December 2, 2018

"[A]ny variance in skin tone is obscured by lighting and makeup that have the effect of creating a stultifying homogeneity, which is the point and amounts, ultimately, to an eerie celebration of whiteness."

From "The Rockettes and Race: A Very White Christmas" by Ginia Bellafante (NYT).

Key fact: 10% of the Rockettes are black.

Also, on the day when Bellafante saw the show — which is called "Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes" — "The crowd was overwhelmingly white."

ADDED: I thought the whole point of that Rockettes kind of dancing is that they move as if they are all one. E pluribus unum, one might say. That's the style, so why go to the show at all if you feel "stultified" by "homogeneity"?

AND: I've never gone to see the Rockettes (despite living in NYC for 10+ years). I'm just not interested in that kind of dancing, and all my life I've heard elite opinion disparaging them. But they're still around, and some people are going to the show. If I did attend the show because I wanted to write about it, I would be aware of my own difference from Rockettes enthusiasts, and I'd try to understand why the people who love it love it. I wouldn't present my emotional response as objective, and I hope I wouldn't distance myself from the crowd. There's something especially bad about putting yourself above other people — thinking you're the one with the good taste — and then racializing the difference.

84 comments:

caplight45 said...

Well I am dreaming of a white Christmas.

Kevin said...

That's the style, so why go to the show at all if you feel "stultified" by "homogeneity"?

It’s not enough to promote diversity as good. We must also denounce homogeneity as bad for the global world order to succeed.

The crowd was also overwhelmingly American, which we’re now being told is it’s own kind of horrible.

Darrell said...

But all the Rockettes refused to dance for President Trump's Inauguration.
You can't get more homogeneous than that.
They are all blue inside.

wild chicken said...

According to TV ads we are 90% black.

rcocean said...

Someone from the NYT looking down on the "Rocketttes"

How surprising.

I thought that was the New Yorker's Job.

Darrell said...

The Rockettes should have one member of each of the eighty sexes and races.
That is fucking obvious.

Fernandistein said...

That's the style, so why go to the show at all if you feel "stultified" by "homogeneity"?

Ultimately, it was an eerie celebration of virtue signaling.

rcocean said...

75% Black (NBA) = Diverse
75% White (Rockettes) = Too Homogeneous.

lgv said...

Stop using logic. If we follow the AA comments, there would be no story. There has to be a story. Any time something doesn't fall perfectly within certain demographics, there must be story. The story is always nauseating racism, whether overt or unintentional.

We now have a new metric. If the audience doesn't have enough disadvantaged minorities, then it now must be a sign of a racist/biased performance.

Asterisk: Disadvantaged minorities can be over represented, both in performers or audience, and be OK because there is no such thing is "reverse racism".

It is the new world.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The crowd was overwhelmingly white.

And?

The article is in the "there is something wrong with being white" genre that is becoming so popular in the media and on campuses. This is not going to end well.

Amadeus 48 said...

OK.
The NYT broke me. This is the stupidest “race” story of the year. If you didn’t want to see precision uniformity, why the hell did you go see the Rockettes? Just so you could complain about something?

gilbar said...

so, it's an "eerie celebration of whiteness" on account of because most of them are white (only 10% black: LIKE THE COUNTRY)

If so, can we agree that the NFL (85% black) is an "eerie celebration of blackness"?
Not That There's Anything Wrong With That



Madison Mike said...

Does 10% of the dancers being "of color" equal 10% black? Hispanics? Asians?

iowan2 said...

All the leftist can stop now. I know you hate me, you don't know me, but because of the color of my skin, you hate me. Got it.
I would adjust my behavior to get you to like me, but I don't know what actions I take that upset you.
It seems it's just the color of my skin, and I cant change that.
We are at an impasse.
If I'm not careful I might lapse into hating others for the color of their skin.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Chances are pretty good that the vast majority of the audience are tourists. And the Rockettes are from out of town too.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Christmas was overwhelmingly white this year. Sigh.

hell-- the whole damn country is overwhelmingly white!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

We now live in a world where a Korean-American woman on the NYT editorial board openly hates and despises the white guys who collect her garbage because they are oppressing her.

gilbar said...

another iowan said:
I would adjust my behavior to get you to like me, but I don't know what actions I take that upset you.

