There’s a lesson here, kiddies — if something makes you upset, you can ruin it for everyone. Just like these race-obsessed ‘woke’ folks.
If you’ve come across the hashtag #staywoke and wondered what the hell it meant, you can read about it here. For the rest of you that want a summary, the word ‘woke’ is being used as a catch-all for ‘social awareness’ issues — ie. ‘Don’t be racist! Stay woke!’ or ‘Did you catch that woke New York Times piece on transgender kids?’ or ‘Did you hear about the woke decision by the Episcopal church to remove gender-neutral pronouns?’
This Ithica High School was attempting to be ‘woke’ by holding a production of the classic story that was absolutely ruined by Disney, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’. It’s ‘woke’, you see, because the female lead is a ‘woman of color’.
It got all the race-baiters excited.
When Ithaca High School announced last fall that the spring musical would be “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” high school senior Annabella Mead-VanCort’s mother, Eliza VanCort, wrote a letter to school administrators.
Mother and daughter were thrilled that a musical with a leading role of a female of color would be performed on the school’s stage. They would be keeping an eye on this production, Eliza wrote in the letter in late November.
But then, they actually cast the play and used that horrendous tool of the patriarchy — merit.
“And then they cast it the way they did,” Annabella said. “And then we decided to write letters.”
A white actress was cast in the role of Esmeralda, a Romani gypsy living in 15th-century Paris.
Maddi Carroll, a 17-year-old senior at Ithaca High School and member of Students United Ithaca, was cast in the ensemble and quit in November due to the casting of Esmeralda.
“It shows you that theater wasn’t made for you,” said Maddi, who is African-American. “And it shows you that, if you can’t get the parts that are written for you, what parts are you going to get?”
Source: Ithica Journal
Maddi and Annabella along with three other outraged ‘woke’ students formed a group called ‘Students United Ithica’ and the 5 of them wrote an open letter to oppose the casting of the girl that ‘epitomizes whiteness’ and make demands like insisting on ‘conscious casting’ — ie. ‘Y’all better wake up and this time, stay woke — or else!‘
They posted their rants on Facebook.
STUDENT DEMANDS FORTHE ITHACA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT (AMENDED AFTER HUNCHBACK WAS CANCELLED- PLEASE SEE OUR POST ABOUT…
Because an African American girl is surely better to play the Romani lead, right? I mean, African American and Indo-Aryan is the same thing, right? Sure it is! If you don’t see how blacks descended from sub-Saharan Africa are the same as the northern Indian people that traveled to Europe 15o0 years ago and intermingled with the natives, then there’s no hope for you. (That was sarcasm.)
How about have a DNA test for the whole school and dispense with the auditions and just cast based on race. Would that be ‘woke’ enough for you?
The letter was pretty divisive and shows inherent bias. Here are some excerpts:
It has come to our attention that Ithaca High School will be mounting the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This is a musical which centers around a critical message. It is a message of inclusion, particularly for those who have historically been oppressed. We could not be more in favor of this musical, particularly in such a divisive time in our nation.
Who is it, exactly, that’s being divisive here?
Unfortunately, it has also come to our attention that the casting of this musical is antithetical to the very message which beats throughout the heart of the musical itself. We speak, specifically, of the casting choice of the role of Esmerelda. Before we speak further, we want to stress that the talented young woman who was cast in this role is a stellar actor, singer, and dancer. She has worked hard to hone her craft and the IHS stage, or any stage, would be lucky to have her. Our concern is not with her, but with the fact that in terms of demographics, she is the wrong choice for this role.
Esmerelda is accurately depicted in the Disney musical, and is written for, a young woman of color. Esmerelda is a Roma, part of an oppressed class of people. It is her oppression, and that of her people, which allows her to better understand the perspective of the Hunchback and to ultimately advocate for him. She sings a song in which she calls to the heavens, asking God to save her people. “God Save My People, hungry at birth, show them the Mercy, they don’t find on Earth.” She cries out for justice. In the movie, she raises her fist in the air and yells “Justice!” and explains that the Hunchback is being oppressed, just like her people.
