It is a title I loathe to use, but it is the way I feel that I must address you in this letter.
America is the land of immigrants. Most, if not all of us (yourself included), can trace our family trees back to another country to at some point in history.
Jakelin Caal wanted to come to this country like many of our ancestors did, for opportunities and freedoms that did not exist in her birth country of Guatemala. If your immigration policy were human and moral instead of inhuman and immoral, this girl would be alive. Instead, she is dead and her blood is on your hands.
I completely understand the need for safe borders. We should not be letting into this country anyone who wants to come in. But, at the same time, if we close the borders or only let in those who fit into our narrow little world, we have thrown away the vision of America that goes against everything that this country stands for.
Any working parent will tell you that finding quality childcare is hard to find. Especially if you are royalty and at least one of your children will one day wear the crown that lies on your head.
In 2016, Karen Harper published The Royal Nanny: A Novel. The book is based on the true story of Charlotte Bill, who was the nanny to the children of King George V and Queen Mary from the late 1890’s to the end of World War I. While Charlotte was responsible for all of the children(who referred to her as Lala), she took extra responsibility for Prince John, the youngest of the King and Queen’s six children. The young prince needed extra love and attention, a task that Lala took on with everything she had.
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it because it was written and it shows that despite wealth and power, those who bear the title of King or Queen are still human beings. Their children still face the same obstacles that we all face as children, regardless where their family is placed on the social scale.
The best writers have the ability to take a basic narrative with basic characters and elevate those elements into a story that the audience or reader is able to hook into easily.
The Sound of Music premiered on Broadway in 1959. It is based on the true story of Maria von Trapp, a young woman in Austria who takes a job as a governess before deciding if she will join the nunnery that she has called home. As she turns the hearts of the children under her care, she also turns the heart of their widower father. World War II is on the horizon and the family must make a choice. Stay and support the Nazis or leave with only the clothes on their backs. In the end, they escape with almost nothing except with the knowledge that they are not silently standing by and approving of the new regime.
Recently, LaGuardia High School (otherwise known as the real life New York City High School that Fame is based on) decided to put on a production of The Sound of Music. During the rehearsal process, school administrators decided to downplay the historical facts of play by removing the swastikas from the production.
While I understand where the administrators were coming from, I disagree with their decision. Rodgers and Hammerstein did not just write love stories. Their stories are about issues that we as a society have to deal with. In Sound of Music, the issue is do you follow your conscious and leave everything/everyone that you know and love or do you silently sit back while something that you disagree with continues on?
From my perspective, The Sound of Music is the perfect musical to put on in this political climate. Not just because it is one of the greatest musicals of all time, but it reminds all of us of the power of standing up for what is right, even when no one else is.