Campus Free Speech

Washington College Cancels Anti-Racist Play Because It Could 'Potentially Upset' Some People

Larry Shue's The Foreigner has KKK villains. Administrators think students can't handle that.

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At Maryland's Washington College, the theater department attempted to stage a production of Larry Shue's The Foreigner, in which the bad guys are members of the Ku Klux Klan.

The play is thoroughly anti-racist, anti-KKK, and pro-immigrant. But Washington College's administration, worried that the production "could potentially upset some members of the campus community," cancelled it just two days before dress rehearsal. The College Fix's Troy Sargent reports that the decision was made by interim theater chair Laura Eckelman, with the support of the dean of the college.

The administration seeks to "balance the right of free speech with our values of inclusion and compassion," a spokesperson told The College Fix.

Student director Megan Stagg was not consulted in the decision to cancel the play.

The Elm, Washington College's student paper, notes that some students considered any depiction of the KKK—even a negative one—to be an endorsement of racism that would make marginalized members of campus feel unsafe. Several cast members were told that they were racist for appearing in such a play.

"Putting the KKK on stage in a satirical way is not appropriate because nothing about the historical and present day ramifications of the KKK is funny," Felicia Attor, secretary of diversity for the college's student government, told The Elm. "This is about acknowledging the need for all, not some, students to feel safe on this campus."

The administration evidently agreed with these concerns.

"The campus was not prepared for the content of the show, and the decision was made to be respectful of our student populations," said the spokesperson.

The decision might be respectful toward the censorial whims of a small number of activists, but it is certainly not respectful of the students who worked on the production for two years.

"This show is about giving a voice to the voiceless and we have been undermined and received hate for it through the cancelation," said cast member Will Reid, who had been set to lead a post-show panel discussion that would have explored the play's themes.

Washington College did not immediately return my request for comment.

This is a private college—indeed, it is one of the oldest liberal arts institutions in the country—and so the administration is within its rights to treat students like children who cannot possibly handle challenging material. But this is a sad indictment of the priorities of the modern college campus, where too many students have to submit to the preposterous idea that everyone must feel perfectly safe and shielded from emotional discomfort at all times.

I've long warned that the tactics of the intersectional left will get in the way of progressive social goals. (I even wrote a book about it.) What happened at Washington College is a perfect example: Criticizing racism in a way that depicts actual racists is now considered too traumatizing.

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  1. I think it is fair to say that colleges have become incubators of mental illness in their students. The culture at these places actively encourages and rewards their students for being neurotic, narcissistic, lacking empathy, a sense of humor and perspective, having a victim complex and a host of other behaviors that have always been categorized as forms of mental illness.

    1. John, remember that what Robby reports is happening at a small number of ultra-liberal schools and revolves around a small crazy vocal minority that receives a disproportionate amount of attention. Most kids in college don’t give a shit about stuff like this.

      1. remember that what Robby reports is happening at a small number of ultra-liberal schools

        This part is false. Campus wokism exists and controls the political culture in all but a tiny number of colleges and universities.

        revolves around a small crazy vocal minority that receives a disproportionate amount of attention.

        While this is true it doesn’t mean much. Regardless of its numbers this crazy vocal minority controls [along with the campus faculty and administrator activists] the campus political culture. Institutions they attack [non-woke student groups, Greeks] are routinely harassed and sometimes even shut down. Furthermore we’re currently watching their woke tactics migrate off campus to infect the broader culture [1619 Project, James Damore firing, Atlantic staff claiming themselves “not safe” because of Kevin Williams opinions, etc]

        Regardless of their numbers these people are a serious problem.

        1. Yes. I see this BS at our local college. And while they may be a noisy minority, they do have an effect on administration policy.

      2. I think that a minority of students are like this I agree with you there. But, it is clear to me at least that the universities are encouraging and rewarding what amounts to mental illness.

        It is true that the majority of the students resist these temptations and incentives. But, that doesn’t make their existence any less of a problem. My point that they are incubators of mental illness still stands. It is just that they are only successful with a minority of their students for now at least.

        1. But, it is clear to me at least that the universities are encouraging and rewarding what amounts to mental illness.

          As an effect, but not as a goal. A lot of it is indulging what are essentially mentally ill graduate students and adjuncts who are on payroll to teach lower division courses full professors won’t touch. These are typically grown-up children of privilege who can’t get their academic careers off the ground and grow increasingly frustrated and agitated at ‘the System.’ The senate faculty and administration tend to have very little respect for these people, but need to cater to them as they are the ones doing the heavy lifting on the general ed side of Humanities.

