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To Speak or Not to Speak Introduction Since we were children, we heard our parents tell us “there is a time and place for everything,” especially when we pick the wrong moment to speak out. As children, we did not always understand the kairos of a situation. The cast and crew of Hamilton: An American Musical took the opportunity to give a speech to the Vice-President elect at the time, Mike Pence after the curtain call of a perfor- mance. This speech took
    To Speak or Not to Speak Introduction Since we were children, we heard our parents tell us “ there is a time and  place for everything,”  especially when we pick the wrong moment to speak out. As children, we did not always understand the kairos of a situation. The cast and crew of  Hamilton: An American Musical   took the opportunity to give a speech to the Vice-President elect at the time, Mike Pence after the curtain call of a perfor-mance. This speech took place ten days after the 2016 election when many citi-zens of the country felt the fear that Brandon Dixon voiced during the speech as his fellow cast and crew members united in a line behind him, holding strong by linking arms. Dixon and the other cast members spoke for citizens who remained hurt, scared, and confused in the post-election days. This group took full ad-vantage of the timing to showcase their united voice for the average citizen who felt this way. But was this speech successful with the goal to reach out and voice these concerns? Background and Context  Hamilton  shares the stories of our founding fathers and not always in the  best of lights, but ultimately we see that their stories are much like our own today and no one was perfect. The men we are taught to idealize are far from the per-fected characters written in our history books. While some of the musical is fic-tionalized such as the races of the characters themselves, much of the history is true. The musical cast itself is made up of very unlikely people to play characters such as President Washington and President Jefferson who are both played by  people of color which is very far from the history we know. The goal of this musi-cal is to unite people and show the diversity which our country is very much made up of today.  Hamilton  helps establish an ongoing need to unite citizens on the United States as well as understand and accept anyone for their imperfections. The whole cast and crew stayed united, standing on the stage together as a human wall during the speech, some looking more nervous than others. A few look extremely uncomfortable, but they continue to stand. The audience in the theater stays silent as the speech was recited. The silence allows everyone who is recording the speech, which Dixon tells the audience “ to pull out [their] phones and tweet and post because this message needs to be spread ”  to do so. Dixon uti-lizes the use of social media in our current society to spread the  Hamilton  group ’ s message, knowing that some if not most people would willingly record and share the video since our society posts about everything. The speech was received far and wide because of the political issues and is still relevant for today as well. The same alarm and anxiety remains among a    large portion of the country especially on the issues of DACA and idea of build-ing a wall that Donald Trump has promised since the beginning of his campaign. But this speech is not only relevant to our country alone, it is relevant all over the world at our day and age currently. By giving this speech, not only was the ad-ministration reached, but those who felt this way all over finally found someone to speak for them. While some of the political figures on the administrations took this gracefully, others took to Twitter to post their responses. The aftermath of the speech was picked up by the media as well as re-sponded to directly by President elect, Donald Trump, who quickly took to Twit-ter and tweeted that night how the cast of the show “ was very rude ”  with their speech (Trump). President elect Trump wanted the cast and crew to apologize, stating that it was harassment on  Hamilton ’ s end. Brandon Dixon simply replied with a tweet stating, “ conversation is not harassment sir  ”  (Dixon). The Vice Presi-dent stated in an interview that he was not offended by this speech, and reminded his children “that’s  what freedom sounds like”  (Wang). Pence also addressed the fact that the time period was ”a  very anxious time for some  people”  (Wang). Pence and Trump had very different views of the situation. Some have the opinion that the speech was a mistake, others realize that everyone will “ rise and [will] fall...and our mistakes ”  whether or not a majority of people agree with these events but society just has to wait for the outcome (Miranda). The  Hamilton  group took their own advice from their songs to “ get the job done ”  with this statement (Miranda). Whether or not the timing was perfect, the overall purpose of