October 11, 2018

"Just hours before the curtain was to go up, Shorewood High School has canceled its production of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' in response to a planned protest over its use of the n-word."

"News of a planned protest had circulated on social media early Thursday. And by early afternoon, Superintendent Bryan Davis pulled the plug, saying the district should have done a better job engaging the community 'about the sensitivity of this performance. We’ve concluded that the safest option is to cancel the play,' Davis said in a statement."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Imagine letting students learn all the lines of a play, rehearse their parts, get all nervous and excited about the performance and then just cancelling it on them — cancelling it on them not because of anything they did wrong or anything that was wrong but because other people talked about protesting it. What kind of lesson is the school teaching?! What's the point of working hard and doing something worthwhile that you believe in and build with other people if the authorities won't support you but will take the "safest option" and side with the people who see an opportunity for protest and disruption.

I see the protesters don't like the "n-word" in the show. It would be so easy to modify the script to take out one word. But I guess cancelling is the "safest" thing to do. It's practically telling the students who worked peaceably on their theater project that they should be less well-behaved, so that ruining their work won't seem "safe."

***

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what." - Atticus Finch.

ADDED: I have drawn a line through one sentence because I now believe the licensing agreement forbids making any change to the script. My son John linked to this post at Facebook, and someone there made that point. My response there:
I'm sorry if my blog post makes it seem as though my first choice is to take out the word or if anyone thinks I'd support the cancellation if the word could not be taken out. I think the school authorities saw fit to make that play the one the students should do and the students committed a lot of work and dedication to a project in reliance on the school's choice. It is a terrible betrayal of the students who trusted the school. I was in school plays in high school, and I remember how deeply emotionally important they become to the students. Here's a play with very serious subject matter, and the subject is specifically courage in the face of ignorant opposition.

123 comments:

~ Gordon Pasha said...

I'm guessing that the language had less to do with this and the fact that you cannot and should not take a seal abuse complainant at face value.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

N-word - Nike, Negro, Nutsack...

rcocean said...

Yes, yes, I agree that we shouldn't treat the HS students this way.

But...

Hopefully, this will lead to bans on "To Kill a Mockingbird" everywhere.

What do people see in this hacky old "Liberal" white people's story about race relations?

Just what we need in 2018 - a play about standing up to racism.

Wow, edgy.

rcocean said...

And they couldn't use "Negro" for "Nigger"?

Bay Area Guy said...

More protests! Oh Goody!

Gee, now, I haven't interviewed any of the protesters, so, technically, I don't know their political affiliation or their political philosophy.

But, I kinda have a hunch.......

mezzrow said...

No principal ever got fired for caving to pressure. There's your lesson.

Rape accusation stories are inconvenient at the current time. Let's do the safety dance instead. For the children.

Safety.

Etienne said...

They should change the play so it is Democrats and Antifa kicking Republicans, and lying about being raped (mashed) by them.

n.n said...

Yeah, change the word. They're nurturing a new generation of diversity.

n.n said...

Too many white girls next door. Hanging a "necklace" on West with care. Diversity is a mainstream, progressive condition.

William said...

Instead of using the n word, just substitute mongoose or tubee or some such made up word and leave the meaning of that word to people's imagination. This word now has more power than Yahweh......... In both Germany and Japan, GWTW, book and movie, were banned. The authorities felt that the hidden message of GWTW was that conquest by the Yankees was endurable and that life goes on. Banning the performance of To Kill A Mockingbird sends the wrong message, and it's not hidden.

J. Farmer said...

Meanwhile, a band performance during a high school football game in Jackson, MS featured a skit that involved holding police officers at gunpoint.

America. Is. Doomed.

madAsHell said...

Why don't they burn the book as well??

Bay Area Guy said...

We must BELIEVE the victim in To Kill a Mockingbird! Rape is a serious accusation! Don't turn your backs on women!

Atticus Finch -- misogynist

William said...