          In my experience, Administrations do what they do to appease the low-level Humanities teachers and the small groups of students they rile up, because the Universities can’t function as undergraduate educational facilities without them.

          1. That is a good point and likely explains a lot of this.

      3. It’s a small but vocal minority, definitely, but they’re present at far more than just the liberal arts colleges (those are just the ones where they have the most influence). Look back over the reporting and it’s pretty clear that plenty of state schools – even red state schools – have succumbed to the wishes of these nutjobs.

    2. “encourages and rewards their students for being neurotic, narcissistic, lacking empathy, a sense of humor and perspective, having a victim complex”

      On the plus side if they keep it up they might some day be president! Wait were you not listing off orange man’s well documented and obvious mental illness traits?

      1. Oh, come now – I don’t think you could accuse Trump of lacking a sense of humor! He’s our funniest president since Reagan, easily.

        1. Trump can make a joke. I’m not sure he has a sense of humor, though. Certainly not about himself.

    3. Oh! Someone has either read Coddling of the American Mind or else they should 🙂

      Jonathan Haidt is a treasure.

  2. “Feel safe”.
    Bet they never rode the subway.

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    1. What the f sort of bot are you?

      1. A gag writer, and not a ‘bot, I’m sure.

    2. Lol, not sure if really dumb bot or super-smart trolling bot. Both are terrifying in their own way.

    3. Cool story, bro.

    4. Thanks for the tip – this “google” site looks intriguing.

    5. Testing – – – – testing – – – – this is only a test

  4. Ok off topic, didn’t anybody see Jeb Bush tweet a Reason article, and then Dana Loetsch tweeting an article from the Hornbergers Future of Freedom Foundation? What is going on?

    1. so *you’re* the guy who follows Jeb! on twitter.

    2. Hornberger? I’m surprised the SPLC hasn’t labeled them neo-Confederate Nazis yet then.

  5. “I’ve long warned that the tactics of the intersectional left will get in the way of progressive social goals.”

    But the intersectional left’s tactics are wrong anyway.

    1. I looked it up on Wikipedia. The plot is weird and convoluted, and is supposed to be funny. Plus there’s explosions. So there are good and bad parts.

      Also, apparently it was performed at various high schools – but banned at Washington College. Maybe the high-schoolers were less snowflakey than the college students, or maybe college administrators are dumber or more easily pushed around than college administrators.

      1. or maybe college administrators are dumber or more easily pushed around than high-school administrators.

        1. Hey Eddy, how come you have not made an appearance yet in the Catholic post over at Volokh?

          1. I’m kind of waiting to see if the Church can prove its divinity by getting over its current situation. I don’t like the idea of having a Central Committee in the Vatican which goes from saying some beliefs are essential to the faith to saying those same beliefs are icky and a sign of moral and mental defects in the believer.

            “We have always been at war with Eastasia.”

            If the Catholic Church is like this, then it isn’t the Church founded by Christ. If Christ didn’t found the Catholic Church, He didn’t found any church. If He didn’t found any church, so much for Christianity.

            I’m still into theism, though. The argument from design has taken a licking, but Paley’s watch keeps on ticking.

            1. As for the other religions out there:

              While some Catholic priests may have diddled little boys, at least they didn’t strap suicide vests on them and send them to blow up discotheques.

              As for Judaism, I hesitate for that level of commitment, which would include cutting off a piece of Little Eddie.

            2. If He didn’t found any church, so much for Christianity.

              Unless Camus was right that “Peter, you are the rock on which my church will be founded” was a joke about Peter being an idiot and born to follow, doomed to misunderstand that the point was to do away with churches and priests.

              1. Look, it’s a depressing subject, and in the face of a direct question I offered some comments, my views should have an “under construction” icon on them so I can’t be all that helpful.

                1. I was offering it up as a silver lining. I.e. replace “maybe Christ didn’t found a Church, therefore no Christianity” with “maybe Christ didn’t intend to found a Church.”

                  1. Well, I’m afraid that a version of Christianity not founded by Christ doesn’t interest me, at least not as Christianity has traditionally been defined.

                    If Christ was a philosophical cult-leader (like Epicurus – yes, look it up), then you can still get good insights out of him (again, like Epicurus, look it up), but you wouldn’t want to be a join an organization set up by self-proclaimed followers (like…you get what I mean).

                    1. Well, I’m afraid that a version of Christianity not founded by Christ doesn’t interest me, at least not as Christianity has traditionally been defined.

