Why Hamilton is the New Shakespeare
Written by Kaixin
In light of the events of 2020, university campuses all over the country are calling for a change to the common core – to replace Shakespeare with Hamilton: the musical within the cannon! This ever important piece of historical theatre touches on several important issues that have rooted themselves into the conflicts we see on television. Controversial issues such as the responses to the coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter movement have allowed the message in Hamilton to become relevant, educational and ultimately: American.
With 2020 came COVID-19 and with that came the splendid response of world leaders. President Trump has repeatedly assured the public of the magnitude of the US response with reassuring quotes like “We have it totally under control” and “We’re prepared and we’re doing a great job with it.”
These words of reassurance and encouragement put Americans at ease despite the fact that corona virus cases have risen above 3.5 million. The Trump White House has repeatedly belittled the virus by likening to the flu or dismissed the threat of it altogether.
One White House correspondent even went so far as to say, “The New York Times may report 140,000 deaths, but we know that is fake news because the CDC hasn’t even made that many coronavirus test kits.” From this piece of evidence, it is obvious that the death toll is greatly misguided and exaggerated in the media. The New York Times especially cannot be trusted.
This brings us happily back to Hamilton. George Washington warns Hamilton in song that History Has Its Eyes On You. The US response to corona, led by the self-proclaimed scientist/president Trump, will be analyzed by historians in years to come, will it be remembered for its intricate planning and execution?
The Black Lives Matter movement also became more widely known in 2020 after the unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. Hamilton touches on these issues of racism and other related issues with lines in songs like “we’ll never be free until we end slavery.”
Yet some Americans believe the movement suppresses other races. An outspoken 45-year old white woman named Karen Smith who resides in Nashville said on Fox News, “Why is Black Lives Matter such a big movement? It is racist to just call out one race and not care about all the other races. All lives matter, not just black ones. America has done so much for black people with the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement and what not. Ya’ll need to chill on the looting. The police have the right to arrest and tear gas these awful criminals.”
Clearly, a growing number of Americans believe that Black Lives Matter makes us all forget the real truth of our times, that: All Lives Matter. Black people have been treated with nothing but respect since the end of the Civil War. They got their freedom! They have nothing to complain about. Right?