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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000162.txt from 2005/05

From: Bill Hausmann <bhausmann1@-----.net>
Subj: Re: [kl] Possible racist views in music titles [and: Re: Al
Date: Sun, 08 May 2005 01:16:15 -0400

At 01:34 PM 5/7/2005 -0400, Dee D. Flint wrote:

>----- Original Message ----- From: "Bill Hausmann" <bhausmann1@-----.net>
>Last night I attended a local high school production of "Finian's
>Rainbow." A rather radical show for its day (1947) which lampooned racial
>stereotypes and Jim Crow laws, the story has a bigoted white senator
>magically turned into a black man. According to the show program, it is
>not only "politically incorrect" for a white actor to "black up" to play a
>black role, but it is actually ILLEGAL to do so, and also for a black
>actor to "white up." They solved the problem by double-casting the role.

>That kind of law is ridiculous and really ought to be challenged as being
>unconstitutional as it is definitely discriminatory. The best actor
>should get the part period. It would bar many fine actors from
>undertaking the role of Othello in Shakespeare's play simply because they
>were white. It would be even more of a problem in Verdi's opera Otello as
>to find someone who is a world class tenor, a good actor, and black all in
>one package is going to be a rare occurrence. One of these factors will
>have to be compromised most of the time.

I don't make the laws, I just report them. I am sure the INTENT of the law
is to PREVENT talented black actors from being shut out of roles like
Othello by whites in blackface. It also tends to discourage minstrel-type
shows (on purpose, I'm sure). But, yes, it could be viewed as
discriminatory, as most anti-discrimination laws are.

Bill Hausmann

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is TOO LOUD!

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