                      What if Christ founded a “Christianity” that is distinct from the Church He didn’t found but that nevertheless bears His name?

                      And Epicurus is one of my all-time favorite philosophers, who is, yes, another great example of the need to separate a great thinker from his “self-proclaimed followers.”

                    2. There’s one guy who said some of Epicurus’ ideas inspirational to the early Christians. Would make sense given the hostility.

                      In fact, Epicurus actually founded his own cult, in the form of a school, but it was like a school where you’re encouraged to have pictures on the principal around you for inspiration.

                      But from the few things which came down from him, a lot of it sounded sensible. Most of his stuff was lost, leaving us with some letters,a brief summary of his ideas, and various quotes in other sources.

                      He posited a fundamental particle which was atomic, that is, couldn’t be split. Well, turned out it could. But his ethical ideas can still be discussed today, and he wasn’t about orgies and loose women, even Seneca the Stoic frequently quoted him.

                    3. What if the church created Christ rather than vice versa?

                    4. What if the church created Christ rather than vice versa?

                      And lastly, what if Christ didn’t found a church, but a church created a Christ? Or many churches created many Christs?

                      This is why the best Prophets are dead ones.

      2. Maybe the high-schoolers were less snowflakey than the college students

        Of course. It takes years of higher education to develop a proper level of snowflakery.

      3. WASHINGTON College? As in the slave owner and original patriarchy guy Washington? How can the college not have changed its name already????

  6. >>bad guys are members of the Ku Klux Klan.

    can’t have the black hats be (D) lol

    1. Take the troll’s advice and use Google – look up who founded the KKK

      1. was implied but thanks.

  7. The administration seeks to “balance the right of free speech with our values of inclusion and compassion,” a spokesperson told The College Fix.

    Similar to the old “I believe in free speech but…” horseshit that these fuckwads like to spout. How’s this for free speech: “fuck off, slaver.”

    “Putting the KKK on stage in a satirical way is not appropriate because nothing about the historical and present day ramifications of the KKK is funny,”

    Said the fragile snowflake with no sense of humor.

    1. “Springtime for Hitler and Germany…”

      1. Note that all great humor is at someone’s expense. The only people that Mel Brooks may not have managed to insult in his films are those he didn’t know enough about.

    2. Nor even an idea of what humor is. Horrible, traumatic subjects can be the funniest if treated right. Or even sometime if you are just being a stupid asshole. You don’t get to declare things not funny because you don’t like it. If people laugh, it’s funny to them. I don’t think there is anything that everyone finds funny. Except maybe farts.

      1. Horrible, traumatic subjects can be the funniest if treated right.

        The closing scene of Life of Brian, as an example.

    3. Rights don’t need balancing. They need to be respected.

  8. The outrage well is running dry. We have to fill it with whatever we can find.

    1. That sounds like the beginnings of a good rap.

      “The outrage well is running dry.
      We have to fill it with whatever we can find.
      Differing ideas make me cry,
      Citrus of truth? I’d only eat the rind.”

      1. You’re off track already. Fresh fruit is white thing.

  9. I wonder if The Producers could be made today.

    1. As long as it’s presented in an anti-Semitic way, sure.

    2. I was going to say it was just a huge Broadway hit but it closed 12 years ago and a lot has happened since.

    3. It could be made, it just couldn’t be screened.

      1. “I can’t be in a movie like this, but I’ll be the first to go see it”

        -John Wayne, upon seeing the script for Blazing Saddles

        1. He was right. He would have been completely out of place in Blazing Saddles.

  10. “balance the right of free speech with our values of inclusion and compassion”

    So how do you do that? Seems the answer on some of these campuses is restrict speech as much as possible, as it certainly takes a back seat to the way people feel [aka “inclusion and compassion”].

  11. “””This show is about giving a voice to the voiceless'”

    Ok, that’s the problem. You can have people with their own voice. It must comply with the voice of the collective.

    1. Can’t have people with their own voice.

      1. It’s about giving my voice to the voiceless!

  12. Washington College Cancels Anti-Racist Play Because It Could ‘Potentially Upset’ Some People

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  13. “Putting the KKK on stage in a satirical way is not appropriate because nothing about the historical and present day ramifications of the KKK is funny,”

    Somebody better go tell Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks, The Coen Brothers, and Dave Chappelle, they don’t seem to have gotten the memo. Also, they should probably advise Frank Miller, Joel Schumacher, John Landis, and a few others that their satirical depictions of Nazis might be faux pas as well.