The actions you take are BEING WHITE, you RACIST!!!

Good luck changing that!

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

race is just the tip of the iceberg.
The 'majority' of the Rockettes are able, young, female, in the country legally, not fat nor homely, etc.

come to think of it-- Dammit! where's my bicycle lock?? I'm triggered

Darrell said...

Blacks were setting up their Kwanzaa huts that day.
This is an unfair statistical sampling! The NYT should be ashamed.

Darrell said...

The wet dog smell keeps sensitive minorities at bay and away.
It's the way whites game the system.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hawkeyedjb said...

"According to TV ads we are 90% black."

LOL. And according to movies and TV, judges are 100% black and 90% female.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

. There's something especially bad about putting yourself above other people — thinking you're the one with the good taste — and then racializing the difference.

Isn't that the whole schtick of the NYT and progressives.

rehajm said...

There was a woman who worked in my dad's office who'd been a Rockette. Somehow there came to be a competitive game of racquetball between her and my dad with the whole office participating- flyers, wagering, etc. Dad got his ass 'kicked'.

The Rockettes are like The Masters golf tournament- enough special interest groups get to get pissy about a niche product and draw attention to themselves.

Fernandistein said...

The 'majority' of the Rockettes are able, young, female, in the country legally, not fat nor homely, etc.

I know! The saddest thing is that the 3rd world is surpassing New York City(!) in top-notch midget dancing. Those guys put Michael Anderson to shame!

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I always thought the name "Rockettes" had something to do with Rockefeller Center, sort of like how Ray Charles' singers were called the "Raelettes."

But it just occurred to me that maybe it might also have something to do with "Rocket," as in the spaceship, to connote nifty modernity, sort of like how the guitar was named the "Telecaster" for TV or the "Stratocaster" for the space program.

Fine. Okay, . . . now let us ponder the deep meaning behind "Raisinets."

Hey, they're delicious.

Paco Wové said...

"The 'majority' of the Rockettes are able, young, female, in the country legally, not fat nor homely"

Probably not an Intersectionality Score above 15 in the whole lot of 'em. Shameful!

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

yes, there were identical twin Rockettes, from MIT IIRC.

'Rockette- Scientists' if you will. Redheads. (dont know if their bros in law raped them tho)

Paco Wové said...

Some days, I think the only people more obsessed with race than the American coastal media were the Nazis – or maybe the other way around.

Wilbur said...

I prefer the appellation "Rockettetrix".

"Rockettes" is stultifying.

Ann Althouse said...

I think of the word "stultifying" as having to do with boredom, but the Latin root means foolish.

Ganderson said...

New York Times writer looks down at the dirt people. What a bombshell!

Fernandistein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernandistein said...

Probably not an Intersectionality Score above 15 in the whole lot of 'em. Shameful!

You get 63 just for being not-white, and 57 for being female, 71 for both*. Kinda like college admissions.

*Being young and able-bodied only lowers it to 70.

tcrosse said...

Maybe this is more like it: Christmas at the Apollo

AJ Lynch said...

Has the writer ever been to an NBA game where the performers are overwhelmingly black and the fans are mostly not black.

AJ Lynch said...

If the writer was in China or in Africa, would she sneer at the lack of diversity?

Phidippus said...

Leftists picking at scabs. It's what they do.

AJ Lynch said...

Michelle Obama is doing a book tour and I suspect the audience is overwhelmingly white women. That is outrageous IMHO and we need to correct this injustice!

Seeing Red said...

The 'majority' of the Rockettes are able, young, female, in the country legally, not fat nor homely"


And I think a minimum of 5’7”.


Grandma loved tap dancing so she took us to see The Rockettes on tour.

The had a live Nativity scene.

We all enjoyed the program.

Seeing Red said...

If the writer was in China or in Africa, would she sneer at the lack of diversity?

It’s getting to that point in the questioning of this nonsense.

n.n said...

Diversity (e.g. racism) or color before character.

SF said...

