion peacefully, yet fear and experience a rage filled retribution. Fifteen years later and the wound has yet to heal because of that dumb, blind hate. That does America a disservice to his spirit. As I strolled around One World Trade Center this July and read every name on the fountain, I noticed the quiet even though hundreds strolled through the memorial, too. I noticed the solemn respect that every race, creed, age, and nationality held in that space where the names are displayed. A more appropriate name for One World Trade Center could not be. This Patriot Day, I am not wishing more American Patriotism onto anyone, but I certainly am wishing every person loving kindness. That was the feeling I received standing among the hundreds who were, like me, paying respect to those whose lives were irrevocably torn to shreds from that day onward.