They need to stand up to these kids now and teach them a lesson

Ithaca High School has canceled their production of the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame because the role of Esmeralda went to a white girl.

In the original Victor Hugo novel, Esmeralda was born Agnes, the illegitimate daughter of a French prostitute and a French nobleman.  She was kidnapped by Gypsies.  She is ethnically European.  Even if she was assumed to be Romani, that would make her ethnically Central Asian.  Even the Disney version had Esmeralda cast by Demi Moore.  There is no literary reason for her to be Black or Hispanic.

That doesn’t matter.

A group called Students United for Ithaca protested and made demands.

1. STOP rehearsals for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (DEMANDS MET – show is canceled

2. START casting a new show with multiple leads. By doing this the talented students cast in this current show can still shine while also including an equally talented diverse group of actors.

3. STOP hiring adults who have heard complaints from theater professionals, concerned parents of color, and social justice activists time and time again, and have not listened or changed their actions.

4. START better hiring practices. (see “b” below)

FIRST STEP! : Remove Robert Winans as Director of the Boynton Middle School and High School Musical. We have tried to talk to Mr. Winans. He has not listened nor has he said publicly he wants to learn from his mistakes and do things differently. Mr. Brown and Dr Brown… Times Up. (AMENDED)

SECOND STEP! : Hire Joey Steinhagen as Director of the next musical. Joey has a concrete plan and has said he is confident he can mount an inclusive and wonderful show. Joey is the hero we need now to unit our community. Please let him! (AMENDED)

5. STOP the racist and openly stated policy of “color blind” casting in the ICSD.
Because of institutionalized racism this results in white children being cast in roles written as white parts and also white children being cast in roles that were specifically intended for people of color. Make no mistake, the world is not colorblind. Casting cannot be colorblind. Enough is Enough.

6. START a policy of “inclusive casting” by working to recruit young people of color, particularly those who are not currently involved in any activities in the performance arts within the school system but who have experience singing in other venues, such as church choirs.

7. STOP being satisfied with a system where only some students have access to voice lessons, dance lessons, acting lessons, etc. This favors the privileged few whose parents have the resource of both time and money.

8. START creating opportunities for all students to train to be performance artists. The local theater community and Ithaca College are untapped resources. Many have offered to help and have been ignored. Contact them. Ithaca College students have a service requirement. Ask them to give free voice lessons after school. Find volunteers for free dance lessons. Bring in experts in audition technique, such as staff of The Actor’s Workshop, who worked with us on Godfrey Simmons Musical 13 to prepare us to audition. So many community theatre organizations have said publicly they want to help, and yet they have not been asked to help. Why?

9. STOP ignoring and denying that you have created a white centered program run by white adults for the benefit of white children. White children should also be educated about interrupting these practices of White supremacy. Hollow lip service about equality is shameful and the eyes of our concerned community are now focused on you.

10. START following the four core values of IHS you tell us to follow, every day, but don’t follow yourselves.

These students are demanding that a teacher be fired for his casting decision.  They claim that color blind casting, that is casting based on talent, is racist.

In an open letter, they themselves acknowledge that the student cast was talented.  She was the wrong skin color to play the daughter of a French prostitute.

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.

They want racial quotas and to punch students who go above and beyond with extra curricular lessons.

They want the school to admit in some sort of sick Maoist show trial way that they are a racist institution.

This is absolutely and unequivocally racist.  This is an egregious power play.

These students have watched other schools and learned that they can Mau Mau school administrators into stepping down and giving them everything by making racial demands and chanting slogans.

At the college level  other students have used this to destroy debate.

These students have succeeded in destroying this production.  They may succeed at destroying performance art.

If their demands are accepted now, what is next?  An end to color blind, talent only math competition or science fairs?

Is it racist to be color blind and talent focused when looking for a heart surgeon?  I guess it is now.  Sorry grandpa, you’ll be missed.

Administrators need to grow a pair and stand up to these kids.  They use accusations of racism as a weapon.  Mao said  “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”  In 21st century Progressiveness,   political power grows out of accusations of racism on Facebook.

Every administrator that gives in only makes this worse.  There should only be one response to a list of demands like this from students.

11 Replies to “They need to stand up to these kids now and teach them a lesson”

  1. This shouldn’t surprise us given the current state of educational institutions and their progtard indoctrinations.

    These yoouts are the same “geniuses” that whine that math is racist, very likely because they’re dumb as bricks and just as lazy.
    Don’t want to study math? Math is rayciisst!
    Lost an argument? Your opponent is rayciisst!
    Don’t like to study science? Science is rayciisst!
    Can’t understand technology? That tech is rayciisst!
    You’re parents won’t give you money? Rayciisst!
    People tell you truth and facts that you don’t like? Rayciisst!
    Can’t get that latest video game for free that you think you deserve it? Rayciisst!
    Don’t want to study but your folks say you have to? Rayciisst!
    Friends & family won’t let you continue mooching of them? Rayciisst!

