Because I am
“I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory.” -Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton and I relate to this line more than any other line in any other production.
About 4–5 years ago, my entire social media was inundated with posts about the must-see musical, Hamilton. And I recoiled.
First, I’m a rebel. If something is too popular, I assume its a fad, a trend, something lacking depth. It’s the Gen X in me. I’m working through it in therapy.
Second, I don’t like musicals. Well, that’s not entirely true. I don’t like most musicals. What are the odds this popular history-based musical would be my cup of tea, especially since, third, history wasn’t my best subject.
Don’t get me wrong, I love History, but I didn’t like the way it was taught.
Teach me the lessons of history, not the dates. Don’t teach me about white supremacists, teach me the names of the slaves.
To me, history, particularly the white-american-christian history I grew up learning, was boring.
If only they’d taught it Hamilton style.
Maybe it wouldn’t have affected me the same way five years ago though. I was a completely different person in a lot of ways. And five years ago, before Donald Trump was president, seems like a generation ago considering I write this having been mostly cooped up in my house with my kids since March 12th as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic which has to date killed over 150,000 Americans.
Five years ago we didn’t have unidentifiable federal officers invading cities in the name of “law and order” and snatching people off the street into unmarked vans, teargassing mothers, and assaulting veterans (this is the only kind of instance I will use an oxford comma don’t @ me).
Five years ago, a play about a revolution for our freedom from taxation without representation may not have had such a familiar scent to it.
Five years ago, I wouldn’t have seen our need for a New American Revolution.
It’s time for revolution against racism. A revolution against the ruling class. A revolution of peace and love. A revolution of harmony. A revolution to bring about a New America.