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Free speech, respect and multiculturalism in the USA today

Hamilton’ Cast’s Appeal to Pence Ignites Showdown With Trump

The New York Times on the 19th of November 2016, questions the reactions of the president-elect and address the right to free speech and respect. Here are some quotes from the article. Read the whole article here.

Lesson plan

Read the article below and comment on the following;

  1. Is the cast’s rare, politically charged appeal from the stage acceptable? Discuss arguments on both sides found in the article.
  2. Comment on the reaction from the president-elect.
  3. Look at the Twitter messages in this post, and discuss the use of social media.
  4. Read the paragraph below “Different values and politics” and write how these different values were questioned in this incident. Will there be a different multicultural society with the new administration?
  5. Watch the video below and comment on the statement, Trump does not think a multicultural democracy is possible, and that nobody asked Donald Trump, what makes America great?

Living in a multicultural society

“Hamilton,” itself a deeply political show about the United States as a nation of immigrants — with black or Hispanic actors playing George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers — has been celebrated by President Obama, Hillary Clinton and many other Democrats, as well as Republicans including former Vice President Dick Cheney.

A surprising confrontation erupted on Saturday between President-elect Donald J. Trump and the cast and creators of the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” setting off furious debate over American principles like free speech, respect and the ability to challenge authority in the Trump era.

President-elect Trump demanded an apology from the cast for making a rare, politically charged appeal from the stage on Friday night to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was in the audience, urging him and Mr. Trump to “uphold our American values” and “work on behalf of all of us.” (click on picture to see the speech). Mr. Trump’s response significantly escalated an unusual protest inside a theater into a furor on social media and cable news.

Mr. Trump, who has stirred bipartisan concern over his habit of attacking those who challenge him, said on Twitter that the actors had “harassed” Mr. Pence, and he issued a battle cry to his supporters by saying that the musical’s cast had criticized “our wonderful future VP Mike Pence.” He continued to assail the show on Twitter on Saturday night, writing that the actors had been “very rude and insulting” to Mr. Pence and claiming that they “couldn’t even memorize lines” — though he offered no evidence and then deleted the message.

Different values and politics

The values and politics championed by the cast are in conflict with the remarks and actions of Mr. Trump, who has called for deporting undocumented immigrants, has declined to forcefully denounce expressions of bigotry among his allies and has so far appointed only white men to major cabinet positions. He has also pledged to change libel laws and sue news media organizations whose coverage he does not like, and he has demonized street protesters who have criticized him.

The clash between the “Hamilton” actors and Mr. Trump captured the sharply divergent feelings of many Americans 11 days after the election: a showdown between the values of multiculturalism on the left, including the racially diverse “Hamilton” cast and the world of entertainment, and the conservative principles of the incoming Republican administration, which was backed strongly by working-class white voters and traditional Republicans.

See the video below with where John Stewart gives his post-election analysis.




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