I don’t understand this episode at all, and it also makes me angry. As it should you. Or anybody.
In Newton, Massachusetts, once considered a gem of the Bay State’s public education crown, the race-obsessed, woke and irresponsible fools (I’m not going to be diplomatic or restrained in this post) in charge of the school and school district allowed the school’s Theater Ink program to put on a student show titled “Lost and Found: Our Stories as People of Color.” According to the show’s audition packet, the production was designed to be “a reserved safe space for this exploration and for people of color to be vulnerable and support one another.” Not only is that wokey gibberish (schools should not be encouraging students to speak gibberish), it is also illegal, as in “unconstitutional.”
When time for auditions came around, and all the young theater geeks, aspiring singers and hopeful chorus line members licked their collective chops for the annual event, the show’s Asian-American student director posted a video to the show’s website declaring that “All BIPOC [Black, indigenous and people of color] students at North are invited to audition,” clearly meaning “No whites, Irish or dogs allowed.”
Ah, yes…”good discrimination.” Assholes. Bigots. Virtue-signaling bigots. All green-lighted by adults with degrees in education.
Yet they pretty much got away with it. The show went up as scheduled in January; the somnolent parents of Newton (my Arlington High School chess team used to play Newton North; we usually beat its team too; they weren’t as good as Newton South) apparently just stood by with their fingers in their noses and let this insulting, racist fiasco occur, their children excluded from a school activity because of their color. The first complaint came in when the director’s discriminatory video went live, but the matter was allowed to crawl through the Department of Education’s investigation process—it is still crawling—and you just know that Joe’s gang sees no reason why public schools shouldn’t favor “BIPOC” theater-loving kids over those racist white snots who are part of the evil race that brought slavery to our shores and voted for Donald Trump.
Naturally, the school’s first line of defense was “it isn’t what it is,” the favored rationalization (#64 on the list) of progressives, Democrats and anti-white racists for quite some time now.
School district flacks told the media that Newton North..
“is committed to encouraging all of its students to participate in the theatre program, particularly students of color, who have been vastly underrepresented in our programs….While centered in the stories of the lives of our students of color, no one is turned away or excluded from participating or having a role in the ‘Lost and Found’ production of Theatre Ink, Newton North’s teaching and working theater program. The Newton Public Schools do not exclude students based upon color, race, ethnicity, or religious background.”
Then these weasels turned around in their fur and mouthed their support for the exclusionary exercise, saying,
“We are proud of our students for the hard work they do to not only assemble a diverse group of performers, but also to challenge each other to have difficult conversations around societal issuesTheatre Ink has consistently provided opportunities for students to tell and celebrate the narratives and stories of those who have been historically underrepresented. Amplifying the stories, experiences, and history of students of color is just one component of our diverse fine and performing arts programs,’ the statement continued, additionally offering that it fully supports ‘the premise and educational value of this performance.”
Here is the cast and crew of “Lost and Found.”
Disparate impact, anyone?
Let me be clear: you can’t do this. Among its myriad offenses to the concepts of equal opportunity, racial integration and government opposition to racial discrimination, auditioners were required to list their racial and ethnic credentials, breaching both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. But then so did the whole production.
You also don’t do this, this being scheduling a student theater production that by its nature and subject matter excludes any student on the basis of race. This isn’t hard. the vast, vast majority of musical theater offerings in the American repertoire can be easily cast with all colors and ethnicities, because they aren’t about race. No, you don’t do “Porgy and Bess.” You don’t do “for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf.” You don’t do “Flower Drum Song,” and you probably should steer clear of “Fiddler on the Roof.” How hard is that? Yet this was deliberate, intentional exclusion of white students. And they almost got away with it. Heck, it’s the Biden Administration investigating this racist slap at white students: they might still get away with it.
What is truly alarming is that the school district is apparently training the rising generation to be passive, submissive slugs. Why didn’t the excluded white students raise hell? Why did their parents allow the production to continue rehearsing? Why weren’t there pickets and protests?
No, I don’t understand this episode at all
And it makes me angry.
Pointer: Other Bill
10 thoughts on “Unsolved Ethics Mystery! How Could Ethics Dunces As Unethical And Dumb As The Ethics Dunces Running Newton North High School Be Permitted To Handle Sharp Objects Much Less To Educate Children?”
