(Opinion/Raj Banerjee) We’re living in historic times. And today is as good a time as any, to come together in solidarity as we make even more history, while there’s some to be made.
My own political persuasions are well known by those that know me well . For the most part, I try to keep them off any public forum; in my opinion, one’s politics is personal business, unless it is one’s business to air their political opinion; it would be remiss of me not to mention that nothing’s about to change on this front any time soon.
Today however, I feel duty-bound to appeal to our better senses; irrespective of which side of the political divide we’re on let us cast our aspersions aside and recognise that we’re on the cusp of a momentous shift in international relations. A culmination of unexpected and unbelievable events has finally resulted in a most unlikely meeting of clashing personalities, with the most serious implications, while an eager world keeps watch stimulated by the promise of peace no one saw coming, one that surely calls on us to pause all our own respective score keeping of micro-aggressions, even if it’s just for as long as it takes us to think up new virtues to signal – and then put them aside for another day; something bigger than all of us is afoot here. The promise of peace might still be some ways away, but we’ve undoubtedly taken a step in the right direction, a step that took 65 years to take, and if not for anything else, then for this step alone let us come together and collectively will it to fruition.
I understand that the jury is still out on all of my above claims: this deal has too many moving parts. But if I may take one liberty amidst the entire furore this day has wrought, I implore us to throw some recognition and respect Dennis Rodman’s way. The man is a visionary: a lone believer in a world full of sceptics, who has faced nothing but persecution for the better part of a decade. He’s been roundly vilified by the press, had his mental fitness questioned by the media, been humiliated by the Hollywood elite, and derided by everyone else for all manner of reasons – all for trying to broker peace between the two technically-warring nations.
Once a multiple time NBA champion(including a rare 3-peat) with perhaps the greatest basketball team of all time consisting of himself, Scottie Pippen and ‘His Airness’ Michael Jordan at the fore, Rodman has faced routine slander and denigration in all aspects of his life, mainly for his politics. Granted, he hasn’t made his own life any easier, what with the lifestyle and all the excesses that came with it: but that being said, no man deserves the kind of treatment meted out to him by an increasingly intolerant, openly left-leaning media which took its direction from a clearly sceptical, if not hostile, Obama administration (an overcome-with-emotion Rodman said as much earlier today) that rejected his lobbying efforts.
Like the true defensive Great he was during his time with the Chicago Bulls at the height of the NBA in the 90s, and prior to that as one of the Bad Boy Pistons of Detroit, Dennis Rodman gave no quarter, even off the court. Though his life was falling apart, Rodman would not break and toe the popular line. The media highlighted his eccentricities, his inevitable bankruptcy, the ill-advised Hollywood career and failed marriages in a sustained attack spanning a decade, that betrays an obvious ulterior motive, to put it plainly – a witch hunt. Yet, Rodman remained unwavering in his convictions.
Today, as the world watched on with bated breath all the goings-on in Singapore in real time, Dennis Rodman shed real tears of joy. His voice shook as he bathed in vindication, and in the realisation that he’d now truly transcended sports, the NBA and celebrity forever, to attain what is no doubt a salvation of sorts (brokering world peace is no mean feat). For the first time in a long time, Rodman looked every inch of his 6’7 inches, chest out with pride at having lived life the only way he knew how – by giving no quarter; his red MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN cap might as well have read MVP.
As opined by Raj Banerjee.
Mr. Banerjee is an international politics enthusiast and holds a Master in Journalism degree from UNSW, Sydney.