Maybe they could do non-traditional casting. Have some of the black kids in white roles and vice versa. This would illuminate the eternal truths in Harper Lee's work and help us all to love one another..At the end of the play, the cast could sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic while they distribute barf bags to the audience.

Ken B said...

Wrong N word. The objection is to “not”, as in “not guilty”. He was accused, she was distraught, believe survivors.

Bay Area Guy said...

Harper Lee - Racist!

Ken B said...

Ann seems to suggest just changing the word. That's worse. And probably forbidden by the copyright owner.

n.n said...

Perhaps they could play "Mad Libs" (no pun intended) with the script.

Rick said...

What kind of lesson is the school teaching?

A very important one, maybe the most important one many of them will ever learn in school.

Rob said...

It's a valuable lesson for the Shorewood High School students: Your educational and political leaders are craven, worthless tools. Political correctness is a scourge. #MAGA.

Ken B said...

MadAsHell
That gives me an idea. Hand each protester a copy of the book and a Bic lighter, and do the show.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

They don't like the content. "Nigger" has little or nothing to do with it.

Joshua Gray said...

"Be safe everyone." Be . Safe.
Absolutely despise this soft, PC crap.

madAsHell said...

I feel like were lurching toward our Elmer Ellsworth moment.

Full disclosure: My grandfather was born 26 years later in 1887, and christened with the name Elmer Ellsworth

Fernandistein said...

The n-words spoiled it for everyone.

Michael K said...

Ray Bradbury could not be reached for comment.

jimbino said...

Isn't it a copyright violation to modify "one word" of a script?

Like "In the beginning, someone created the heavens and the earth" or "one word: concrete." Nough said.

Ken B said...

What is really peculiar is seeing the Left show such solicitude for the reputations of dead white racists. People really did use the word, we shouldn’t whitewash them.

Bay Area Guy said...

I think the Left should scrutinize every book or movie in the past 50 years to see if the dreaded "N" is used, and then shut down or ban any such movie, play or book containing same.

Except rap music, of course.

Unknown said...

We live in sad times when a classic can't be performed without some nitwit taking offense. May as well burn all the old books and plays.

-sw

PM said...

They should just pronounce it nigga the way 7 million hip-hopsters do.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Sorry, kids-- play's cancelled 'cuz of the 'N'-word--
...so just go home and recite rap lyrics or something

n.n said...

There is precedent for hijacking a performance "just hours before".

#ThemToo #HereToo #AgainAndAgainAndAgain #HateLovesAbortion

Mountain Maven said...

That'll get you More Trump.

n.n said...

...so just go home and recite rap lyrics or something

First, identify as African-American. Black will not cut it. Second, rap around the fire as #TheyToo... Do.

Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. [Lemkin]

Planned Parenthood. Check. Population replacement. Check. Cultural corruption...

Matthew Sablan said...

Changing the word to something less offensive destroys the point of it. The show should have gone on, but better it be canceled than compromised.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

that's it-- I'm naming my next kid 'Enward'

Matthew Sablan said...

That or draw attention to the ridiculous censoring by using an airhorn to cover up whenever an actor would say it.

Otto said...

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."
Do you know why Ann puts that as the coda to her blog. She is pushing feminism, although she hasn't the guts to come right out and say it . She really doesn't give a damn about the word nigger or about blacks. Actually the story , written by an ugly loner women, is about pushing feminism and nihilism on the coattails of black injustice.
That remark is about Mrs Dubose, a drug addled victim who although has wrong ideas is a "fighter" for her cause. Forget that she has wrong ideas (don't blame her blame the heroin) she was a fighter trying to undue her victimhood.
Compare the more than a million soldiers that have given their life for this country and this effete man claims this women has more courage than all of them. What bs.

Yancey Ward said...

I am not sure I believe the protesters. I think the theme of the book is the real target of the protesters, but they can't come out and say that, so they focus the attack elsewhere.

johns said...