Is it just me, or is it really weird that the article stating "any variance in skin tone is obscured by lighting and makeup" is illustrated with a photo where it is blazingly clear that at least 10% of the Rockettes in the picture are black? Said picture taken by the NYT, not a Rockettes publicity photo or something?

Jupiter said...

iowan2 said...
"If I'm not careful I might lapse into hating others for the color of their skin."

Just keep in mind, that most of the people making and spreading this poison are white.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

"The crowd was overwhelmingly white."

Belafonte needs to stop judging by appearance. Belafonte looks white, yet considers herself half-black (which is obviously wrong since her mother was white and her father is mixed). She also claims to have experienced hardships in show business due to being bi-racial. So who knows how many white looking blacks like herself where in the audience or up on the stage.

tcrosse said...

Ginia Bellafante can go get stultified.

Earnest Prole said...

Whiteface.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"If I did attend the show because I wanted to write about it, I would be aware of my own difference from Rockettes enthusiasts"

Which is very nice of you, but just not the difference celebrators of difference are into.

"and I'd try to understand why the people who love it love it."

Privileging their white privilege.

"I hope I wouldn't distance myself from the crowd."

What, you care to be associated with celebrating whiteness? You know what that makes you, right?

"There's something especially bad about putting yourself above other people — thinking you're the one with the good taste — and then racializing the difference."

Sarcasm aside, I do appreciate this restatement of the obvious. To which I'll add the equally obvious corollary that it's little late for such lamentations: "putting yourself above other people" has been the very premise of we-know-better progressivism for over a century, and "racializing the difference" has been the lovely addition to such progressivism for at least half a century.

Until the people who still consider this bad draw a line and vote GOP, progs will continue their culture war. From the Kavanaugh kerfuffle we know that the Althouses of the world consider some things worse than "especially bad" prog arrogance. Which is all progs need.

walter said...

"Key fact: 10% of the Rockettes are black."
Shut up!

A few years ago I was in a Chicago hospital's gift shop and they were selling black Santa figurines.

walter said...

"The Rockettes, founded in 1925, did not have a single black dancer until Jennifer Jones, right, joined the troupe in 1987."
--
How many applied?

Darkisland said...

Why do people have so much trouble with math?

OF COURSE any audience of any general interest event is going to be overwhelmingly white. The black population of the US is about 13%. If they were perfectly represented in the Rockettes audience, 87% of the audience will still be white (including Asian and so-called hispanics)

Sounds pretty overwhelming to me.

Asian-American population is about 6.6%, though there might be some disagreement about whether or not they are "white" Take them out and you are still left with 80% white. Still pretty "overwhelming".

I suspect that most people. looking at a group of 1000 "hispanics" (do we include Brazilians?) would say that it looks overwhelmingly white. But let's say this journalist has some sort of radar that allows them to identify hispanics.

I have a lot of problems with the definition of "hispanic" but Wikipedia puts Hispanic-Americans at 18%. So now we are down to 62% "White". Still pretty overwhelming even in a numerically perfect diverse group.

And don't get me started on whether to classify Filipinos as Hispanic, Asian, both or neither.

So what the bloody Hell is the problem?

Math is hard. It seems especially hard for journalists.

Truth seems even harder for them. This is just more fake news.

Ann, you really need a "Fake news bullshit" tag. Except you would probably have to apply to to almost every post and then it might be useless.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

Blogger lgv said...

We now have a new metric. If the audience doesn't have enough disadvantaged minorities, then it now must be a sign of a racist/biased performance.

How many blacks is enough, lgv? 13%?

More? Fewer?

John Henry

tcrosse said...

What was the racial breakdown of the dozens who flocked to see Bill and Hillary in Toronto?

Darkisland said...

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer said...

We now live in a world where a Korean-American woman on the NYT editorial board openly hates and despises the white guys who collect her garbage because they are oppressing her.

If she lives in NYC, I could make the case that they are oppressing her. Not because they are white but because they are union and the union and city are in cahoots to rip off the taxpayer.

The subway workers, teachers and other city employees are oppressing her as well.

Nothing to do with her or their race, though.

John Henry

AlbertAnonymous said...

