A group of New York high school students fighting for “social justice” have succeeded in shutting down their school’s musical because a white girl won the lead role, according to reports.
The teenaged activists shut down Ithaca High School ‘s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” after a white girl was given the role of Esmeralda, the gypsy girl who becomes the love interest of the doomed Hunchback Quasimodo.
Calling themselves Students United Ithaca, the student group was incensed that the role of Esmeralda, written as a Romani Gypsy girl by author Victor Hugo, was to be played by a white girl instead of a “student of color.”
“It shows you that theater wasn’t made for you,” African American student, Maddi Carroll, told the Ithaca Journal. “And it shows you that, if you can’t get the parts that are written for you, what parts are you going to get?”
After the hubbub the school threw in the towel and the activist students were exultant that now no one will be playing the role. Like all good liberals, they’d rather no one have any enjoyment if their demands aren’t met.
As Fox News reports:
Student activists then banded together under the umbrella of Students United Ithaca and wrote a letter that included a list of demands, saying that, while the young lady cast as Esmeralda was “a stellar actor, singer, and dancer” any production would be “lucky to have,” she couldn’t be cast in this role because she is the “epitome of whiteness.”
“At best, this is cultural appropriation,” the student group wrote, alleging racial bias within the Performing Arts Program at IHS, and “at worst, it is whitewashing, a racist casting practice which has its roots in minstrelsy.”
This is a perfect example of how kids should be seen and not heard. Their entire premise is nonsense.
The character of Esmeralda isn’t a black character, so the role wasn’t “written for” a black student like Maddi Carroll. After all gypsies aren’t Africans. While they aren’t lily white, they certainly aren’t black. Further, Esmeralda is half French in the original novel. So, as a “person of color” she barely qualifies.
Amusingly, these dumb kids even acknowledged that the original character is supposed to be half French and half gypsy, but their retort was “the book and the musical should not be conflated because the musical is only inspired by Hugo’s manuscript.”
OK, so if we aren’t going to “conflate” things and are going to say the character is only “inspired” loosely by the original work, why CAN’T a white girl play the character? In fact, why can’t a white boy play Esmeralda? I mean, if the actual source material is meaningless, then why not? The point is, they have no logical leg to stand on… not that logic means anything to a liberal.
Anyway, these social justice warriors are all caught up in their silliness and are demanding that the school start being “more inclusive and culturally responsive.”
By that they mean no white kids should be allowed to do anything but bow their heads and shut up.
Naturally, the weak-spinned school district is genuflecting in front of these rabble-rousing kids and bowing and scraping for their favors.
“We thank everyone for their contributions as we delve further into complex conversations,” the district said is a statement. “In addition, we ask that you please stay engaged as we continually work to create community-wide support for our students and school community.”
Then, after these kids told whites they aren’t wanted, they invoked Martin Luther King, Jr., saying they were touting a message of “love, unity, understanding, and inclusion.”
“Our endgame,” the kids said, “is a performing arts program with more unity, more inclusion, and musical where we can all experience the joy and bonding of inclusive performing arts following best theatrical practices.”
You know, “inclusion” as long as white people shut up and step away from the stage.
[Note: This post was written by Warner Todd Huston]