Theater

Columbia College Theater Students Feel Unsafe About White Students Getting Parts Written for Palestinians After None Tried Out

"It got to a place where nobody felt safe."

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The theater department of Columbia College in Chicago attempted to stage a production of "HOME/LAND," which is about the experience of Palestinian and Latino immigrants in America. But no students of Palestinian descent tried out for the play, and so white actors were cast in these roles.

That was just one of the terrible injustices visited upon the minority community by the play's director, Catherine Slade, according to aggrieved students who told the campus newspaper, "It got to a place where nobody felt safe." Yes, their very safety was affected by the director's habit of "being aggressive and speaking badly" about the cast.

Perhaps Slade—a black woman, theater professor, and vocal coach—was critical of the cast members because they were insubordinate and easily offended, quickly bringing their issues with her to the Mosaic Theater Collective, Asian Student Organization, Black Student Union, and Muslim Student Association.

"There was no trying to collaborate with us," one actress, Sophia Alonzo, said of Slade. "There was no trying to see if [she was] doing the right thing. It almost felt like we were just being used as pawns. It's hard because these are real stories to our families and our background that were [not treated as] valid."

It sounds to me like these students objected to being directed at all. They also objected to white actors reciting their lines in Spanish and were offended by Slade's suggestion that several white members of the cast could pass as Latin or Palestinian.

The paper has more:

The Chronicle contacted Slade on Saturday, April 20 and requested an interview, to which she initially agreed. On Monday, April 23, the News Office intervened and eventually denied interviews with Slade, Theater Department Interim Chair Peter Carpenter and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholar-in-Residence for the Theater Department Khalid Long. After repeated requests for a statement, the News Office supplied one Friday, April 26, in the evening shortly before The Chronicle's deadline.

"The Theatre Department is committed to providing students with opportunities to perform in diverse theatre productions," the statement read. "The 'HOME/LAND' script called for Latinx, Palestinian and Caucasian characters. All students who auditioned were cast in the production. However, not all of the students who auditioned were of the same race and/or ethnicity as the characters identified in the script. Indeed, no Palestinian students auditioned for the play, and as such, non-Palestinian actors were assigned to those roles. Several Latinx students who initially auditioned for the production didn't pursue participation."

Recall that for the modern intersectional left, race is a fundamental, immutable building block of identity. This puts the craft of acting in a tough spot—any attempt to depict or portray people of other races is essentially forbidden. My forthcoming book, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump (pre-order here), contains several examples of theater professors giving up in frustration after their student actors and actresses object to playing anyone different from themselves and revolt against negative feedback, which triggers their mental health issues.

Hat tip: The College Fix

NEXT: It Took Good Samaritans 2 Hours and $150 To Paint a Crosswalk That D.C. Ignored for 6 Months

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  1. Sounds like they’ll go far in the arts.

    1. Quite likely, as long as they keep their identities neatly defined and take appropriate measure to make sure no one engages in unlawful “parody” or any other form of criminal embarrassment that could damage the reputations of any professors teaching at the college. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

      https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  2. Everyone in this story sucks.

    1. And rightfully deserve their respective sucks.

  3. I care more about the chipmunk under my bird feeder.

    1. Yet you don’t comment on the chipmunk under your bird feeder, Apparently you care more about commenting on not commenting.

      1. The chipmunk under my bird feeder is cute and it eats the sunflower seeds the house sparrows flip to the ground with their beaks in order to get to the better sunflower seeds, so in this way the chipmunk under my bird feeder is more useful and entertaining than College Students These Days™.

        Better?

        1. Much better. Thankyouverymuch.

          1. I’d like to thank the little chipmunks.

        2. i have 3 squirrels that join the birds i just throw a pile of seed out every morning. and the blue jays will eat cat kibbles it’s pretty funny.

          1. My bluejays gobble up 7-10 whole sunflower seeds at a time like the gluttons they are and then they fly away to their secret lair where they…man, this is getting big-time gay.

    2. I have a Red Squirrel under mine; at night some big assed Raccoons come around to clean up. I’m giving serious thought to snuffing them.

      1. You’re lucky. We haven’t seen a red squirrel in our yard for years. I blame Climate Change.

        1. Provide a mailing address [no PO box please] and I will happily ship you some. And the little bastards couldn’t care less about climate change.

        2. Your lucky. Those fuckers get into everything and make a big mess.

        3. Blame McCarthyism

      2. Great hats are made from raccoons.

        1. Great hats and great presidents!

  4. They also objected to white actors reciting their lines in Spanish

    Nobody wants to hear another white person over pronounce “Nicaragua.”

    1. What the fuck? Don’t they know Spanish is a white people language? The language of the colonialist oppressors, in fact.

