The TV screen froze, one last image was left and next to the image, the words were disappearing. In my mind the image transformed into a row of free men, freed slaves, poets freed from their chains, young people from all territories occupied by the empire, and when the emperor asked for Spartacus, all, all stood up and one by one, one after another, they exclaimed, I am Spartacus!
In the middle of the screen, Spartacus.
They had promised it: bread and circus; tonight, we will throw Spartacus to the lions, the one who dared to oppose the empire, the one who broke the chains and made hope reborn.
Everyone, they promised, everyone will attack him, from all angles; he must answer, the Praetorian guard cried.
The mass, myself among them, occupied the stands, those destined for the people. An emperor, visiting distant India, stood on the bloodied back of the Muslims as the head of the newly conquered territory cried out freedom of religion!, but properly, only for some, smiling, raised his thumb to slowly lower it and condemn the Christian to death, here in South Carolina.
My wife was desperately calling the TV service provider to get the image and the word back. The only effective threat was, “either you fix it, or I vote for the emperor.”
They brought the dirtiest things out, and they got their hands dirty. In one corner, Pontius Pilate offered a golden washbasin full of the blood of the dead, the sweat of minorities, those who do not count, so they could wash them. They all approached him.
They weren’t attacking a candidate, they were attacking hope, they wanted Spartacus crucified to set an example, like for setting an example people were tortured at other times in my country, Chile, but we don’t talk about that, our conscience, as our memory is selective.
They were attacking the dreams; the dreams of a mother imagining a bright future for her son or her daughter; the dreams of the father imagining her son or daughter graduating from college, education forbidden to him because of lack of resources; the dreams of the head of a family of destroying the credit card that allowed him, her to make ends meet while week after week he or she added a new link to the chain that prevented him, her from moving on and leaving behind this life of misery; they were attacking the women who saw themselves as owners of their bodies and their destiny; they were attacking the ones who could finally go to the doctor without having to take the food out of their children’s mouths. They attacked to defend themselves and defend the status quo.
The candidate to destroy, to murder in public, posed the worst danger for our country: that the needy, orphans of fortune, but not dreams, stand up and shout at the power groups:
The image returned to the screen, I turned off the TV. In what country we live that the chronicles of an assassination attempt are sold as news!