I think TKAM was a very useful book in the civil rights struggle. When Emmett Till's murderers were found not guilty in the face of eye witness testimony, it signaled to the nation that blacks could not get justice from white juries. TKAM made this into a compelling story, at least to me as a teenager. It was not wrong as far as race relations in the South. Nevertheless, I don't see high schoolers as mature enough to be given the power to shout the N word on the stage. Better that they read the novel.

Freeman Hunt said...

The kids should go do it at a public park by themselves. What bullshit. The Man is a total coward.

(Why didn't the school just remove the word from the play? What's happened isn't caving, it's cratering.)

CWJ said...

I think changing the word is worse than cancelling the performance.

Are we really to believe that those offended did not know any time prior to hours before curtain.

Finally, "saying the district should have done a better job engaging the community" is hilarious in light of this being Shorewood for goodness sakes. Just how many opressed black people live in Shorewood anyway. And those blacks that do could easily buy and sell my wife and me three times over. The "community" please.

n.n said...

Racism became diversity.

Selective exclusion became political congruence ("=").

Selective-child became Planned Parenthood.

Life became Choice. Choice became death in a most cruel and unusual way.

Nigger can become Ginger. That's not only compliant, but forward thinking.

Jupiter said...

Courage is a man. A man with a gun in his hand.

n.n said...

draw attention to the ridiculous censoring by using an airhorn

Here a bleep. There a bleep. Everywhere a bleep-bleep. A comic twist. That could work. Let's go with it.

Jupiter said...

"I see the protesters don't like the "n-word" in the show."

Well, then the show must not go on, right?

YoungHegelian said...

And by early afternoon, Superintendent Bryan Davis pulled the plug, saying the district should have done a better job engaging the community 'about the sensitivity of this performance. We’ve concluded that the safest option is to cancel the play,' Davis said in a statement."

Superintendent Davis oughtta be featured in Profiles In Courage, eh?

CWJ said...

We're not discussing a matter of translation from a foreign language. The play is wriiten in English, and American English at that. The word stands or the entire play goes, which is what we got.

Look, my wife absolutely despises the word Polack. But if it was integral to message of the play, she'd defend it. Nigger is essential to the power of the message.

Matthew Sablan said...

So, here's the real question.

Was the school worried the protests would turn violent? Like has happened in a lot of other protests designed to silence speech certain political activists dislike?

I'd like some journalist to ask the Superintendent that. Was there fear the protest could turn violent?

MountainMan said...

Freeman Hunt, that is exactly what I was going to recommend. The kids know the play, they should just go somewhere else and do it on their own.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Nigger is essential to the power of the message."

-- Exactly. Imagine if they changed the word to something less offensive, or worse, completely inoffensive. People who weren't aware of the original word would think: "Wait, he's not saying anything bad or wrong. Some people are dumb. I mean, it's kind of mean, but it isn't that bad!"

No. The point is that the word is being used by someone who is hateful and racist, or at times, ignorant and unaware of the harm they're doing with the word. Substituting a new word either relies on the audience *knowing the talismanic power of the word* and understanding the new word to have the same meaning as the old, or it undercuts the point of the word entirely.

Matthew Sablan said...

What got me thinking if the school or students had been threatened or feared violent protest was the use of "safest," by the way.

JaimeRoberto said...

To Kill a Mockingbird earns two Problematics. One Problematic for the language and a second Problematic because it shows the problem with #BelieveAllWomen.

Rick said...

What got me thinking if the school or students had been threatened or feared violent protest was the use of "safest,

Tomorrow he'll be called racist for this, so expect to see him claim he was referring to saving the protesters from the violence of hearing the word.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not seeing any evidence that the protests had anything to do with the lying woman accusing a man of sexually molesting her.

What bothers me the most here is that the school picked the play and the students devoted their time and hard work to the project, and then they were not supported. Once this play was chosen, the school owed it to these kids to fight for them. It's just terrible to deceive and cheat students this way and to cave to pressure and threats. It's the opposite of the message of courage and principle that you see in the play.

sinz52 said...

There are other examples of this "sensitivity" censorship.