Reason number 2963 why I won’t read the NYT.

OMG OMG all the whiteness, it must be shunned or better yet stopped.

Darkisland said...

Blogger AJ Lynch said...

Has the writer ever been to an NBA game where the performers are overwhelmingly black and the fans are mostly not black.

Does anyone know what the black/white attendance rate is for NBA? My guess is that it will be more than 13% black but a quick Bing didn't turn up anything.

If my guess is right, would it be fair to say that blacks are over-represented at NBA games?

Or would that be racist?

Just back from two weeks in Costa Rica. Just ask one of them "Hey, how about those Nicaraguans, huh?" You'll get a diatribe that makes President Trump's comments on Mexicans sound like he's talking about his firstborn son. But they are all "hispanics" so it's all good. Right?

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

“A few years ago I was in a Chicago hospital's gift shop and they were selling black Santa figurines”

Years ago a local store had some cigar-smoking Black Santa figures obviously discounted out of some downmarket regionally-specific corner of the retailsphere. Soul Santa still has an honored place on our tree. Is that wrong?

Christy said...

I was pals with a former Rockette. That posture! Very soigne. She danced with them a year before she married a rich businessman and retired. Seemed to spend a fortune on chiropractors. Lovely lady.

Matt said...

Whiteness must be pretty awesome because all the non-crackers seem to be obsessed with and have an inferiority complex over it.

Must suck to be them.

Crazy Jane said...

Silly me. I would have guessed that the OTHER stultifying sameness -- a chorus line of leggy dancers, all of equal shape and height, in matching costumes, doing precision kicks at the same moment -- was the more remarkable part of the act. It must be getting a bit tired by now. But what do I know?

The writer had her outrage article written in her head before she got to the theater. Maybe next year she can "interrogate" the lamentable lack of trans Rockettes over many decades. And of course cast further aspersions on the vulgarians willing to pay high prices for such entertainment.

The irony is that the Times itself has become a stultifyingly homogeous publication canvassing the full, broad range of thoughts and ideas from the Upper West Side to Brooklyn.

EAB said...

Full disclosure - I didn’t read full article because it’s not one on which I want to waste my free articles. But... I cry bull#$@t on this. I went to the Christmas Spectacular last year - we’ve done it twice in our 21 year marriage. A lot more Rockettes in the most recent version, which is good. And, although most are white, I didn’t see any blurring of ethnicity. If a Rockette is black, she is black on stage. As you say, the point is precision dancing. As such, they have very specific height requirements. So, it’s not about individual dancers...it’s about the effect of the whole.

They must be doing something right. That show is a money machine. Huge theater, multiple shows a day from before Thanksgiving to New Years.

walter said...

The Cracker Emcee Rampant revealed: Soul Santa still has an honored place on our tree. Is that wrong?

Sounds..cool:
Soul Santa

tcrosse said...

Soul Santa still has an honored place on our tree. Is that wrong?

It's not unusual to see a creche scene with a black Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus, although traditionally only one of the Magi is black.

R.J. Chatt said...

I saw the Rockettes when I was a teenager, about fifty years ago. A celebration of dance and music and theatricality is how I would describe The Rockettes. All the precision dancing, the costumes, the stage going up and down, the organ blaring, altogether it was a thrilling and unforgettable experience. The writer from the NY Times just saw a performance and couldn't recall or mention any reaction at all to the performance? WTH? Was she constipated? All she could think of was sh*t.

About thirty years ago I knew an artist who had grown up on a farm in Illinois, went to NYC and had been a Rockette. Being a Rockette was a fulfillment of her dreams as a dancer -- it had nothing to do with her celebrating her race. So really pathetic and sad to diminish that accomplishment with accusations of racism -- because of how the culture was at that time.

When I hear people apologizing for being white, as if doing so makes them virtuous, I feel disgusted. It's become quite common where I live. IMO guilt tripping and identity politics is regressive, unhelpful and unhealthy.

Doug said...


Blogger wild chicken said...
According to TV ads we are 90% black.

I would put it at 90% Hispanic, with 50% interracial marriages.

Rabel said...

