– A subway scribble –
A simple subway ride is enough to tell a non-American like me a little bit about why Donald Trump will never be the President of the United States of America. Some might say I’m being unreasonable, saying something like this, especially on a day when Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump will be the presumptive GOP nominee, but if you are in America just pause and look around you and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
This morning as I rushed through the crowded escalators trying to catch the metro that was already on the platform, a Latin American man dragged his suitcase into the same train compartment that I got into. Gui Boratto playing on my iphone I tried to match people’s random movements in the train to the beats of my song. That’s when I noticed the man with the suitcase again, looking very lost. His suitcase kept falling, as though dancing to my Boratto track. He struggled to hold it with one hand and with the other hand clutched on to a crumpled paper, as he strained his neck around the pole to read the metro map. Another man as blonde and as white as Trump made his way to this Latino guy and started explaining something to him. He then pulled out a piece of paper and drew what seemed like a map from a distance. I like to eavesdrop on interesting conversations in public spaces so I unplugged my earphones. The blonde man was asking him if he was new in town. “It’s my 2nd day in the U.S”, said the Latino. I thought to myself, is he one of those for who Trump wants to build a wall but the blondie was oblivious to my thoughts thankfully. He offered to get off with the Latino guy at the next station only to explain to him the way to his destination and to my surprise he did. The man will probably board the next train but at 9 am on a Tuesday when all you want is to get to work on time this seemed like a Mother Teresa act to me. There was more of this philanthropy in store for me the very same day.
Later that day –
It is 8 pm now and I am standing next to a rabbi and a girl who is with him. Suddenly an African American man who smells of alcohol gets up from his seat and deliberately elbows the girl. I am standing with my backpack touching this girls shoulder, that’s how cramped it is. This man doesn’t stop at that. He now starts saying some random things to the girl. I turn off my music to listen. She looks very uncomfortable and is trying to move away but there is no place to move. That’s when another African American man standing on the opposite side of the train compartment makes his way towards us through the crowd. He comes right next to us, pushes this other man away and stands right between the girl and the man who elbowed her. He doesn’t say a word, just stands there like a wall between her and the man until her stop comes. Before she leaves she smiles and thanks him. I plug my earphones and get back to my twitter feed — “#Trump wins #IndianaPrimaries”.
I know you are probably thinking that the subway stories sound too simplistic and not representative of an entire nation and what about Freddie Gray, Michael Brown and Eric Garner? Yes, all that does exist in America but this exists as well. And lets hope as always the good trumps the bad.