I think the parents let this happen, because like good progressives living in a posh Boston suburb, they know that this is good discrimination and it goes along with their white guilt. There are probably people who know this is wrong, but because they are left-leaning, they know that if they speak out this will be bad for the reputation and social standing. The last thing they want to be accused of is being Ultra MAGA, because if you speak out against this, you will be branded that way. To sum it up, it’s peer pressure, political tendencies, and social bubble of the area that probably influences people to be apathetic about the situation.
Or to be in favor of it to the point of being “all in.”
(Remember the Alamo!)
On the agenda!
The odds the U.S. Attorney for the area will take any action whatsoever regarding this matter are equivalent to a snowball’s chance in hell. Wellesley College (or Harvard!) will probably finance and host the production for a run on their campus.
You know why they allow it. Any parent who spoke up would be branded as a racist. Their places of employment would be pressured to fire them.
If they owned businesses, those businesses would be shut down by protests or by government action. Protests would be scheduled outside their houses and they would be forced to move by that or pressure from their HOA’s or the local government. At the very least, their children would be mercilessly bullied at school with no recourse. No judge will help them, no government official will help them. No lawsuit would work, they judges would throw it out or the jury pressured to rule against them and that is if they could find a lawyer willing to represent them. The negative media attention branding them as racists would be unbelievable. Fifty years of mandatory Affirmative Action and white guilt propaganda in the schools and media has done its work.
Parents may be reluctant to oppose this crap for fear that their children will bear the brunt of their opposition. Is this reasonable? May be so. It’s easy to pose opposition when you bear the consequences on your own. Not so easy when your kids may take the fall.
I had a much longer response almost written, but then decided I really only had one point to make: I think context is all in this case.
If this incident is taken in isolation, then I agree with you. But the first thing that comes to my mind is “what does the rest of the season look like?”. I think it’s reasonable to provide a show for BIPOC performers (or for all-male or all-female shows, for example) if two criteria are met: 1). there are enough of such individuals to mount a production of the quality one expects from the program, and 2). there are sufficient roles for (in this case) white students in other productions in the season (preferably in the same semester) to provide approximately the same degree of opportunity for all students.
In the absence of information about the latter consideration, I’m going to withhold judgment.
I started thinking along those lines, Curmie, and then I thought of the key line line in Brown: “separate… is inherently unequal.”
It’s a bad slippery slope to go down, and I can’t imagine a “balancing” all white production being tolerated…can you? Thus “BIPOC” students will have one more opportunity to engage in theater arts than white students by virtue of their skin color.
You are working hard to provide the benefit of the doubt and I salute you for that, but I don’t think you can get there from here.
No, I can’t see a designated all-white production being countenanced, but the overwhelming majority of roles are presumed to be white because that’s who has traditionally played those roles, and all-white performances happen all the time.
Moreover, if (as happened where I taught) two or more shows were cast at once, with no overlap, then the show that needs specifically black performers is going to have priority for those actors, meaning the black actors who didn’t get cast in that show probably aren’t terribly good, making the likelihood of an all-white (or nearly so) cast elsewhere pretty high.
I directed 25 shows at the state university (same constitutional requirements as a high school, yes?) from which I recently retired. Out of all those plays, as far as I can remember, only two roles were specifically white; four others were specifically black; one was specifically Latino. All told, I cast a good many black or Latin actors in roles written to be played by white actors, but still. at least a half dozen of my shows had all-white casts, and several others were overwhelmingly white.
Indeed, in my last two shows, I ended up casting 16 white women: no men, no non-whites. The plays were chosen by someone else from possibilities I submitted (neither was my first choice), and the casting just sort of worked out that way. I almost cast black actresses in both shows, but one had too many conflicts, another was needed by another production, etc. I don’t think I violated any standards of ethics or constitutionality either by ending up with all-white casts or by excluding men (the flip side of that Dutch production of Waiting for Godot that was in the news a couple weeks ago).
You choose a season around who you have, and you cast according to the demands of the script. If this high school did that, and met the criteria of my earlier comment, I have no problem with them.