      It’s funny. My cousin, who is a native Spanish speaker from Spain, lives in California, bay area and has been told that she can’t really be a Spanish speaker, she’s too white.

      1. I want to know why reporters et al have to bust out Spanish accents for Spanish names…but avoid saying “Deutschland” when discussing Germany or a lame Asian accent when discussing China.

        1. I had a Japanese teacher who was really clear on this shit. No Japanese tourist said “nihon machi” in Japan Town; they all said “Japan Town”. The cities with Spanish or Indian names? Spelled as the [English-speaking] natives pronounced it. She herself thought it was funny that the Japanese name for Mexico was pronounced as they had taken it from Americans, “may kee shee ko” when the Spanish version fit perfectly well into Japanese pronunciation, “may hee ko” but it was a done deed.

          To add to your list, there’s Munich, and one of my favs, the capital of France, which newscaster seldom pronounce the French way.

          1. You mean gay pair-ee?

            I had trouble with people who add the extra syllable to Hawai’i, but then I saw reruns of Magnum PI, and if Tom Sellick says it the native way, I’m all in.

          2. Japanese loan words make me laugh every time, especially wasei eigo. People get so confused when they hear English words and they don’t mean what they think they mean.

        2. Well, a lot more Americans know how to pronounce Spanish than know how to pronounce pretty much any other language. And in the case of native speakers, they are probably just saying the name in the natural way. But it is pretty funny and incongruous when they suddenly bust out with their best high school spanish accent.
          The other extreme is kind of funny too.

        3. Actually, there are international discussions about these things. Basically, Germany doesn’t care that we don’t say Deutschland. China, India and other places have requested that we change the names of their major cities to reflect their name using internationally accepted guidelines for transliteration.

          Ukraine is now trying to get the world to use the name “Kyiv” for their capital instead of “Kiev”. Kyiv is the transliteration of the Ukrainian word for the name of the city and Kiev is the Russian. You never hear a Ukrainian say “Kiev” but, of course, they’ve those annoying ending changes of nouns including proper nouns so you don’t often hear Kyiv either but some variation.

  5. Hopefully they just cancel the play. Not portraying the plight of Latin and Palestinian immigrants at all will really show those racists!

    1. How dare you leave the o/a/x off of the Latin* adjective?

      1. Why say latin at all? Weren’t the latins some ancient tribe in Italy? Hispanic is better and can even be shortened – bonus!

  6. Huh? Aren’t Palestinians white?

    1. Depends on which era they are culturally appropriating. Were Romans and Greeks culturally appropriating northern European white culture when they ruled the area for the locals to culturally appropriate them?

    2. They are semites so maybe having Jews playing the Palestinian parts would make everyone happy?

  7. “revolt against negative feedback, which triggers their mental health issues.”

    Good lord.

    1. The only other option is positive feedback, with its inherent tendency towards instability.

      /EE Humor

    2. Let’s face it, if I talk to a random person preparing a progressive theater project and a random person sitting in my local psychiatric ward, the former is more likely to declare that he has a mental health issue. Whenever I interact with the guys at the local psychiatric ward, they soon decide that they don’t have any mental health problems and ask the psychiatrist to release them as soon as possible.

  8. “Perhaps Slade—a black woman…”

    Anyone remember the SNL skit [from the 70’s when it was actually funny] with Garrett Morris and John Belushi: “You old niggy, I new niggy?”

  9. So who should have played Palestinians?

    Slavs?

    Filipinos?

    1. White people with dark hair and farmer tans?

    2. Jews. With their lines spoken in Hebrew.

      1. Before 1948, only Jews were referred to as Palestinians.

        1. Is that like all chinos are khakis, but not all khakis are chinos?

          1. square/rhombus – rhombus/square

  10. You would think theater students would be familiar with concepts like “acting” and “fiction”.

    1. They spout so much fiction as if it were truthful that they can no longer tell the difference.

    2. The concept of “acting” is fundamentally incompatible with Identity Politics. I predict university theater departments across the county shutting down soon.

  11. “It got to a place where nobody felt safe.”

    I know, angry Palestinians can be scary.

    1. But…but…Anders Breivik!

    2. Sometimes, they get so angry they explode!

  12. “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholar-in-Residence for the Theater Department…”

    How much do you suppose they are paying this person to fulfill that specious role? And people wonder why post secondary education costs so much.

    1. HOW CAN YOU PUT A PRICE ON EDUCATION?

  13. A black guy can play Hamilton, and until recently, it was cool that Orson Welles played a black guy.

    Please subscribe to the Bulletin of the Ministry of Culture to get up-to-the-minute updates on what is or is not politically correct.

    1. Don’t get me started on Nick Fury

      1. Heimdall anyone?

  14. SJWs need to keep hearing this mantra. “Safe. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    1. Yeah, I don’t want to hear the word “safe” except in reference to a vault filled with moneybags with dollar signs on them.

