FSM Oped: Was “Hamilton” Actor Who Lectured Pence Acting?

December 7th, 2016
On November 18th, following his performance in the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” Brandon Victor Dixon chose to lecture a member of the audience preparing to leave-Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Dixon’s lecture focused on social justice concerns being honored by the incoming Donald Trump Administration.

 

While Dixon took advantage of his theatrical soap box to deliver his lecture-effectively invading Pence’s “safe space” after the future vice president had endured a grueling campaign-gaining his fifteen minutes-plus of fame, the question now arises whether Dixon even had standing to do so.

 

Following curtain calls, Dixon, while remaining courteous, asked the newly elected vice president to hear him out. In what was clearly a scripted effort, Dixon then read the following:

 

“We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf all of us.”

(Dixon’s claim of a “diverse America” is somewhat ironic in view of its all black and Latino musical cast-the result of calls for non-white performers possibly made in violation of New York City Human Rights laws.)

 

Pence graciously and attentively heard Dixon out before departing.

 

The next day, Dixon quickly defended his actions, claiminghe and the cast wanted to “stand up and spread a message of love and of unity.” While his remarks would, perhaps, have been more appropriately directed at the administration still in office, Dixon never felt a need to do so.

 

So concerned was Dixon about expressing his fears, he felt further compelled to appear on “The View”-a television program famously known for being anti-Trump. He also suggested he and the cast have “nothing to apologize for” in targeting Pence with his remarks.

 

Perhaps relishing in the attention it was he who was given the opportunity to deliver comments on behalf of the entire cast, it now appears that cast may well have selected an inappropriate spokesman to do so.

 

As today’s young people are learning, albeit sometimes too late, social media has a way of coming back to haunt its users.  Such is the case with Dixon. While the performer professed his pride in standing up and spreading his message of love and unity, his tweets of recent years fail to convey the same message. It appears he does, indeed, now have something to apologize for.

 

In a 2012 tweet, Dixon made reference to a “jump off”-a term meaning a casual sexual encounter. The words appear in a tweet Dixon received and then forwarded in the aftermath of the killing of Trayvon Martin, “‘4 every racist comment I get about Trayvon Im going 2 turn 1 white married suburban housewife & mother n2 a jump off'” The. Best.”

 

In a St. Patty’s Day comment, he said, “St. Patty’s day weekend is like Christmas for black dudes who like white chicks. Happy holidays boys.”

 

In 2013, the exchange below occurred.

 

A woman commented, “Remember when NFL players would just play the game, bang mad ho’s, and collect their checks? Guess that’s not enough anymore.”

To this, Dixon responded, “the problem is ho’s aren’t what they used to be. If ho game would step up, cats wouldn’t get distracted.”

 

The image Dixon sought to project by publicly lecturing Pence certainly was not the same he privately projects.

 

As one critic observes, this contrast in persona “…reeks of phoniness. That’s one of the dangers of celebrities who use social media, many of us have multiple sides to our personality, and there are unintended consequences to angry, divisive language. It can cost you the moral high ground, and make you look like an oblivious, self-aggrandizing hypocrite.”

 

Based on Dixon’s callousness in his freely-made private tweets years earlier, one could well believe he was simply “acting” in directing his supposed social justice fears at Pence. It has, at least on this issue, cost him the moral high ground.

Perhaps the one now in need of a lecture is Dixon. The lesson he needs to heed is, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!”

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