    And on and on, ad nauseam.

    I wish to live long enough to see these yoouts go out into the real world and watch them have to take huge bites of the shit sandwich that real life is gonna serve them. 😉

  2. Too bad the school capitulated and gave the morons what they want. They should have expelled every student in “Students for Ithaca”.

    Let them go get a GED.

  3. Operative words i see are FREE, STOP, and COLOR BLIND. I thought color blind ment you dont see color only talent? Poor little snow flakes. The school should stop EVERY activity. Have zero,zip nada under the guise of we cant do it cause its racist

  4. These admins act like they never raised kids or had dogs. The more you let them get away with the more they try and push the limits. They will naturally push to the limit and see how far they can go. If you let them, they keep going. A firm smack across the nose and rub their faces in their shit should teach them a lesson. Like Barney Fife said “You gotta nip it in the bud, Andy! Nip it in the bud!”

  5. Grew up there, went to a neighboring high school. Basically this is a bunch of spoiled brat children of Cornell University profs regurgitating the latest communist claptrap. There is a reason they sell t-shirts that say, “Ithaca – 10 sq. miles surrounded by reality.”

  6. I am truly sad about this whole thing, mostly because it gives people like fosdick the idea that we should do away with the arts. I have said before that once I learned to read, the only thing I truly needed school for was to play sports and to learn to play music. I am not going to brag, merely speak truthfully. I have an I.Q. high enough to qualify for MENSA. The amount of college that I have attended which is about a year, if you string it together, with Bible college and secular school like physics and other sciences, and I have a 4.0 in all that.

    As to the music, I was a sax player in school, but while I sat and waited for other musicians to play their parts in class, working with the teacher, I would watch and memorize the fingerings for their instruments. I had several siblings who were also in band, and so I had access to instruments and horns at home, and so I could practice them when I wanted to. So I was one of the lucky few that seemed to just pick music up like I was made for it. The only horn I never learned to play was the trombone. I didn’t have long enough arms, and didn’t have a chance to get my hands on one any way. But I could play things like the oboe, trumpet, baritone, tuba, clarinet, flute, french horn, etc. I had a twin brother who was a drummer in band, and so I purposely avoided drums, so we didn’t clash over them. We didn’t get along, and I just didn’t want the hassle. I know, twins who didn’t get along, how could that ever happen? Well, my brother was a pothead, and a drinker, even though we were both good athletes in all sports, and I was dedicated to my teams, and would never touch the stuff, to avoid letting my team down, plus I was scared to death over the crap.

    I actually was good enough in music to be named an all American in my senior year. One of my older brothers was an all American in football his senior year, while I was named that in music. Actually, I was also named the senior athlete of the year my senior year, because I was dedicated to the team and also it was mentioned about my character.

    After my divorce, at age 30, I joined a band that played 50’s through modern rock music, with some country as well. I could play guitar and bass by this time, but when they heard me sing, they all decided that I would play sax. Just kidding, they wanted me to play sax all along, but I really can’t sing worth a crap.

    My whole point in this mess, is to say that I truly believe that while it is of course important to know how to read, write, and to be competent in arithmetic, life without music, and the other arts, would be truly not worth living. Think to yourself and try to remember a day when you went the entire day without hearing at least some music. Whether from a radio commercial jingle, or a movie background, to actual songs or whatever, unless you are doing something unusual that day, like hunting in the wild, you can’t remember a day without music. And that is actually a good thing.

    Music has been said to be the only thing that unites us as nations. I can believe that. Of course, I am the one who just said it, so certainly I believe it. But I saw a Moscow song and dance troupe in Florida at a community college, a few years ago, for free, at a cultural exchange. And believe me, they are every bit as talented as the finest musicians and dancers that can be found anywhere in the world. And people from China, the Ukraine, Poland, Cuba, or South Korea, anywhere, would have enjoyed them just as much as we did. But if you don’t encourage this beginning not in high school, but in elementary school, the chance that you will miss some of the most talented artists out there, who otherwise would have stood out, by this music program in the schools.

    Thanks for letting me take over your blog post for some of my passions. I hope that other people share my same feelings, and put pressure on local school boards to encourage them to continue to fund the arts. It truly is important, to the point where studies have identified that the minds of students exposed to learning to play music have stronger synapses in certain areas of the brain.

    1. I’m not against the arts. I was a drama geek in high school (seriously).

      We did Fiddler on the Roof and had a white, protestant Tevye because he could sing and a black Lazar Wolf because he couldn’t (Lazer doesn’t have a solo).

      Nobody cared.

      That’s why I said these kids need to be punished. They are destroying the arts. I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water, just these may mauing babies.

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