Amazon.com's adaption of "The Man in the High Castle," for example.
It's about an alternative universe in which the Axis powers won World War II and Germany conquers part of the United States.

Unlike the original novel, however, the Nazis never use the word "Jew." The writers substituted the word "Semite." In fact, with all the black characters they added for political correctness' sake, you can't tell that the Nazis were racists as well as Jew-haters.

The original novel was more explicit about this: After the Nazis win the war and complete their Final Solution of the Jewish Problem, they immediately start to implement the Final Solution of the African Problem.

gilbar said...

MountainMan said...
Freeman Hunt, that is exactly what I was going to recommend. The kids know the play, they should just go somewhere else and do it on their own.


Don't ya think that would get 'em arrested for hate crime? Or, at least; thought crime?

sinz52 said...

"Nigger is essential to the power of the message."

I'm surprised that the principal didn't order the students to do the play with the word "African American" instead.

CWJ said...

Althouse,

My 6:01 comment applies. I'm totally in agreement with you except for the timing. How is it that the school was supposedly blindsided, and how is it that the protest didn't emerge earlier.

Once commited, the school should have stood firm. Now that they haven't, perhaps the kids have learned a valuable lesson.

Otto said...

Ann,what courage and what principal? Are you referencing Mrs Dubose?

Rick said...

It's the opposite of the message of courage and principle that you see in the play.

Reality is such an important message.

tim in vermont said...

I thought it was cancelled on account of some woman had been #Raped and Atticus didn't #BelieveAllWomen thereby denying her #Truth.

Bob said...

Yancey Ward said, "I am not sure I believe the protesters. I think the theme of the book is the real target of the protesters, but they can't come out and say that, so they focus the attack elsewhere."

I think you give them too much credit for reading, thinking about, and understanding anything To Kill a Mockingbird is all about.

mockturtle said...

Masters of intimidation.

tim in vermont said...

The Sup is just doing his best to dodge the unpredictable mobs and their TwittForks.

RichardJohnson said...

If the Milwaukee school district suspended black students for using the N-word, attendance would be considerably smaller.

Chubfuddler said...

The Superintendent seems to be rather ham-fisted when it comes to racial issues: Superintendent apologizes to students for covering race disparity mural

Mary Beth said...

The people who objected couldn't have just not gone to see the play? (I'm joking, of course, where's the satisfaction if you can't force other people to do what you think is best?)

D 2 said...

Anyone up for The Jew of Malta?

Love! Intrigue! Prolicide! Turks! The Governor!

johnhenry100 said...

I've been binging on The Wire for the past couple weeks.

I'd be wiiling to bet that each ep has at least 40-50 uses of n1gger in it.

Shame on Amazon!

John Henry

Unknown said...

I’m quite sure that it’s not the language but the fact that that shithole Atticus Finch didn’t believe the rapemqccuser. He’s part of the patriarchy.

rcocean said...

I can just imagine all the Althouse Commentators sitting in the audience going:

"Wow, that Atticus Finch. What a BOLD stand against racism".

Boomers. They'll never change.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

how dat song go? "coward of the County"?

PackerBronco said...

Thanks Shorewood! You may have just given birth to future conservatives.

BamaBadgOR said...

I encourage everyone, particularly the Shorewood H.S. protestors, to catch the play "To Kill A Mockingbird" in Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville, AL. It's a moving experience.

Sebastian said...

"What kind of lesson is the school teaching?!"

Progs rule.

"What's the point of working hard and doing something worthwhile that you believe in and build with other people if the authorities won't support you but will take the "safest option" and side with the people who see an opportunity for protest and disruption."

The point is to submit to progs and know that "authorities" will cave to progs.

alan markus said...

Locally we had some controversy with the book. Amazing how many liberal white SWJs thought they were all "woke" and "down with the Black struggle" because they were dismissive of the concerns brought up by a few parents. Racist parents, no less. And a little research showed that in other communities where there was controversy, it was usually initiated by concerned parents of black or biracial kids.


Drago said...