      1. Gold or firearms would also be acceptable.

  15. I see a Slurpee machine in these students future.

    1. Wishful thinking. I see working for federal agencies and teaching in public schools.

      1. More like working for federal agencies and telling teachers how to teach.

  16. >>>Yes, their very safety was affected by the director’s habit of “being aggressive and speaking badly” about the cast.

    4 minutes w/my h.s. soccer coach and they might die

    1. Dude, soccer?

      1. Did you just assume Dillinger’s gender? Aaaargh, safe space, safe space!

      2. my hockey coaches were nice guys?

  17. I’ve only read the headline and no comments but…

    _______________________________________________
    PALESTINIANS ARE WHITE
    _______________________________________________

    1. Siv please report to the nearest re-education camp immediately.

    2. Beat you to it. I mean, if Palestinians aren’t white, then neither are southern Italians, Spaniards and Greeks. Or anyone with a good tan.
      When they come here and open pizza places and diners, no one seems to think they are not white.

      1. Being oppressed magically converts you to non-white status. Otherwise the whole narrative falls apart. Whiteness has nothing to do with color of skin or ethnicity. It has everything to do with being evil and not being capable of being oppressed. Therefore it follows that if you are oppressed you mustn’t be white.

      2. Italians were in fact labeled as non-white and discriminated against by white racist groups in the US. There were even lynchings.

        https://www.history.com/news/the-grisly-story-of-americas-largest-lynching

        1. They are nouveau blanc.

        2. I can’t remember the book, but this whole “Irish/Italians weren’t treated as white” meme was basically subversive Communist propaganda. The idea that Anglos treated Irish the same way they treated blacks is absurd and offensive to the conditions blacks endured. The divide was always over religion; Italians and Irish are Catholics, everyone else in the US fled the oppression of the Catholic church. Did we all forget about anti-Catholic sentiment during the JFK presidency?

          1. I think your book about communist propaganda was false flag communist propaganda.

            1. THat’s just what a communist propagandist would say!

              1. I’m not using Communist as a pejorative. Noel Ignatiev was a literal card carrying CPUSA member for most of 1958 and then became a member of POC (another Communist party) until 1966. He later joined SDS and was part of the New Communist Movement in the early 1970s and never left or renounced them.

                The facts are pretty clear and well established that the Soviet Union fronted these political parties in the US to subvert our political system. Look up Yuri Bezmenov if you want more details about how the Soviets infiltrated academia and the political left with the intent of destroying America from within. When you look at how far we’ve shifted towards the left, it’s hard to say we won the Cold War. The Soviet Union is being reborn before our very eyes and America is on shaky ground with a general trend towards Communism.

                1. Tse pravda!

            2. My criticism didn’t come from any book. The book, called “How the Irish Became White”, which was/is Communist propaganda, made the initial claim that other Europeans didn’t consider Italians or Irish as white.

              1. >>>“How the Irish Became White”

                all the fookin’ potatoes, boy-o … starch

              2. Irish were considered white but the were generally Catholic, at least the ones who immigrated en masse. That was the issue with them.

                As for the Italians, I remember older relatives and their frends considering Italians non-white when I was a kid especially those from southern Italy and Sicily. Northern Italians often had light skin, hair and eyes and were okay in most white people’s book. I literally remember people telling me this. My stepmother was Italian and I basically a scandal that my dad married her so this was a topic that was pretty frequent in my life.

                1. I believe you, but that’s the problem with the book and why it’s propaganda. A few people get together and remember their family being discriminatory towards Italians and suddenly they’re painting a picture of a society where Anglos didn’t differentiate between blacks and Italians. It’s complete hogwash and chronocentric. Just because Ignatiev looks at everything through race and class conflict doesn’t mean past peoples did. Even if you polled Anglos in 1900 and 75% said the Irish weren’t white, it’s not like whiteness gave someone elite status. So why would it even matter? It matters because Ignatiev wants you to think that people in 1900 thought the same way we do today about race so he can construct a narrative of oppressor/oppressed like the good Marxist shill he is. He’s trying to fool you into thinking that white is a cultural identity and not a race so he can justify genocide. That’s what all the “destroy whiteness” campaigns are doing. They go back and forth between genociding whites and then saying “oh I mean the cultural identity, we can identity that separately from your literal melanin count of course lol I’ll just keep using this term white to confuse everyone with its colloquial meaning :^)” It’s duplicitous and terroristic.

                  1. Wait! You mean a Marxist is lying to create contention?

          2. everyone else in the US fled the oppression of the Catholic church.

            Apparently the author of your book never heard of the Reformation.

