3 students at a Seattle arts college cause a controversy

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It was not a public performance — a few dozen students and faculty were the only ones to witness the final presentation of three theater majors at Cornish College of the Arts, in Seattle. But that hasn’t stopped the nature of the performance from becoming the center of a campuswide controversy that has prompted calls from some students for immediate administrative action.

The presentation, which took place March 31, was part of a theater course in which students are asked to perform in clown character. The assignment called on students to portray a historical event. One group, made up of two white men and one white woman, chose to focus on the civil rights movement.

According to Annika Keller, a senior theater major who saw the performance, the actors showed “a dimwitted” Martin Luther King Jr. forgetting his “I Have a Dream” speech and then being shot by another character. In a portrayal of the Greensboro student sit-ins, the performers, playing black students, ordered food such as fried chicken and chitlins, Keller said.

“At that point, nobody was with them anymore,” Keller said. “It had nothing to do with the civil rights movement. It was a blatant stereotypical observation.

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John R. Maass - 5/15/2006

I said your post was foolish & sophomoric, not that you were a fool, etc. That is not name calling, so perhaps when it comes to logic you may wish to relax and think about yours? Not one of your strong points at all, it seems....Your second sentence is very, very muddled. Where is the racism here?

Tim Matthewson - 5/8/2006

You are good at name calling but logic is not one of your strong points. What I see in your response is an aversion to pointing to the strong racial overtones -- if not outright racism -- of the performance -- and your suggestion that pointing to the racism is somehow unfair or hypocritical, even though the performance was blantly racist. You try to distract attention from racism by raising the extraneous issue of President Reagan and other issues. So you are good at name calling, but you have obviously raised a red herring to divert attention from the real issue -- RACISM, a tendency in American thought and feeling which your effort only serves to indicate is as strong as ever.

John R. Maass - 5/6/2006

Tim--what a foolish response. Where in my writing does it say I am a conservative? You've made a sophomoric leap here in thinking that merely by pointing out hypocrisy one has to be on one side or the other, a duality that's quite simplistic.

Tim Matthewson - 5/6/2006

Don't let your paranoia get the better of you. In case you have not noticed there have been substantial international controversies abot "The Passion of the Christ" and the "Da Vinci Code," some claiming that the first is antisemetic and the latter anti-Catholic. And by the way, did you forget the fact that when some Hollywood liberals sought to present a TV movie about Ronald Reagan, the public outcry was so loud that the movie had to be shown on a late nite cable channel.
You paranoid conservatives have a convenient, dishonest way of forgetting facts that don't support your biased view of the world.

John R. Maass - 5/5/2006

If the students' "performance" had ridiculed a Catholic, or Reagan, or someone along these lines would we har about it? No. Academia/the Left has sacred cows that are not to be trifled with. These students dared to do so, and have learned this valuable lesson.