So last week Delta and Bank of America withdrew financial support from the Public Theater because their production of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare drew inspiration from politics of the day. As the article I linked to states, this interpretation isn’t new.
In fact, the Guthrie did an Obama themed version of the play five years ago. Outrage generated: zero.
What pisses me off here is the fact all these pissed off people apparently haven’t actually read the play. Or if they read it, they didn’t understand it.
And I get that. Shakepearean language can be challenging.
So here’s the thing: Julius Caesar is not a play about how awesome it is to assassinate political leaders. The assassins in the play all end up dead!
The motivations of one of them, Brutus, are noble. The motivations of the rest are less clear and certainly more selfish. Caesar himself is complicated – neither wholly good or wholly bad.
To pitch a fit because the subject of the assassination is kind of like Donald Trump is missing the point.
But further, what the hell has happened to our country that our President is off limits completely? We can make jokes about him but heaven forfend we depict him as the subject of an assassination attempt. We can only do that with fictional Presidents?
If the concern is that we’ll give people ideas, I’m sorry to say that they already have those ideas.
The events of this week already prove that.
Basically, this should be a non issue. The left shouldn’t care because fuck Trump and his party if they can’t take a joke (which this isn’t even) and the right shouldn’t care because they should fucking read the play.
I took another week off for CONvergence and oh my did this week get full of all the things. I kept a few old articles but let’s start by taking a look at what happened this week.
I know there are people who claim we should wait to judge until all the facts come out. It is interesting to me that every person who has said this to me is white.
I’m not suggesting these people are racist. I’m suggesting that these people need to listen to the facts that are already there and recognize that magnanimously suggesting that we need to know all of the facts before we “overreact” is part of the problem.
Every person of color I know is already well acquainted with the facts. They know that the officer who killed Castile will have a reasonable sounding excuse that he feared for his life. He may face a trial and he may face some public backlash but – and this is really important – no matter how unpleasant those things may be he will still be alive.
Philando Castile will be vilified by clueless people who will find reasons he deserves to be dead. They will tell the rest of us that we don’t know what happened at that traffic stop and he probably deserved to be pulled over.
He doesn’t get to defend himself. He doesn’t get to tell his story. To anyone waiting for all the facts to come out, please remember that the only person who gets to tell their story is the man who killed him.
And if you believe his race didn’t matter, you really haven’t been paying attention.