I toddled on over to Disney Springs last Sunday to watch a movie of the Broadway Musical “Allegiance”. The press release for the musical reads: ‘The musical was inspired by the true life experience of its star George Takei. Allegiance follows one Japanese-American family’s extraordinary journey in this untold American story. Their loyalty was questioned, their freedom taken away, but their spirit could never be broken. The Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor.
Sam Kimura seeks to prove his patriotism by fighting for his country in the war, but his sister, Kei, fiercely protests the government’s treatment of her people. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, Allegiance follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves. Legendary performer George Takei- (Star Trek, “Heroes”), who was himself an internee as a child, stars alongside Tony winner Lea Salonga- (Miss Saigon, Mulan) in this enthralling and epic new musical. As long-lost memories are unlocked, Sam finds that it is never too late to forgive and to recognize the redemptive power of love. Rejoice in one family’s triumphant story of hope, love, and forgiveness.’
The production was fabulous and it astonishes me that the musical had such a short run on Broadway. Allegiance was seen at The Longacre Theater by 120,000 when it ended it’s run. You might note the same number of people saw the show as were interred during the Second World War. That is a curious fact. Maybe its short run was due to our society not being ready to witness a musical that lifts up our inhumanity to other human beings? Maybe the short run was due to our unwillingness to face our prejudices? Maybe the show closed because the subject matter hits too close to our present assault on minority populations in our country. Maybe audiences didn’t want to witness how fear nudges us to do hurtful things to others?
Our Country is being led by a President who has been stoking our fears. He has been waging the 3M war since he began his campaign. We have been led to believe that we need to fear, Mexicans,
Muslims and the Media. I imagine The President believes if we have sufficient fear of these three groups he will be able to build a wall to keep them out,
ban them from flying into our country and prevent them from speaking negatively about him. This is a very frightening agenda by our elected leader. This agenda leads easily to an authoritarian rule and the dissolution of our Democracy.
While I was writing this article The President added another minority for us to fear. He removed protections for transgender folks. I don’t know what to call the war now. Maybe, MMTM War. I’m afraid the name today, doesn’t matter. I have no doubt the name will change as the war continues. Who is next on the list of people we should fear? There has been a bit of a statement against anti-Semitism by the President. However, the folks he has surrounded himself with do not support those few words. So, who might be next for us to hat, how about labor union leaders? Maybe, clergy who do not support The President will find their way onto the list. I imagine University Presidents who oppose the current Executive actions could quickly be added.
My hope is that we stop removing protections from minorities in time to prevent a repeat of the Japanese interments so some new group of Americans do not have to fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves.
I’m sorry I cannot find humor in this discussion. The language I am hearing from the White House is so frightening that I am unable to laugh. Bill Mahr said something to the effect that after laughing about the actions of the President you realize this is the guy driving the train. Then it isn’t funny anymore.