Their first interview after awakening the rest of us; telling Lawrence McDonald their son called him baba; always touched his left shoulder, “the side the heart lies”, assuring us; forever remaining present. At best I can tell, baba means dad, or daddy, in the following languages: Albanian, Arabic, Hausa, Swahili, Mandarin (informal), Mandarin Chinese and Turkish. A variation is seen in Modern Greek, babbas; in Indonesian, bapa; Italian, babbo; Malay, bapa.
No interpreter was needed, the explanation, gestures, his words were universal. In the McDonald interview Baba revisited his speech where he placed a hand over his heart, held his wife close with the other hand; owning the camera, the audience, providing a full-throated defense of family, faith, the Constitution. Reminding the rest of us how isolating words can be, particularly when coupled with the impetus, strength, and threat of governmental policy. Challenging the bully among us, knowing full-well the dangers of now being considered a public figure, accepting Justice Ginsburg’s challenge to the rest of us, not to remain silent – not now – before she stepped back, never really apologizing. So thank you – Baba. Thank you.