A Beautiful Exercise in Trust
December 9, 2016 6:29 PM   Subscribe

In November, a gentleman named Karim Sulayman was filmed in Central Park West, enjoying his day, thanks to many, many others in the park. Watch (and have your Kleenex handy): S/L Vimeo (3:14). (more inside)

We in the U.S. have so much distressing news these days, it's therapeutic to watch people in this country just being quietly decent to each other and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
posted by Silverstone (30 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was going to forward this to some people who I knew would get hit 'right in the feels' just like I was, and who, no doubt will be safe, kind and caring to those who are different, or those who may feel threatened in 'USA's' current divided climate ... But ya know what, I'm going to make a point to share this with those I know who aren't so welcoming to people of different colors, creeds, religions or sexual identities different from themselves.
posted by mctsonic at 6:41 PM on December 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sinead's original lovely.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:56 PM on December 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


GAWDDEMMIT PEOPLE! My team ducts only produce so much! Between this and the Polish commercial, I am getting dangerously low. CUT IT OUT!
posted by Samizdata at 6:56 PM on December 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


The part of his sign that says he's scared sent me into a total tail spin well before people started hugging him
posted by Hermione Granger at 7:00 PM on December 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I tried to be cynical about this.... but... damn people, I feel the love.
posted by Paladin1138 at 7:06 PM on December 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


I was enjoying it until the crying woman with the baby and now I am crying, in a good way.
posted by annsunny at 7:36 PM on December 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


It's very dusty on the blue today. Veeerrrry dusty.

To do that in front of the Trump Tower was brilliant.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:10 PM on December 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


To do that in front of Trump anything took balls of absolute titanium, and a larger faith in humanity than I have.

Very, very glad it worked out for him. I hope he lives a long and happy life in peace.
posted by prepmonkey at 9:13 PM on December 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I tried to explain to a friend that I wasn't worried about this election in terms of what it means for me. I'm super lucky smart straight white dude with a good job and good pay. Hell, I'll probably see a tax cut - woooo. *hrmph*

I'm super fricking scared for my friends/co-workers/everyone who falls outside of my mold. They are super unsteady and it pains me that we've come to this.

I have a decidedly hard time with empathy sometimes, but you know what, if you can't feel that fear - what the hell happened to your heart?

Also, the biggest thing going for this project - I trust people, I don't trust "people". For the most part people are invested in the idea that they're good. It's the amplifying effect of the crowd that allows far more people to be truly terrible. I think. I hope.
posted by drewbage1847 at 9:40 PM on December 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


I was warmhearted and just gratefully loving it until the big guy at 2:48 just reaches in and catches him and I am now in pieces.
posted by Mike Mongo at 10:16 PM on December 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was the best thing I've seen all week.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:23 PM on December 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


That is some damn effective political protest.

Fucking right on. We are better than this, people *are* basically good, go ahead and be vulnerable, it's ok, compassion exists.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:51 PM on December 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I liked it more when I read the credits and saw it was the standing man singing.
posted by ZaneJ. at 11:30 PM on December 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Crying just crying for the simple pleasures of a hug.
posted by ding-dong at 11:53 PM on December 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anyone else getting this message when they click on the link?

The owner of vimeo.com has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.

This site uses HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to specify that Firefox may only connect to it securely. As a result, it is not possible to add an exception for this certificate.


I just updated Firefox last week/ Win 10.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:21 AM on December 10, 2016


That was lovely--thank you for posting it.

I was impressed by the first guy who walked up and touched him gently on the arm to let him know he was there, before he hugged him. I thought that was especially thoughtful.

Why do videos of people being kind to one another make me cry more than almost anything?
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:50 AM on December 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


I was impressed by the first guy who walked up and touched him gently on the arm to let him know he was there, before he hugged him. I thought that was especially thoughtful.

A few people just jumped in and grabbed him, which I thought would have been a bit startling for a blindfolded person.

I don't know if it is effective political theater or not, but I was struck by how many people in the video clearly found it moving. He was meeting a need for contact, at the very least.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:07 AM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Karim Sulayman, you are a damn brave, decent human being.
posted by Harald74 at 2:28 AM on December 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


NYC geographic note -

The Trump Plaza he is in front of is a different building from Trump Tower, in which the president-elect currently lives. It's likely the people living there are more sympathetic to his cause (there was another Trump property that successfully won the right to take Trump's fucking name off the building).

His actions and the name are still a potent combo.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:25 AM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anyone else getting this message when they click on the link?

Could be something intercepting the traffic. See How to troubleshoot the error code "SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER" on secure websites.
posted by effbot at 9:11 AM on December 10, 2016


On a design note, I enjoyed the a cappella intro, but as soon as the harmony came in, I felt pushed into emotion. And this protest/event is non-confrontational if nothing else. I turned off the audio and was very moved by the faces and behaviors .
posted by xtian at 10:05 AM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would show this to my conservative acquaintances, but I think they're reaction would be, "See! America's not racist! We'll embrace Muslims who are blindfolded and completely non-threatening."
posted by straight at 10:49 AM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Although at this point, maybe it would be a revelation to some people that there even is such a thing as a non-threatening Muslim.
posted by straight at 10:50 AM on December 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


@straight" "Although at this point, maybe it would be a revelation to some people that there even is such a thing as a non-threatening Muslim."

I'm so glad you said that. To help you get your head around the extensional meaning, which you're clearly working at, add to the mix the elemental aesthetic "good" of the piece. He's a man with a sign. And his senses are suppressed. The simplicity can't help but put you into the frame to ask yourself how would you feel if that was you. Who hasn't had a blindfold on (at least as a child)? Walked around their home in the dark? It's relateableness forgrounds objections into bias.

For my part, my first reaction was to think of those prank videos or maybe Jackass, where some violence occurs which gives you a shock all the way to your toes.

Maybe that's why I commented on the music as being just a touch too emotional--there's a lot of emotional weight built into the situation. You don't need much more. Maybe a note, or tone, but a full--I don't know, not a musician--score seems just as exploitative as a punch in the face. Not everyone is hollow and dead inside %-/
posted by xtian at 3:33 PM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hey, I know that guy! He's a wonderful human. What you see there is what you get. I would like to think that I would be brave enough to put myself out there like that, but here I sit...
posted by schmopera at 5:48 PM on December 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


Nibbling a baby is the best baby kiss ever.
posted by janey47 at 8:33 PM on December 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm considering using a clickbait title on my Trump-supporter-containing Facebook, something along the lines of "Muslim tries to eat baby's head. (@2:25)".
posted by mistersquid at 10:40 AM on December 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just as a point of reference, I watched this with no sound at all I can report that there is a man cutting onions on CPW.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:55 PM on December 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love the woman who holds a baby up for him to smell the baby's head.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:43 PM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dunno, no one threatens me until, in fact, they threaten me. OTOH, hell, I can't even threaten myself.
posted by Samizdata at 7:26 PM on December 13, 2016


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