Our lefty lunatic self-appointed betters have much to Un-teach us about all that we must Un-learn.

alan markus said...

How "brave" and provocative was the author in using the N-word in 1960?

In 1957 Lyndon Johnson reportedly referred to the Civil Rights Act as the "nigger bill". In 1961, upon appointing African-American judge Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court he reportedly said, “Son, when I appoint a nigger to the court, I want everyone to know he’s a nigger.” Although never proven, he supposedly said "“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for 200 years” when discussing the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Tank said...

They were afraid of the Hillary/Holder Mob.

mockturtle said...

The Sup is just doing his best to dodge the unpredictable mobs and their TwittForks.

We know how well appeasement worked with Hitler.

Mark said...

What kind of lesson is the school teaching?!

That school administrators are authoritarian, autocratic, obnoxious, tyrannical assholes with delusions of godhood, but are weak and little.

eddie willers said...

Bay Area Guy said...

We must BELIEVE the victim in To Kill a Mockingbird! Rape is a serious accusation! Don't turn your backs on women!

I was waiting to see who would have the correct answer first.

Rob McLean said...

What kind of lesson is the school teaching?!

A very valuable lesson indeed: “Kids, you’re growing up in a world run by lunatics. And, no, there’s not a thing you can do about it.”

Karen said...

I also wonder what’s going to happen to this entire generation of young man growing up now who are basically being told that if they make a mistake in high school, there’s no point in even trying to live a good life afterwards. It’s all over. Not only social media will remember every single mistake you’ve ever made, but 35 years from now if you have a wrong thought, someone will come after you and dredge up the past. With that to confront in your future, why bother?

Jim Daniels said...

All future collections of Flannery O'Connor short stories will include The Artificial Person of Color.

tcrosse said...

Did it not occur to them that there would be trouble? Did this come as a surprise? Or was the School Administration unaware of what the play was about?

Brad said...

I'd be amazed if 1/3 of the people threatening to protest had even read the book.

JAORE said...

"... the safest option..."

Always the best option. After all THAT is how America became great!

GatorNavy said...

I live just north of Shorewood and I am unsurprised by this turn of events. Shorewood is a rich Milwaukee county community, right along Lake Michigan. It is full of families that made their fortunes exploiting fresh off the boat immigrants and later on exploiting African Americans. This community, during the late 60's and early 70's played one disgruntled group off of each other and made more money with vulture capitalism as they stripped and sold off the factories of Milwaukee.
This community has been reliably democrat for over a century. Stories such as To Kill a Mockingbird, cause severe cognitive dissonance. As this currrent crop of wealthy democrats are torn between "MeToo ism", Black Lives Matters, third wave feminism, celebrity worship and lastly that white guilt bugaboo.
This cancellation due to "protestors" is a cop out by the Shorewood High School Administration. They must have instantly regretted giving approval for this play and having the excuse to cancel due to hurt feelings is a godsend to these administrative parasites. This is what liberalism looks like.

mikee said...

I've watched Blazing Saddles in its Bowlderized cable TV edition, with every offensive word silenced after 1/10 of it was said. "N-----." Again and again, as if the actors were suddenly swallowing bug after bug while saying their lines.

I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. And I wasn't laughing at the movie, I was laughing at the attempt to prevent the audience from hearing a naughty word.

Could the High School instead show "Straight Outta Compton" instead of the play?
Well, anyway, I recall the thunderous applause our HS quarterback got in Porgy & Bess back decades ago. I'm guessing that one's a nonstarter today, too. How about Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Verboten, nicht sie? Or maybe "Cotton Comes to Harlem" (a blaxploitation film about black cop buddies busting heroin dealers)? 12 Years a Slave? Amistad? The Biography of Malcolm X? Come on, there has to be something acceptable to everyone! Don't even suggest The Wiz.

Or maybe one could tell the protesters they can stay home that night, while everyone else enjoys the play, because everyone is there under their 1st Amendment rights of free speech and free assembly. And enforce the suggestion with a restraining order and police to help them back outside and to the local jail should they come anyway, the self-aggrandizing twits.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Mikee,

In lieu of TKAM, Shorewood High should host movie night with an unexpurgated showing of Blazing Saddles. "Dock that chink a day's pay for napping on the job!"