    1. Oh, can’t forget Robert Rodriguez, better tell him about the ‘no white supremacists, even as satire’ theater clause.

    2. My thought exactly.

      Somebody needs to play “Springtime for Hitler” for these guys.

      1. And Blazing Saddles.

        1. And Blackkklansman
          And Oh, Brother Where Art Thou
          And Django Unchained
          And the Clayton Bigsby bits
          And possibly The Spirit
          And possibly Inglorious Basterds
          And possibly Falling Down
          And possibly A Time To Kill
          And possibly The Blues Brothers…

        2. Someone said the Sheriff is near.

    3. Yeah, well most of those guys are Jews, so what do they know?

      1. The Producers was never a movie. I have a book that proves it.

        /Misek

        1. They were all paid actors who were only pretending to be making a movie!

  14. Haha. The grievance and outrage industry can get so confusing! We’re only a couple of years away from being worried about offending cannibals.

    1. I met Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother once. She assured me her son was a good boy. True story.

  15. Kamala Harris just dropped out of the race.

    It’s because nobody wants her, but why don’t the Democrats want her. Is it because the Democrats are racist misogynists?

    Of course it’s because the Democrats are racist misogynists! If they weren’t racist misogynists, they wouldn’t give a damn about her disgraceful boot-licking of the police.

    1. From what I read, it wasn’t boots she was licking – – – – –

  16. Make the villains Trumpistas(*) and you have yourself a play.

    (*)Ignorant, e onomically incompetent and knuckle-dragging racists who are easily swayed by the facile demagoguery of a New York con-man who can’t pronouce “origins”.

    1. But still more successful than you in every way.

      That’s gotta sting.

    2. “e onomically”

      Specks /beams

  17. How ’bout if students who think they might be offended by the play don’t attend?

    1. That’s crazy talk. They’ll sit there KNOWING IT EXISTS and that will give them PTSD.

      1. Pre-traumatic stress disorder?

      2. And they might have to share a classroom with students who did see it. Even that would be VIOLENCE!

  18. Kimberly-Clark is missing a golden opportunity to market to the Snowflake generation.
    Depends should be offered in young adult sizes in two packs, one for their pants shitting and one for their shit heads.

  19. Washington College should just slap a “Rated XXX – Adults Only” on the thing and keep out the kiddies. Presumably the same sort of warning they slap on their History classes lest the impressionable youth run into mentions of N*z*s and H*tl*r and the H*l*c**st.

    1. XXX isn’t even an official designation, it’s a marketing slogan to entice a certain audience.

      Why not something like Komplex Kultural Kontent (KKK)?

  20. Their students can’t handle satire about KKK members? Or maybe satire at all? Right. I guess they don’t read Jonathan Swift, either. And, they surely can’t handle South Park because…. you know… upsetting. Bullshit.

  21. Crazy idea could those who might be offended simply not go to the play? ????

    1. That’s not how progressive mania…progresses.

    2. “Aw, honey, not another play? I need to watch a play like I need a hole in the head.”
      /A. Lincoln

      1. So Mrs. Lincoln, other than that, how was the play?

    3. But if others see a play in which white racists are ridiculed and cast as evil, that might make Persons of Color unsafe because the viewers might decide that being racist is a good thing and…uh…nevermind.

  22. Students are literally demanding a thought bubble. Can’t even have bad guys as bad guys, can’t even acknowledge that bad guys even exist.

    This is the end point of white affluent liberal parenting. Students so fragile they can’t even cope with the existence of bad people in fiction, let alone reality. What are they going to do when they get out into the real world? Collapse into a pants shitting bundle of sobs? Oh wait, some already have. I love that meme of the crying SJW chick.

    Fucking pathetic.

  23. “Larry Shue’s The Foreigner has KKK villains. Administrators think students can’t handle that.”

    The administrators are right about that.
    No movie should ever show Klan members as evil.
    Snowflakes would melt like they were in 9,000 degree heat.

  24. Actually, the KKK is pretty funny. It’s no worse than how I (or any other Jew) laughs at Nazis. Someone tell them about The Producers!

    1. Or Hogan’s Heroes.

  25. Now even the bad guys in books and movies can’t do things that are bad, because someone might be triggered. How are the snowflakes going to handle real problems if they can’t deal with fake ones?

    1. Duh, with drum circles and marches.

  26. “… cancelled it just two days before dress rehearsals.”

    Phew! That was close. Almost forgot these kids are pussies.

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