Our New ‘American Gods’: A Celebration of Immigrants in the Face of Trumpism

Haven’t read the book or watched the show but this interview with the creator, Neil Gaiman, is particularly relevant to current times:

To assert these stories as quintessentially American—to acknowledge the global melting pot of cultures, faiths, and trauma that defines America—is something Gaiman, himself an English immigrant, never fathomed as controversial when the book was first published in 2001. “I never got shit for it then,” he says plainly.

Today, unfortunately, it is. Anti-immigrant sentiment fuels many of the current administration’s policies. Verbal attacks and heightened xenophobia have given way todeadly violence. Promises of border walls, deportations, and eliminating “filth” have instilled debilitating fear in immigrant communities.

“I wish the world hadn’t gone mad,” Gaiman sighs.

“It’s sort of like, we took this weird lurch to the right in which fringe Nazi beliefs are now just the right-wing,” he laments, hunched over a table inside a hotel room in New York. “Like, no. No. You guys used to be over there, hung against the wall, dressing up in your fucking sheets. You’re not meant to be in the White House. You’re not meant to be going, ‘We are the rational middle.’”

Imitating Press Secretary Sean Spicer claiming Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” and Trump supporter Carl Higbie citing World War II-era internment camps as “precedent” for an immigrant registry, Gaiman mock-whines: “Obviously we’re not reallyNazis because we don’t actually want to send anybody to camps—well, we might but there won’t be showers and they’re not gonna gas people!”

American Gods is anchored in the odyssey of an ex-con named Shadow (Ricky Whittle), who takes a job as servant and accomplice to a mysterious god named Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) after discovering his wife has died in a car accident. It wasn’t exactly intended as a direct response to current events, as co-creators Fuller and Green explain.

“When we first started talking about doing this [show] two and a half years ago, the immigrant stories were always the emotional foundation because everyone could get on board with immigrant stories,” says Green. “Now, representing immigrant stories has become a political act. And that’s fascinating in a very dark way.”

“We are living in a political climate where hate has been pushed out of many Americans and it’s what we see first before we see the color of their eyes,” laments Fuller. “And that is a great travesty that this administration has inflicted on the country.”

Source: Our New ‘American Gods’: A Celebration of Immigrants in the Face of Trumpism

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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