          3. Did we all forget about anti-Catholic sentiment during the JFK presidency?

            JFK’s excuse was basically, “Well, I’m not THAT Catholic!”. Protestant Americans bought it, because that was what they saw among the Catholics they knew, who used birth control, sent their daughters to New York to take care of problem pregnancies, knew their pastor had a girlfriend, and ate whatever they wanted on Friday, just like normal Protestant people, and generally didn’t seem to take Catholicism too seriously. They weren’t worried about a Catholic president taking orders from the Pope because most Catholics didn’t appear to take orders from him.

            Now, in earlier times, before American Catholics had been assimilated, they really were significantly different, and that’s why anti-Catholic sentiment was stronger. The massive waves of Catholic immigration did have detrimental effects on the political and social evolution of the US. The Know-Nothings had a point.

            1. The point in bringing up JFK was that there is a historical basis for a much more explanatory variable to address the question of why Italians and Irish were not held in the highest regard. It’s not like I’m inventing some fake Catholic distrust that never existed, whereas the far-left Communist puppet who popularized the idea that the Irish were not thought of as white did invent a false narrative that had no basis in historical fact. If there was some sort of explicitly anti Irish sentiment and they became “white” at some point in the eyes of Anglo Americans, it certainly wasn’t on the basis of race.

          4. Read Russell’s Renegade History of the US.

        3. Those “Dagoes” were lynched for their organized crime associations.
          It wasn’t racial, One of the victims was a Confederate veteran and several of the perpetrators were African-American.

      3. Do you remember when some SJW nut jobs got upset because Ariana Grande (Italian) referred to herself as Latina? They accused her of cultural appropriation, despite Italy was the birthplace of Latin Culture. I just googled it and one author stated she is Italian not Latin.

  18. “MENA” is not a thing

  19. It almost felt like we were just being used as pawns.

    You are. And you’re fine with that.

  20. Safe.
    There is that word again. I do not think it means what they think it means.

  21. Your comment just inspired me to look up a definition, and you’ll never guess what I found:

    INFORMAL•NORTH AMERICAN
    a condom.

    1. Many decades ago during a discussion on birth control among a group of people a Canadian friend referred to “A box of half-used safes”.

  22. Maybe these hypersensitive snowflakes at Columbia College would feel safer in they were Yemen.

  23. Can’t pass as something that doesn’t exist.

    That aside, I hate this idea that people have to look the part. Nobody complains about black King Arthur, but make an Arab white and suddenly it’s verboten.

    1. I’m amazed no rapper has picked up that name

      1. White Arab or Black King Arthur?

        Charlemagne The God comes close.

      2. favorite is ‘Joe’ … dude’s just Joe.

  24. Robby, will you finally concede that this talk of “unsafe” environments and “invalidation” as persons is not a genuine expression of feeling, but a rhetorical weapon to be deployed in order to get one’s way?

    1. That’s not true. There are True Believers in that crap.

      1. Some perhaps. But not all.

  25. This is hilarious. Insane and infantile intersectional farce leading to progressive self-destruction. Entertaining, too (so maybe a new form of theater).

  26. BAN EVERYTHING

    1. HELL NO!!
      Never even joke about banning bacon.

  27. I regret that there was no internet and social media and blogs when I was making an ass of myself in college. I coulda been somebody. I coulda been a SJW.

  28. my hunch is that the director wasn’t their favorite person so they came up with whatever racially based allegations they could think of as retaliation. Perhaps they need a new director, but the school DEFINITELY needs to send a message to the brats. It could go something like this, “dear children, we’ve received your complaints and will let you know when the adults have finished discussing their merits. Maybe after snack time.”

  29. I thought theater and music directors were supposed to be demanding pricks and perfectionists. That is how you learn.

    Performing arts is not for wimps.

    1. Teaching is violence.

  30. Time for a tax revolt.
    Absolutely no federal participation in education. No loans, no grants, no regulations, no Department of Education. Let the states figure it out, let the students pay the full freight.
    The only ‘safe space’ is your own damn house/apartment that you pay for yourself.

  31. Palestine. Where exactly is that?

    1. It’s a hole in the Middle East that Arab countries keep pouring their money into.

  32. You would expect a theatre professor to uphold that time honored theatrical tradition of casting people to play only the characters they are in real life instead of pretending to be an entirely different person. Jeesh.

  33. “They also objected to white actors reciting their lines in Spanish”

    Hispanics and the Spanish, being the descendants of white imperialist European slavers, generally are white.

  34. I have blonde hair and blue eyes. I can pass for Mexican easily. And so-called “Palestinians” are white, albeit with tans.

  35. Since students there are too stupid to know this, according to the Census Bureau, Palestinians ARE white people.

    Just like Greeks, Turks, Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese. And Israelis, too, along with all the other folks in the Middle East.

  36. Well, they’re NOT safe – summer’s coming, little snowflakes; you’re all going to melt.

    These children will not survive in the real world.

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