The gallows humor has begun!
As we approach Judgment Day (literally), there’s been more ‘jokes’ in my tribe about how soon President Trump will deport us, and where we’ll go if we we’re given a choice. (Assuming he doesn’t just send me ‘back to where I came from’, I have thought about what it would be like to spend my twilight years in Zumunda.)
Kidding aside, this line of thinking did make me reflect on two of my artistic heroes…
Charlie Chaplin. The Tramp. One of (if not the first) international movie star. Master of physical comedy of course, but he knew storytelling and was a great filmmaker (‘City Lights’ is still one of the best films ever in my opinion.)
Also, for the record, evicted by the United States Government. An Englishman by birth, he publicly stated he wasn’t a Communist, but he also didn’t distance himself (enough) from his Soviet friends. So when he went abroad to promote a film, they took his work visa. In this case he wasn’t charged with a crime per se, but the man who gave us ‘The Great Dictator’ would have to submit to an interview to prove his loyalty to America if he wanted back in.
He opted not to come back for twenty years (when the Academy gave him an honorary Oscar, and he got the longest standing ovation in history).
If you come here routinely, you know the man above is my favorite Beatle. The sarcastic one, the nerdy one, the cynical but romantic lyrics. No need to repeat all of that.
Also, for the record, deported in a court of law by the United States Government. When he came to this country he got deep into leftist politics, used his celebrity to introduce Bobby Seale and others on national television. Next thing you know, the powers that be decided he had to go back where he came from. And if not for that President being so criminal he had to resign from office…
And those two were absurdly rich white guys.
Have we all been exhausted by how nasty this election cycle has been? Clearly. Has this country ever been so openly hostile politically to so many of its own? More often than I think we want to admit. We’ve been good about ending up on the right side of history. Now, whether we take the long way to get there or the short way… I guess we’ll have a better idea in a week.
I’m looking at…six Sundays from now to talk about how 2016 has changed me. But speaking just in terms of this election cycle…look. It was always part of the endgame to be, ‘a little’ more publicly vocal about my private identity. Being prepared though, is not the same as expecting a day would ever come where I would feel so repeatedly offended, threatened, or disrespected as a Muslim, as an African-American, as a man whose general life philosophy is ‘you respect my space, I’ll respect yours.’ And as is the norm with everything right now, that’s just base level day to day life without getting into any specific political policies or governing.
So I’ve voted. And I’ve used this space to say my piece one more time before Tuesday, for those of you who respect my intellect and opinion on these things. I’ve done what I can; I’m ready to deal with whatever comes next.
You should do the same.