A classical guitarist whose name we’ll protect for reasons that will soon be apparent was practising his instrument quietly in a US airport while waiting for his plane.
Another passenger objected. The guitarist, who is a professor at a prominent US university, put a mute on his instrument and carried on practising. The departure lounge was crowded and noisy.
The other passenger continued to protest from ten metres away.
Finally, the guitarist asked if the objector was a Trump supporter.
The man confirmed that he was, adding ‘that in this new America there is no place for a person like me. To go back to my country (Cuba).’
Two things disturb us about this incident, which has been shared widely among musicians. First, the normalisation of xenophobic expression, previously unacceptable. Second, a decision by Facebook to take down the guitarist’s post – not once but several times – for allegedly violating its codes.
We are keeping this post name-neutral in order ensure wide dissemination.