this speech was met. Analysis Brandon Dixon portrays our third Vice President, Aaron Burr, in the show and spoke to Vice President elect, Mike Pence. Any other cast member could have spoken, but the impact by having a person playing a Vice President speak to Vice President elect Pence was clearly planned to make a statement with that it-self by uniting those two persons in this occasion. Vice President elect Pence stood and listened to the speech without complaint, taking in every word Dixon had to offer from the statement. The occasion is a specific night that was not a typical night at the theatre with Pence in the audience, it must be taken advantage of in the moment, or so the cast and crew of  Hamilton  thought. The  Hamilton  group took it upon themselves to voice the concerns of their fellow citizens to the newly appointed administration and did so fairly. Dixon starts his speech with appreciation to everyone in the audience for attending, but specifically to a special “ guest in the audience [that] evening.”  Without even directly stating Vice President Pence ’ s name, most of the audience was aware who Dixon referred to when the heads turned to the man walking out of the side doors. Dixon quickly shut down some of other  ’ s attending when they  began to boo by saying that “we’ re all here sharing a story of love. ”  Dixon ’ s    words reinforce the ultimate goal of the show from the very beginning by uniting “ all of us ”  in a global effort to fight against discrimination and racial tensions. Throughout the speech, Dixon continues to use unifying diction to unite not only the cast and crew of the show, but the voice of his fellow citizens who feel the same way. Dixon is able to unite everyone that has these fears about this administration by using these words. In the same way that Dixon unites with those he voices for, he creates a disconnect between himself and the newly appointed administration when he states the alarm and worries about that “[Trump’ s] new administration will not protect ”  the everyday citizens and their families. The hope for the cast and crew of the show is that political leaders, not only the new admin-istration, remember “ and uphold our inalienable rights ”  as well as the values of our country set up so long ago (Dixon). Throughout the speech, Dixon does use the unifying diction as well as the continuous use of “ you ”  and “ your  ”  when di-rectly speaking to Pence. The literal and implied disconnection is created by using this specific diction between the different views of the administration and its sup- porters and everyone else, which are also clearly the recipients of this speech. The speech ends with Dixon and the cast thanking Pence for coming to see the show, and acknowledging the rest of the audience by thanking everyone for attending that night. Dixon ends with addressing the people who can and saw the “ wonderful American story told by a diverse group. ”  He yet again addresses and strings the idea of diversity and unity throughout the speech from beginning to end. This reinforces the idea that America is not made up of one group or one be-lief system, but many groups and belief systems. Dixon successfully relays these feelings through his speech. Conclusion While many argue that the speech was ill timed, when else would this speech be able to take place? The timing was a perfect opportunity as they made the theatre “ the room where it [happened] ”  (Miranda) that night, and the  Hamilton  group knew that, they took advantage of knowing that their voices could be heard “ far and wide ”  (Dixon). Many throughout the country felt and still feel the way that Dixon was able to portray in his speech to Vice President Pence. Dixon was able to give a voice to the silent and hidden behind others. The fight to be heard  by the administration continues by a portion of the country as more and more be-come fearful with current political issues. As the issues increase, we need to re-member exactly what America is made up of today and not just in it ’ s early days. Our country is made up of “ different colors, creeds, and orientations ”  (Dixon). Sometimes we need to remember that “ united we stand, divided we fall ”  as our country continues to grow and morph into the new century with different societal thinking and our individual thinking (Dickson). This short and succinct speech reached the ears of thousands and voiced for millions during an opportunity that very few people have obtained, even if it was not the perfect moment. But what    moment is ever perfect when it comes to real life? Dixon spoke for those who have little voice in the chaotic world we live in and deserve to be heard. If people followed Dixon’s  lead, maybe more of the citizens voices would be heard rather than overpowered by the politicians. Works Cited Brinlee, Morgan. “ Transcript Of '  Hamilton ' Cast's Statement To Mike Pence Doesn't Read Like ‘ Very Rude ’   Harassment.”  Bustle, Bustle, 19 Nov.
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