Get Caught Up in Minutiae or See the Texture

Mahershala Ali, accepting the SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Moonlight (Jan. 29, 2017):

"I think what I've learned from working on Moonlight is we see what happens when we persecute people. They fold into themselves.

And what I was so grateful about in having the opportunity to play [his character] Juan, was playing a gentleman who saw a young man folding into himself as the result of the persecution of his community, and taking the opportunity to uplift him, tell him that he mattered, that he was okay, accept him.

I hope that we do a better job of that.

When we get caught up in the minutiae, the details that make us all different, there's two ways of seeing that. You can see the texture of that person, the qualities that make them unique. Or you can go to war about it – say, That person is different from me, I don't like you, so let's battle.

My mother is an ordained minister, I'm a Muslim. She didn't do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted seventeen years ago. But I tell you now, we put things to the side, I'm able to see her, she's able to see me. We love each other. The love has grown. That stuff is minutiae. It's not that important."