who would win in a fight, papa roach or peppa pig?
Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.
I’m so tired of seeing people being so rude to the Hamilton fandom. Especially when the Hamilton fandom are just minding their own business. For example, I’ll be scrolling and see a post sharing interesting or funny facts about the founding fathers. And there is always a guarantee that someone will hijack that post or send anon messages like, “The founding fathers were slave owners, so you’re a terrible human being for liking Hamilton or American History.”
And you know what? I’ve had it. I have several responses to these accusations.
“The founding fathers were slave owners and you keep ignoring that.”
Let’s get the big one out of the way. Most of the founding fathers were slave owners. No one is denying or defending that. However, most of the fandom (and people who study American History) generally think ‘”That’s really disappointing to know… I wish things were different. America would have been a better place if these important figures were abolitionists.” But after that, they continue on to study more about the good and bad in history. That horrific part of history will always be there. And that will never change. BUT. BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT! Just because we don’t talk about it all the live long day does not mean we don’t acknowledge it. WE. KNOW.
However, there are so many amazing things the founding fathers did that can not be ignored. Like it or not, all of these people played an important part in creating a whole country basically from scratch. We don’t ignore the fact that they owned slaves, but we also don’t ignore the great things they’ve done to create a new nation either. Both are huge factors in our history. And we acknowledge both.
We don’t see them as gods with no flaws. We see the founding fathers as they were. Real people, with real complex personalities and issues. They were right about a lot of things. And horribly wrong about others. They both did great and terrible things. Does the good justify the bad? Of course not! Everyone knows that! But just because people focus on the positive does not mean we diminish or ignore the negative! WE. KNOW. Okay, next!
• “The musical glorifies slave owners!!! The show is racist and you’re racist if you like it!”
Did you watch the same musical as I did? Because in the show, Hamilton hated Jefferson because Jefferson owned slaves. They don’t ignore the issue or diminish it by pretending it never happened. Rather, they show that it was a thing and not every one supported it. However, they show the complex situations regarding slavery at the time. For example, it was mentioned in the beginning that Hamilton started career as a trading charter… which included ships with slaves from time to time. That’s messed up. What’s worse is that Hamilton was a poor 14 year old kid with no family and no way to support himself at the time. If he wasn’t given the job, he would have starved and died in the Caribbean. It would have been a horrifying job for an adult, but he was still a child. A child who seen the horrors of slavery with his own eyes. That’s terrible! But seeing those acts started his abolitionist worldview from an early age. They present in the opening song the complex childhood he had and you see how that influenced Hamilton when he fights against Jefferson later in life. And from the “Cabinet Battle 1″ song you can see that he is against slavery. Just because it’s not the main focus of the show, that doesn’t mean the issue is completely ignored. And if you want a more bold example, let’s talk about John Laurens.
JOHN LAURENS IN REAL LIFE AND IN THE SHOW WAS A WHITE GUY THAT PUBLICLY STOOD AGAINST SLAVERY. That’s one of the major focuses on his character! He has an entire verse in the second song the show about wanting to free slaves and mentions this goal multiple times within the show! And when he *spoilers* dies in the show, it’s treated as a huge tragedy because his dream of freeing the black troops died with him. It’s treated as a horrible tragedy. And it was that event that caused Hamilton to kick start his political career because his best friend failed to accomplish that goal. And after this event, Hamilton is way more vocal about the issue in the second act. He was NOT a slave owner and acted as a voice against the horrible common practice of his time. If the show did not have Laurens as a strong voice against slavery or if they had written him out of the show, then okay. I can kind of see the anger. But Laurens acts as a modern voice to those times. So stop treating every character as a racist when the show CLEARLY PLACES HISTORICAL CHARACTERS WHO WERE AGAINST SLAVERY IN THE FOREFRONT OF THE SHOW!
