Trumpism and the Steelpan Community - Intended Consequences: The Hate that Hate Produces

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Dr. Takekawa was told by a former student
“It’s about time for you to ‘clean’ because you are Asian. Look at the other Asian janitors at school”

Global -  On Tuesday November 9th,  Donald Trump became president of the United States of America, and simultaneously the scourges from the dark recesses of every cesspool in America, and around the world, rose to the top. Acts of public celebration, proclamations of liberation and affirmation of all that is wrong, seem to automatically become the norm for the future. The Long Winter is here, it has begun, it is real and it is going global.

The steelpan music, culture and life has been something that resounds deeply within the followers of the art form as being much more than an instrument. Moreover, there was a certain level of basic decency, values and respect that was expected of each other.

This year When Steel Talks spotlighted educator, performing artist and panist Dr. Miho Takekawa during our annual Celebration of Women and the Steelpan Art Form. In a recent social media post Dr. Takekawa spoke of an incident she experienced that highlighted the changing climate and potential for a new low in human civility that ‘Trumpism’ has ushered in.

Dr. Takekawa was told by one of her former students “It’s about time for you to clean because you are Asian. Look at the other Asian janitors at school.”  See full text of Dr. Takekawa’s post, following:

I can't vote. I have a permanent resident card that allows me to work and live in US. I really appreciate what US has done for me, not only having a job at a wonderful University, but also I have great/open-minded friends and communities that I can truly trust. I'm grateful and thankful for that. However, in the past I was yelled at during dinner by friend's friend why I steal talented American people's jobs. One day when I was cleaning my percussion studio, a former student of mine said "it's about time for you to clean because you are Asian. Look at the other Asian janitors at school". This list goes on and on. I do have a thick skin and learned how to deal with uncontrollably issues but it still hurt so so much. I was very upset but decided to educate myself to find out the root of problems why they think and speak that way. It's been surely helpful. I don't want my immigrant friends and their kids to experience what I've gone through. We together can stop negativity. If you haven't voted, please do so. Please voice my voice. Love changes the world. Dr. Miho Takekawa

Let's be clear - not even Trump can take credit for being the original of his brand of intolerance, hate and fear-mongering. Trumpism is an accepted cancer that has been deeply embedded into the fabric of the American experience. He is, however, the latest to have received wide support by simply stoking the flames and having the soot and embers rise to the top in broad daylight. This brew of ugliness was always there bubbling.  Unleashed, America will be tinkering with joining the likes of Nazi Germany, Imperial Rome, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other nations, or even recent eras in American history.

The recent conversations and social media posts of many panists continue to be centered around that of terror, despair and hopelessness. But clearly not all...

Dr. Miho Takekawa working with group
Dr. Miho Takekawa working with group

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