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re: this is very dangerous and inaccurate language! The musical doesn't have "racist content", it has content about a racist
Posted by: Singapore/Fling 11:04 pm EST 12/02/19
In reply to: re: this is very dangerous and inaccurate language! The musical doesn't have "racist content", it has content about a racist - Michael_Portantiere 02:46 pm EST 12/02/19

I find there's as much reactionary ignorance in colleges as there is on this board, and certainly in this thread. It's the time we live in. I do think it's hysterical when one easily triggered side throws bile at the other easily triggered side, claiming moral virtue is exclusive to their own point of view. Guess what, pretty much everyone's easily triggered, almost no one is immune from this.

There are legitimate questions raised by those who opposed this production, and there are legitimate critiques in those who oppose the censorship of the work, but none of that is actually being explored in this conversation. Instead, it's the predictable reactions from all camps, made richer when posters who have decried "anti-white" racism at the mention of POC making jokes about white people are now demanding that POC not have a voice in how virulent anti-POC racism is put on stage at a time when white supremacist rhetoric is found at the highest levels of our government.

Pointing this out does not mean that I support canceling the show - I don't. It does not mean that I agree that all theater must tell stories in which racists are punished on stage in a way that they never have been in real life - I don't. It does not mean I wouldn't challenge many of the questions raised by these students - I would. It simply means that I am willing to consider their complaints.

It means that I agree that there is an impetus on producers to do anti-racism training as institutions. It means that I expect institutions to produce shows with an eye towards how to contextualize these shows for their community. And it means that when people who experience racism in America in a way that I never will question how racism is being portrayed on stage, I don't lambast them or offer condescending platitudes that we have to acknowledge our racist past, rather than admitting we live in a racist present.

There is ridiculousness on all sides, and there is a refusal to listen to the other on all side. We may well end up in a world where "Cabaret" can't be produced, but if we do, I think it will come because we couldn't engage in difficult conversations when we had the chance. That might be my own naivete talking - and I'm lucky to teach at a school where the students welcome difficult subject matter and want to have responsible conversations about dismantling oppressive ideologies - but I think it's worth finding empathy for where these young people are coming from and what has happened in their lives as the 9/11, school shooting generation that has brought them to this place. We all might learn something.

Oh, and Latinx as a designation acknowledges that the Latin American diaspora contains a vast array of ethnicities and migratory people. So the daughter of French and Spanish Basque immigrants born in Argentina would be Latinx, a point that seems to have eluded all parties.
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Previous: re: this is very dangerous and inaccurate language! The musical doesn't have "racist content", it has content about a racist - Michael_Portantiere 02:46 pm EST 12/02/19
Next: Yeah, do CABARET instead. - reed23 08:00 am EST 12/02/19
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