And George Washington? If you watch any clip of the finale, when Eliza mentions how she fought against slavery, look at George. He hangs his head low and backs away ashamed. Because Washington could have done more. That’s. The. Point. The show never ignores the fact that slavery was an issue of their time. And they strongly say in the end that these people could have done more for those people! If the show really glorified slave owners they would have left out the complex aspects of Hamilton’s childhood from the show, completely taken out all mentions of slavery from the get go (or written Laurens out of the story), or deny that the founding fathers owned slaves within the show itself. But they acknowledge it and mention multiple times that slavery is a bad thing and the show presents itself in a sorrowful “we wish things were different” way.
Speaking of the show… apparently Hamilton the Musical as a whole is considered racist to some people. How? The show is the only one I can think of that stood for including many different kinds of ethnicities in one production. Seriously. I’ve never seen a show that is so inclusive of all actors from all ethnicities for the entire cast! Hamilton gave all kinds of actors a chance to be included. The show celebrates the creation of America by including a viewpoint of what America looks like today. How is that racist?
Is it because black people are playing slave owners? If that’s the case, then the point went completely over your head, my friend! Anyone could have played Jefferson. Anyone. So why isn’t Jefferson played by a white guy? Because, that is too common in modern media. There are soooo many movies about slavery that has the owner as a white guy, because yes, that’s what happened. Now, while this is historically accurate, there has been so many slavery stories in media that upon repeated viewings, the meaning of the message risks losing impact because today’s audience is so used to seeing the white guy owning the black guy.
HOWEVER, when we see the black guy owning someone of the same ethnicity, it visually solidifies the anti-slavery message in a new and impactful way. The whole point is when you see a black man playing Jefferson, you’re supposed to feel a disconnect. Jefferson owned slaves. But we see him as a black man being a slave owner. We are supposed to feel uncomfortable because we see that they are the same. The same. As in, THE SAME HUMAN RACE. By showing how ridiculous it is for a black man to own someone from his own ethnicity, we are given a new strong visualization of why slavery shouldn’t have happened in a way that has never been done before in recent year. In other words, IT’S VISUAL SYMBOLISM THAT SLAVERY IS WRONG BECAUSE WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS!
Also, how are people who like Hamilton racist? The Hamilton fandom has been so accepting of the diversity in the cast, it’s is mind blowing. I’ve seen people get angry because a black woman played Eponine in Les Mis. Or that a latino man portrayed The Phantom in an Andrew Lloyd Webber concert. But Hamilton? With every change to the cast, the fandom have been so supportive of diversity, regardless of who plays who. The show accepts anyone and everyone from every ethnicity and I fail to think of one other show that uses so much diversity. Hamilton has been accepted and celebrated by the majority of viewers because of this. And the fandom does wonders in showing broadway that diversity is something that should not be ignored, but celebrated.
• “You’re advocating slavery by liking this show.”
That doesn’t make any sense. The actors don’t own slaves. Lin-Manuel Miranda doesn’t own slaves. There is no part in the show where someone tells someone that people should be slave owners. Most people who like Hamilton and American History do not fantasize about owning other people. Slavery is in the long distant past for most of the modern world! THANK GOD.
Again, most people who like American History or Hamilton are well aware of the good and the bad these people inhibited. They don’t deny the awful things these real people did, but they don’t ignore the good acts either. The founding fathers were real people. We don’t advocate everything they did. And we don’t treat them like perfect beings. The end.
• “This actor supports an organization I don’t support, so they are evil and any show that uses them are evil too!”
I see this mindset all over Tumblr all the time. However, I’m starting to see it circulate within the same circles who keep harassing the Hamilton fandom. So forgive me for the tangent, but this needs to be addressed as well.
Here’s a hypothetical situation. You have a friend. A close friend. One that has been with you through thick and thin over many years. And you just find out that they support an organization that you don’t. Do you cut off that friendship because of that one fact? Most people wouldn’t, because that friendship is too important to them to risk losing.
