Yesterday's post about Meryl Streep's speech, and the reaction to it, (see previous post), started me thinking about the debate about "Who are the real Americans?" Maybe, really, a silly, pointless question.
You would think the Native American Indians would win that debate hands down, but off course they were conquered, massacred and shoved off to reservations. Not in the conversation.
There is this idea that "real Americans" live in the heartland. They live in small towns. Rural places. They are those left behind by the new economy. They are distinctly not multi-cultural or open-minded. Also, of course, they are distinctly white.
They are supposedly tired of being "politically correct," which seems to mean they want to be free to speak openly about their racism, sexism & xenophobia. They don't like all those elitists in Hollywood & New York talking down to them.
So when a wealthy, successful, highly-rewarded Hollywood actress dares to speak, lots of those real Americans, and their Little Baby Man leader shout her down. Pretty ridiculous. Especially when her speech was basically about common decency, and seeking the truth. Pretty damn uncontroversial.
So yes, let us not forget, Meryl Streep is a real American too. And Bruce Springsteen, and Beyonce, Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Lebron James. These are all successful folks who have a social and political conscience. I, for one, am happy and inspired that they choose to speak their minds in the public space. They are using their celebrity to further their vision for America. How American.
They have just as much a right to speak their minds as a Celebrity Reality TV Guy.
They are just as real as Trump and his supporters. It truly does take a village. In this case of course, Trump is playing the Village Idiot, and he is rallying his rabid mob around him trying to shout down everyone else. Of course, it's a rare thing when you make the Village Idiot the leader of the pack, but we have entered weirds-ville. Let's call it the Village Idiot Experiment!
It won't work. Really. For sure. American is too big, too complex, made up of way too many races, ethnicities and sensibilities to be reduced to one imbecile thing.
There is room enough for all of us. The main thing, we all need to be engaged, with eyes open. We can not let the loud know-nothings voices, drown out the soft know-somethings. That's Un-American!
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