There is a terrible fact Americans have to face in 2017. It’s that our next President, Donald J. Trump, was elected by running a successful campaign of fearmongering, finger pointing and hate speech. This was unlike any campaign in recent memory and evokes a throw back to black segregation and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2.
We now face four years with a President that has no experience in politics, has little regard to foreign etiquette, and believes Russia to be a misunderstood ally of America.
Regardless if you voted for him or not, Americans must look at themselves and admit that we as a country allowed a pussy grabbing, misogynist, xenophobe to run this country.
From the moment his campaign began calling Mexicans rapist and saying he was going to get Mexico to build a wall all the way through to suggesting Muslim’s should be put onto a registry; we as Americans didn’t do enough to stop this man from winning the highest position in the country.
I blame the media for a lot of this. They saw ratings improve when talking about Trump and so they bent the rules allowing him to phone in his comments daily to news programs. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson and the over a dozen other Republican candidates certainly weren’t allowed to phone in their responses.
More importantly though the media never called Trump out on his hate speech, they never called him on his lies. They didn’t block him, they didn’t ignore him, they didn’t criticize him. All the while he continued to make outlandish statements about ethnic minorities.
Now many liberals and moderates feel their voices weren’t heard in the last election and they aren’t sure where to turn to. Many are afraid that the rights they so diligently worked to gain over the past several decades will now be undone.
Meryl Streep’s amazing speech at the Golden Globe awards this week hits home at the bewilderment many of us are feeling as Trump takes his position in the White House.
Streep is quoted saying: “You and all of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Hollywood, foreigners, and the press.” Streep then went on to list major actors in the room and what their originating country was and continued by saying: “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. If you kick ‘em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts.”
As great a speech as Streep gave it still didn’t point the finger firmly back at Hollywood itself. Entertainment and the media should have a mandate now to produce enlightened and pointent films about the lives and struggles of those minorities Trump names as bad Americans.
In my research for this article, I came upon a unique Kickstarter that seeks to enlighten and educate a fractured American audience. Fear is a movie being produced by Peter Jang. It is about Islamophobia, Bullying and PTSD in America right now.
It’s a fictional drama that tells three concurrent, intertwined stories of an American combat veteran suffering from PTSD, his grief-stricken Muslim-American godfather who lost his son in the war and a bullied teen being led down a dark and serious path towards terrorism.
The movie navigates the rocky terrain of intolerance, misunderstanding and fear in a small Midwest town gripped with Islamophobia.
I spoke to Peter Jang and he was kind enough to provide me with the script for review. The script had already garnered significant praise as it earned a spot in the 2nd round of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab.
Mr. Jang explained to me his motivation behind writing the script for Fear. He said quote “We are living in a scary time. People all over the world have given in to extremism, blaming all other groups for their radical behaviors. Caught up in demonizing each other, people are trapped in comfort zones of information, perpetuating an endless cycle of prejudice. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice, and more people choose it now than ever before. My goal as a storyteller is to challenge audiences to step out of their informational safeguards and foster empathy through understanding.”
With this film, Jang said he hopes to humanize the struggle of Muslim-Americans, capture the harsh realities of PTSD, show the consequences of ignorance, and inspire understanding and compassion for all.
Americans are constantly surrounded by politicians and celebrities demonizing Islam because of extremists who pervert its teachings. This film serves as a warning of what is to come if we allow fear to infect the way we treat each other.
Extremism has no place in the world. As we move forward, we must understand that life resides on a spectrum, and peace can only be a result of compromise and understanding. As the French proverb reads “To know all is to forgive all”
This is certainly one Kickstarter I can absolutely recommend and the link is in the description below. Hollywood needs to produce more scripts like this in order to combat the rise of xenophobia being experienced in the country today. How do we get through to people who are demonizing minorities? The only way we can combat hate is to come together as a community of love.