This should apply to the things you like. When you like a show, movie, an actor, a writer, or anything- there is always going to be something about that thing that people or even yourself will not like. It is literallyimpossible to have someone who will have the exact same mindset as you. But everyone has a personal reason why they support or advocate something. It is not up to you to change that. Now, people’s opinions can change, and you can help shape other people… but most of the time, they will continue to live their own lives beyond your control. You can never really know someone inside and out. Don’t drop people just because you have a different viewpoint.
This applies to actors too. People are saying Lin is a horrible person because he donated to Autism Speaks. So was it a huge campaign? Did he ever say that Autism Speaks is the cure for Autism? Did he try to rally a bunch of people to donate to this organization? Actually no. He made one tweet talking about how he donated for a friend’s cause. And people fail to mention that this tweet was made over four years ago. That’s right. These people are using one tweet from OVER FOUR YEARS AGO as justification to harass an entire fandom. If you actually read the tweet, the post was more about supporting his friend than the organization itself. A lot of people donate to organizations for a friend’s need without really reading into the organization itself. You do realize that people can be unaware about these corporations, right? For crying out loud, my mom just learned the truth about PETA. And people are still acting like he’s a spokesman for Autism Speaks. Which obviously he’s not. He made one post from four years ago. Four years is a long time and people tend to change opinions in that span of time. Has he made another post about Autism Speaks? No. It’s just that one post, so it was most likely a one and done deal to support his friend. That’s hardly something to hold an eternal grudge over. Especially since it happened OVER FOUR YEARS AGO and he hasn’t made another post about it since!
The other reason why people hate Lin is because he used the N word once and “didn’t apologize.” Yet what people don’t reveal is he was quoting David Diggs for the Hamiltome audiobook. He was quoting David Diggs, the black actor who played Jefferson. It was a direct quote and Lin read it word for word as directed for the audio book. That’s it. It’s not like he uses the N word as a derogatory term in daily life. It was a one and done deal for a direct quote in an audiobook. There’s a difference between saying something out of your own accord and quoting someone, especially for an audiobook. Yes the quote was censored in the book, but when you have an audio book, it’s hard to edit a quote without an audio or visual context. In situations like this, the reader has to go by what the director wants. It’s not their choice what’s written or what they should say instead. They just read what’s given to them. That’s the job! If anything, y’all should have been mad that the director didn’t add a *beep* noise in the editing room.
What annoys me about the whole thing is that it takes one person to post something with exaggerated or misinformed content. And with Tumblr’s already “walking on eggshells” and “one strike, you’re out” mentality, it is ridiculously easy to get people to blindly hate, when most of those people won’t even check to see if that information is true! Or if it’s in the right context. People in general need to do their own research before spreading exaggerated or falsified information. It literally took me two minutes to look all this up. Do your own research before jumping to conclusions.
Getting back on track. My main point is this. With very very few exceptions, people (living or dead) are not gods or devils and shouldn’t be treated as such. They are humans with their own complicated problems that result in their own individual opinions and thought processes. We are not ignorant of the negative just because we enjoy the positive. We know people are going to make mistakes.They have made mistakes! They are going to do things you will not like. This is a fact that will never change no matter what. However, you can still like the positive things they do or did! It is not a crime to enjoy the positives of someone. That doesn’t mean you’re ignoring the negative. Appreciating a famous person (past or present) does NOT mean you support everything they do. So please just leave people alone!
In conclusion, American History enthusiasts and Hamilton the Musical fans DO NOT advocate everything that our founding fathers did.
I didn’t mean to turn you on - Cherrelle / rock steady - The Whispers / forget me nots - Patrice Rushen / Yuiko Tsukabora - tsukanoma yotogi bito/ Odyssey - Inside Out / get it up - The Time / you are in my system - The System / dress down - Kaoru Akimoto / circles - Atlantic Starr / nights (feel like getting down) - Billy Ocean / just a touch of love - Slave / bay city - Junko Yagami / I’m your baby tonight - Whitney Houston / somebody for me - Heavy D & The Boyz / you called and told me - Jeff Red / broken eyes - Mariko Tone / I can’t wait - Nu Shooz / every little step - Bobby Brown / Saturday love - Cherrelle