I often liken Donald Trump being elected into office to the scene in Saving Private Ryan where Captain John Millers (Tom Hanks) unit is bombed during the Omaha Beach battle sequence. Scored solely by the sounds of tinnitus, a disoriented Tom Hanks is shuttering, stumbling as he evaluates the blow his battalion just endured – some engulfed in flames, others scrounging to be reunited with dismembered body parts. Hanks’ is met face to face with one soldier yelling “what now sir?!” the deafening pitch comes to a crescendo and the soundtrack switches back to the persisting racket of gunfire. Hanks returns to the moment at hand, shouts an order, it’s relayed to the unit, and they march on.
I found myself in the same situation, except black and in America, not behind enemy lines, but with a government siding with the opposition that has determined my life does not matter. Now faced with my own heroes’ journey to triumph over an uncertain future – the system that I thought was meant to serve me blatantly, revealed that it never had my interests at heart.
The first words I heard from the now 22-year-old Iddris Sandu were around infrastructure; he famously likened the constitution to an operating system, where the technology is not biased, but it’s the people who write the algorithms, the people who dictate how the system functions, are the ones not creating with diversity in mind. As for the constitution, if our founding fathers owned slaves while writing “liberty and justice for all,” diversity has never been a priority. Iddris doesn’t often align his ideas directly with politics, but to be a young black male with visions to change the world you can’t help but politicize him.