Just because the girl is talented, it’s more important to have representation that doesn’t use out-moded ideas like ‘merit’ or ‘talent’.
The letter then goes into personal attacks. But hey, they’re not being selfish, they’re really doing this for her.
The young woman who was cast in this role has hazel eyes, blonde hair, and is the epitome of whiteness. This is an unfair position to put her in. At best, this is cultural appropriation. At worst, it is whitewashing, a racist casting practice which has its roots in minstrelsy. It also reinforces the damaging narrative that only white power structures can save oppressed people, rather than people of color having the fortitude to do so themselves. It is in line with countless movies which portray white people coming into brown and black communities and saving them. We know from our history that it is people of color who have been at the forefront of social justice movements. This white centered narrative is inaccurate, damaging, and should never be reinforced on the stage of our beloved high school.
Source: Tompkins Weekly
See how compassionate they are? And focused on social justice?
Remember, stay woke!
They then laid out their demands after writing, ‘This casting can not stand. Not now, not ever.‘
These students refuse to acknowledge that the musical was based on the book by Victor Hugo, a white Frenchman, who also wrote Les Misearables. It’s within the canon of the Greatest Books of Western Literature.
So, black students performing a story written by a white dude isn’t cultural appropriation.
And an African-American girl playing one of the Romani people isn’t cultural appropriation, either.
‘Cultural Appropriation’ only occurs when white people do it.
This is public school, my friends.
So, the school, fearing further backlash, caved and canceled the musical. It’s now going to be replaced with a ‘collaborative project’ as posted on the Ithica School District website.
The project “will provide young people and our community the opportunity to engage together while fully expressing the talents of our students,” the statement says. “A new project is currently being discussed by students, families and educators. This project will also engage the talents and skills of students previously cast.”
Did this make the race-baiters happy?
Nope, they went further to demand the director be replaced and push for a more ‘inclusive’ program.
“Our goal was not just to shut down the musical,” Maddi said. “We want to get a socially conscious director to replace the current director so that everybody can participate.”
Both Annabella and Maddi said they believe the issue is systemic at the school and that addressing diversity in the musical is the first step in making the school more inclusive.
“This issue is bigger than one part in one musical in one place,” Carroll said. “It’s very very systemic and is very deeply rooted in how we learn and what we do every day. So, we next want to go to the school. We want to branch out from the arts to the school in general and we want to try and make a change.”
The casting of a ‘white girl’ in the lead of a musical has launched a campaign to purge the school of its ‘systemic racism.
But here’s the kicker: Esmerelda’s ethnicity isn’t listed on the character breakdown as is customary on casting lists.
Musical Theatre International, which holds the licensing rights to the production, describes Esmeralda as a female age 20 to 30 in a character breakdown listed on MTI’s website.
While Esmeralda’s ethnicity is not listed on the website, she is described as “a beautiful and free-spirited gypsy who possesses the strong sense of justice and morality that Frollo lacks.”
Source: Ithica Journal
The thing that is utterly shocking is that the ‘woke’ group of students in their open letter includes a quote by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr — but this entire non-scandal ‘scandal’ completely rejects his premise of a ‘colorblind’ society.
These kids are not adherents of the racial vision of Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. they share the destructive and divisive veiws of Malcolm X.
But of course, they’ll never realize that there was a difference between the two.
Remember, kiddies, ‘Stay Woke’.
by Doug Giles
Doug Giles, best-selling author of Raising Righteous And Rowdy Girls and Editor-In-Chief of the mega-blog, ClashDaily.com, has just penned a book he guarantees will kick hipster males into the rarefied air of masculinity. That is, if the man-child will put down his frappuccino; shut the hell up and listen and obey everything he instructs them to do in his timely and tornadic tome. Buy Now:The Effeminization Of The American Male
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