Cracks in America post-election are becoming more apparent.
A few days ago, the cast of Hamilton — a renowned Broadway musical delivered an impassioned speech to Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence, who was attending the show:
"We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights," said Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, the nation's third vice president, as his fellow actors joined hands. "We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us."
This was not received well by the President-elect Donald Trump, who tweeted: "The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologise to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior."
The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016
Mike Pence on the other hand brushed it off and said that the boos and jeers were the sounds of freedom. "That's what freedom sounds like."
And Richard B Spencer, the alt-right movement leader and head of the National Policy Institute seems to be testing how far this freedom goes. On Saturday, at the end of his annual conference on the alt-right movement, he said: "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail our victory!" Spencer is credited with giving his movement — 'alt-right' — due traction and visibility. The 'alt-right' movement has been called as a white nationalist movement by many and that it significantly helped Donald Trump win the presidency. According to The Guardian, the day-long conference where Spencer spoke was a discussion on how the movement could be the "intellectual vanguard" for the Trump presidency. The Guardian reported that the conference in fact turned out to be a "shocking insight into the racism, sexism and disturbing beliefs of the 'alt-right'". The website said that Spencer addressed the audience on the efforts of the 'alt-right' movement in exerting influence in the policy sphere by "advancing white nationalist ideas" and that the 'alt-right ideas' can become a part of mainstream dialogue through Donald Trump and Steve Bannon.
The Atlantic reported that at the end of the conference, Spencer delivered the speech to the followers that was "dripping with anti-Semitism" and called his media critics as "Lügenpresse" — it means 'lying press' and it was a term that used by Nazis in reference to press critics.
An excerpt from the speech:
We are faced with binary choice, fight or flee, join or die, resist or cuck. That is the position of white people right now. Two weeks ago, I might have said the election of Donald Trump might actually lessen the pressure on white Americans. But today, it is clear that his election is only intensifying the storm of hatred and hysteria being directed against us. As Europeans, we are uniquely at the centre of history. We are, as Hegel recognised, the embodiment of world history itself. No one mourns the great crimes committed against us. For us, it is conquer or die. This is a unique burden for the white man, that our fate is entirely in our hands. And it is appropriate because within us, within the very blood in our veins, as children of the sun, lies the potential for greatness. That is the great struggle we are called to. We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace. We are not meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures who ever populated the planet. We were meant to overcome all of them because that is natural and normal for us. For us, as Europeans, it is only normal again when we are great again. Heil Trump! Heil the people! Heil victory!
In the video (above, put up by The Atlantic), some of the members in the audience raised the Nazi salute after Spencer's speech. Holocaust museum alarmed The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) put out a statement that they were "deeply alarmed at the hateful rhetoric" at the conference that was held at the Ronald Reagan building just a few blocks from the USHMM, of white nationalists held on 19 November at the Ronald Reagan Building just blocks from the Museum. The statement also said:
"The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words. The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech."
Twitterati discussions As soon as news broke, many Twitterati took to the platform to express their disgust. They spoke of how Donald Trump didn't denounce or condemn the meeting, whereas, he berated the cast of Saturday Night Live (SNL) and the Hamilton cast on Twitter.
If u defend neo nazis chanting "hail trump"but say the Hamilton speech"wasn't the right forum" u ARE a racist — M'el (@melallen14) November 22, 2016
"Alt-right leader: 'Hail Trump!'" O_O What the f**k. Dude. That's not "Alt-right" that pure racism. — DAW-mi-Neek JAYD (@RandomDom) November 22, 2016
First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 12:09 IST