“History has its eyes on you.” “You want a revolution? I want a revelation.” “Immigrants, we get the job done.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s inspiring “Hamilton” lyrics are rising up throughout this current political moment, appearing on countless protest signs all over the world. President Donald Trump’s executive order, barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations and indefinitely blocking entry for Syrian refugees, has caused outrage ― and Miranda’s words are becoming phrases of hope and justice. This has made his heart swell.
“I keep seeing ‘Immigrants, We Get The Job Done’ on placards at every march, at every protest. I can’t tell you what that does to me as a writer to see a line [I wrote]. And what it means for the conversation, in this moment in history,” Miranda told The Huffington Post over the phone on Thursday.
Miranda, who earned an Oscar nod for his songwriting work on Disney’s “Moana,” believes Trump’s ban is “deeply un-American,” saying it’s “against the fundamental freedom of religion in our constitution.” So he wants everyone to take this time to fight back, and his lyrics are yours for the protesting.
“There was an incredible protest sign that read ‘History Has Its Eyes On You’ and it had Carrie Fisher as Leia’s eyes over it, and I was so moved by the moment,” he said. “When you’re making something, you don’t control what happens [in response]. You can only control the thing you make. So to see it ripple back in that way, it’s very moving and very humbling.”
In a time when “Hamilton” is reigning on Broadway and Trump is leading the country, Miranda is focused on taking the necessary steps to make sure his words, his fellow artists’ words, and the words of future generations are heard, read and felt. He believes that the only way to keep our minds moving is to make sure we protect and support the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which Trump reportedly plans to defund.
“The importance of the NEA ― I can not tell you how many studies and findings find that arts lift up every other score in education,” he told HuffPost. “When you learn music, you use both hemispheres of your brain. It helps you with the math and it helps you with the arts. It’s so important that the arts have attention in our education. It certainly saved my life. I don’t know where I would be without the amazing arts education I got at a public school. I certainly wouldn’t be talking to you. So, we’re going to have to fight to protect it.”
As for his own national program, #EduHam, which allows public school students to see his Tony-winning musical “Hamilton” for just $10 (a Ham for a “Ham,” as Miranda explains it), the project will continue to give kids the opportunity to take in a historic cultural moment.
“We raised the money for #EduHam ourselves, that’s going to go on,” Miranda said, “that’s not getting affected by anyone who’s in charge in the government.”