Todd Galle said...

Quite a shameless school administration. These productions take quite a bit of time, effort and parental assistance. Any hint of trouble should have presented itself within the first week after scripts were distributed. Sets designed, constructed and painted, lighting ditto, stage crew trained, ushers, etc. Just shameless and spineless. I participated in the high school theatrics and remember the amount of work involved, and if an administrator did this, I imagine we'd all have been pissed, along with our parents, and the teachers who let us out of class to work on the show.

BarrySanders20 said...

Trivia fact: William Rehnquist was a Shorewood High graduate. Don’t know if he ate glue in 3rd grade or if he drank too many Schlitz Tall Boys or touched someone’s boob when enrolled there.

It is a solidly blue area in every election.

BarrySanders20 said...

What Todd G just said. Just had the parent meeting for my daughter’s first high school play. These kids put in an amazing amount of time and effort. What a waste for the kids and parents. Other than the lesson to never underestimate the cravenness of school officials.

Ken B said...

America is plagued with ubiquitous moral cowardice. This the students might learn.

Ken B said...

One student described it as being punched in the gut. Punched in the gut, being called racist, and learning you aren’t important to the school is more like it I'd say.

wildswan said...

It may be that the students who had to say the word didn't want to say it in front of an audience. If I had been in To Kill A Mockingbird I would have had a problem because reading the word is not like saying it. In a similar situation, I know, in recent years they've had trouble casting the part of the innkeeper in the Christmas pageant because no one wants to turn away baby Jesus. When my nephew was forced into taking the part of the innkeeper he waited on the night till the big moment came and then said: "There is no room at the inn but you can have my bed." He said very calmly afterward that he was not going to turn away Jesus. (Joseph and Mary simply headed down to the stable anyhow.)

Amadeus 48 said...

"It's just terrible to deceive and cheat students this way and to cave to pressure and threats. It's the opposite of the message of courage and principle that you see in the play."
--Althouse

They can't teach what they don't understand.

Gretchen said...

Disgusting.

There is no great literature without conflict, and the ugly side of human nature. The superintendent was probably worried some loon would hurt one of the actors. The actors got a lesson in what the left is all about these days.

Achilles said...

Imagine letting students learn all the lines of a play, rehearse their parts, get all nervous and excited about the performance and then just cancelling it on them — cancelling it on them not because of anything they did wrong or anything that was wrong but because other people talked about protesting it. What kind of lesson is the school teaching?!


Exactly the lesson the leftists want taught.

Bow to the mob. Allow grievance and emotion to overcome.

Allow nothing to disturb young forming minds the leftist public education system fills with mush.

Martin said...

The lesson is that mob rule works when cowards are in charge. But those kids will learn that in college, soon enough.

FIDO said...

How do Woke Liberal Art types think they will fare if they destroy the culture that they are supposed to be sneering at?

gadfly said...

Nobel winner Kendrick Lamar, obviously an expert in the use of the N-Word -since many of his songs use the word, stopped a white lady from singing when she said the word out loud.

As the crowd reacted angrily, Kendrick told the fan: "You gotta bleep one single word."

For the benefit of young people (I guess), BBC explained: The N-word is a derogatory term; a racial slur which was used to refer to and insult black slaves, but today it is used prominently in hip-hop.

Leland said...

It is not the "n word" they fear, but the reminder it is they that oft try to convict the Tom Robinson's of the world. Can't have these plays reminding us what true morality is, after years spent destroying the concept of morality for political gain.

Michael said...

And thus do the citizens of Milwaukee guarantee a fresh supply of stupid citizens.

tolkein said...

The Superintendent agreed with the protesters and, as expected, sided with them over the children in his care.

Rory said...

FIDO said: "How do Woke Liberal Art types think they will fare if they destroy the culture that they are supposed to be sneering at?"