"But all the Rockettes refused to dance for President Trump's Inauguration."

There was some stink raised but they did perform at the Trump inauguration. Your error is understandable as the media did their best to present it that way.

Bunkypotatohead said...

Shouldn't half of them be men? Maybe one hermaphrodite for diversity's sake?

Doug said...

And the perps in all the home security ads are 100% white.

Char Char Binks said...

Why is Bellafante crying about the oppression of Blacks? Can't they handle that job themselves? They're awfully good at it, and maybe one of them should be getting her paycheck.

I do agree with her, though. Blacks are vastly underrepresented in show biz, which is surprising, considering how good they are at singing, dancing, and clowning.

Freeman Hunt said...

Let's protest the way bright light reflects!

Lee Moore said...

Y'all are seriously overhinking this.

Here's biology in a nutshell : all animals are basically a pipe with an in-hole for food and an out-hole for waste. Everything else is decoration.

Here's the NYT in a nutshell : all articles are about race. Everything else is decoration.

The writer started with her theme - "race" - and then needed to tack on other words before and after it to fill up her article. The Rockettes are simply part of the decoration.



You can all save yourselves a lot of time and money by remembering that the entire NYT on any day is basically

"raceraceraceraceraceraceraceraceraceraceraceraceraceraceracerace"

Sam L. said...

We deplorables and other just-folks people like the Rockettes, so the in-crowd must deplore the Rockettes.

Darrell said...

but they did perform at the Trump inauguration.

I watched the show on You Tube the night before and the Rockettes weren't there. I remember Trump withdrawing the invitation after they caused the stink. I think he substituted the Marine Choir for them. I can't picture them performing on the night of the formal balls, either. But I didn't watch all of those.

Unknown said...

10% of Rockettes are black, doing a type of dance that blacks really are not fond of (and thus not likely to attract black applicants)--so where is the problem?
The audience was mostly white: did you expect blacks to enjoy such a show or were they supposed to pay big bucks just to "represent"?

Rabel said...

You can watch them here.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Never heard of this feckless cunt Ginia Bellafante. I have heard of the Rockettes. The Rockettes will still be leg kicking long after this stupid twat is in the ground.

Darrell said...

Rabel,
You were right. I wouldn't have expected them to perform at one of the balls. And I certainly didn't watch all of them--as I said.

FWBuff said...

I call BS on this article. My family and I saw the Rockettes last week after Thanksgiving. Several of the dancers are obviously women “of color”. Wonderful precision dancing but also lots of Santas and other actors and kids and even a live Nativity at the end. Of course it’s full of tourists, but we saw all colors and heard all sorts of languages in the audience. It was maybe half white but certainly not “mostly white.” It’s a fun show, and full of Christmas charm and schmaltz. Not ironic or self-important or agenda-driven, unlike the NYTimes.

Tom Grey said...

Ann, I really do enjoy your honest critique of bad blowhard Dem racists:
" I wouldn't present my emotional response as objective, and I hope I wouldn't distance myself from the crowd. There's something especially bad about putting yourself above other people — thinking you're the one with the good taste — and then racializing the difference. "

So many Dems claim their emotional feelings determine objective facts, and not only put themselves above normal folk, claim that their objective moral superiority justifies calling normal people names and treating them worse.

n.n said...

Ginia Bellafante of NYT teaches about "White Blacks." Hope Solo of The Guardian is concerned about too many "white girls next door." Leftists of all kind are normalizing Jew... White privilege. They miss the individual for the colorful clump of cells. Rabid diversity, anti-nativism, and trans-humanism is progressing in the liberal sects. PC in all of its selective, opportunistic dogma is ascendant. We must be approaching the tail end of the American Republic.

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HoodlumDoodlum said...

I saw the Rockettes show last Thursday. It was good--better than I expected--and my nephew enjoyed it. Radio City Music Hall and the stage were impressive.

But that's just, like, my opinion man.

A fact (thought not necessarily an important one) is that the percentage of the US population classified as Black as of the 2010 census was about 12.5%. So, you know, 10% doesn't seem too far off in terms of nationwide numbers/representation. But don't let that stop anyone from being offended, now.