‘Sikh Captain America’ takes on hate, intolerance and Donald Trump
Donald Trump wants to make America great again but ‘Sikh Captain America’ feels the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is making America hate again.world Updated: May 09, 2016 20:10 IST
Donald Trump wants to make America great again but ‘Sikh Captain America’ feels the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is making America hate again.
“Donald Trump has certainly been a candidate whose words have been alarming for someone like me, who happens to be at the front lines of bigotry in post-9/11 America,” said Vishavjit Singh, a Washington-born Sikh artist-activist in his mid-40s who occasionally transforms into ‘Sikh Captain America’.
Singh, who is a political cartoonist, on occasions transforms into ‘Sikh Captain America’, a costumed soldier with a turban who fights bigotry and champions cultural understanding through public appearances and talks.
As the film “Captain America: Civil War” plays at theatres, Singh drew a stark contrast between Trump and Captain America’s alter ego, Steve Rogers -- two iconic New York characters born in the 1940s.
“Captain America as a character would stand in complete opposition to Donald Trump and his candidacy. Today, besides ISIS, the festering of extreme right-wing and supremacist forces at home will be targets for Captain America’s wrath,” he was quoted as saying by the Washington Post.
The artist also creates cartoon campaigns, such as the ‘Send Sikh Note To Trump’ postcard campaign, in which he and some of his fans send Trump a postcard every day “with a message focused on processing our anger inspired by his jingoistic madness into small kernels of humour and compassion.”
“He might be full of himself, overstuffed with his achievements with a towering skyscraper of an ego, but even deep inside him resides seeds of benevolence,” Singh said. “I wish him well; I wish him compassion; I wish him to realise the violence of his words; I wish him a landslide loss in the elections for his own good,” he said.
Captain America was born in New York during World War II, from the minds of Jewish creators and future comic-book legends Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, who introduced their super-soldier by having him deliver a haymaker to the jaw of a reeling Hitler.
‘Sikh Captain America’ was also born in the Big Apple for socio-political reasons, as Singh was planning to attend his first New York Comic-Con as an exhibitor in the fall of 2011.
“Some of my art is informed by my own experience on the streets of America and being targeted as an outsider -- at times as a threat just based on my looks,” Singh said. “So I had this vision of an American superhero fighting hate and intolerance.”
“No other superhero seemed better placed for this task -- I don’t think I would have selected Superman or Batman,” Singh said.
First Published: May 09, 2016 16:11 IST