It's a great question, isn't it? There's just an assumption that their voting allies will follow them forever.

tim in vermont said...

The biggest problem wasn't the "n-word" it was the "m-word." Scout stares down a mob... err, I mean a group of protesters who were angry and upset that a woman wasn't being believed.

stlcdr said...

How did the administration explain this to the students? Did they just say - literally - because of protests? Or, actually have a ‘more than 140 characters’ explanation? How did the parents feel about the effort their children put in being summarily dismissed?

pfennig said...

I can't imagine that the licensing agreement would present insurmountable problems. Would the publisher rather have all of the play not performed for the sake of minor excising? Couldn't the actors simply "forget" their lines at critical points? This is just cowardice.

Caligula said...

The play accurately reflects the time and place in which it is set. Is a realization that people actually did talk and act this way, or that a white woman's word was often all it took to imprison a black man for decades (not to mention lynching), just so threatening to these delicate students that schools must pretend such evils never existed?

And if such evils did exist, is it possible that equally bad (but very different) evils might exist in our world?

Gretchen said, "There is no great literature without conflict," Or as Ray Bradbury had Beatty explain in Fahrenheit 451,

"Now let's take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians,
second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters.

"They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said ..."

And no doubt "educators" will wring their hands, unable to comprehend why students just can't be made to do their assigned readings. "It's them dang phones, they can't stop hamstering their touchscreens!" Well, perhaps. But maybe it's because you're too chicken to assign any reading that might in some way actually challenge them to think.

Thinking can make you feel bad. Certainly thinking about why that word is so very, very bad might make someone feel very bad indeed. Why would you want to make students feel bad? Wouldn't it be better if everyone could just be happy, happy, happy all the time?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The kids should go do it at a public park by themselves.

I vaguely remember seeing a movie where a school play was canceled and the students moved it to another venue. But that is all I can recall.

walter said...

Using the word "nigger"? False rape accusations?
No.
The real issue is use of..the M word:

“He might have hurt me a little,” Atticus conceded, “but son, you’ll understand
folks a little better when you’re older. A mob’s always made up of people, no
matter what. Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man.
Every mob in every little Southern town is always made up of people you know —
doesn’t say much for them, does it?”

You can't expose a community to language like that..through their own kids!!!!!

mockturtle said...

The kids should go do it at a public park by themselves.

Guerilla theater, as we used to call it.

Auntie Ann said...

Many years ago (early '90's,) Shorewood removed tiles from one of their buildings. The building was built in 1920, but the tiles had swastikas on them. Obviously, the tiles predated, and thus had absolutely no association with Naziism. Instead of using the tiles to teach, the school removed them.

brentfinley said...

Perhaps they could have substituted "Blazing Saddles" for "To Kill a Mockingbird". That would have made a point about "... what real courage is,.."

Matthew Sablan said...

"Would the publisher rather have all of the play not performed for the sake of minor excising?"

-- If something I wrote was being produced and people wanted to censor it for the mob, fine. They can censor it. By not doing it all. There used to be a time the left favored no compromise on free speech and art.

Unknown said...

Shorewood has no problem with edgy plays like Avenue Q, Rent, and Urine town. The program prides itself on being as edgy and offensive as possible as long as the content offends conservatives and virtue signals to patrons on the hard left. They courageously backed gratuitous puppet sex but are now running from a classic because they are cognitively challenged Liberals who don't want to be excluded from the next cocktail party.

Ken B said...

I made the point at 5:24 Others here made it too.

Gahrie said...

I vaguely remember seeing a movie where a school play was canceled and the students moved it to another venue. But that is all I can recall.

Porky's II had a similar plot. The kids were going to put on a Shakespeare festival, but religious conservatives and KKK object and get it cancelled. The Romeo and Juliet scenes were going to feature a White Juliet and an Indian Romeo. The kids discredit the religious conservatives and the KKKers, and the festival is back on.

By the way, one of the villains of the story is a Judge Kavanagh.