Trump and the Oscars

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

It started in America. Large segments of the American population have taken Donald Trump to task for proposing to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Then Britain followed, with the British Parliament debating on whether or not to bar Trump himself from setting foot on British soil on account of what he said about the Muslims.

First of all, the United States and Britain are the acknowledged leading lights of democracy in the world. They are so resolute about defending democracy, and all the freedoms inshrined therein, that they would not hesitate to go to war in its defense. And yet, instead of rising up to defend Trump to the death for exercising his right to speak freely, even if they did not agree with what he said, they are now doing everything to silence him and restrict his free movement.

What is happening is that hypocrisy is taking over the civilized world. In their desire to project political correctness and pretend they are aggrieved by the words of one man, they lose sight of the fact that, for all his verbosity, Trump has not actually done anything that would in anyway ban Muslims from entering the USA. Trump is just talking his head off. There is nothing that he can do to ban Muslims even if he wanted to.

To do that, Trump must first get himself elected. But he is not yet even a candidate. He is just an aspirant seeking the nomination of the Republican Party to be its bet for president. And yet, the way the Americans and Brits are reacting, it is as if Trump has already signed an edict to set in motion his own way of dealing with what he believes is a threat to American security. But that is what happens when hypocrisy takes over. The mind loses its sense of what is true and real.

The alarming thing about it is that it is not only happening in politics. It is happening in the world of entertainment as well. Soon after the Oscar nominees were announced and it was noted that no blacks were in the list, rumblings of discord began to be heard. Charges of racism rent the air. Black artists began to move for a boycott of the awards.

Over the years, the world outside Hollywood was made to believe that the Oscars was about excellence in the craft of moviemaking. Those who saw the awards in that light never put to question the presence or lack of skin color. When excellence reigns, skin color can never rise up to distract its luminescence. But when people begin to inject color into the proceedings, the whole process of challenging the craft for heights of excellence loses reason and meaning.

Are we then to accept excellence in the Oscars only when blacks are included in the nominations and to reject it when none are included? Making it even worse is the effect of this ridiculous charge of racism on those blacks who have previously been nominated or actually won awards. Are we then to view their awards, which we honestly accepted as recognitions for true excellence, as mere tokens given to avoid rocking the boat and not be charged with racism?

Racism is a bad thing. It is worse when used as an excuse to cover for mediocrity or even to hide crime. One black singer, at another awards night, legendarily accused America of having more black men in prison than at any time in its history. Maybe it is true there are more blacks in prison. But did the singer consider that maybe it is not because they are black that they are in prison but because they have committed crimes?

If you do not like Trump and hate him for what he has been saying, then do not vote him into office. But America and the UK sure do look awkward punishing him from exercising his right to free speech. As for racism, would an all-black Oscars and an all-white US prison population change its meaning? With a little hypocrisy, maybe it will.

[email protected].

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with