Racism is alive and well at Australian university-backed performance

Racism is alive and well at Australian university-backed performance, by Janet Albrechtsen.

On Saturday afternoon, about 30 people waited to enter a theatre in the centre of a big, cosmopolitan city for a matinee session of a modern dance performance. A voice in the lobby invited people of colour, brown people, indigenous people and members of the Asian dias­pora to enter the theatre. The white people were forced to stay behind, denied entry on the basis of their skin colour. The same people were then harangued for their skin colour by four young women aiming a volley of accusations at them about their white privilege.

After this, the people with white skin were invited into the theatre, but only if they first signed something acknowledging agreement with a particular set of views.

Some did so and entered the theatre. Others walked away. …

This is not dystopian fiction. This is Melbourne, Australia, on June 9, 2018, according to the ­bewildered man who went along to watch Where We Stand. It is part of the Victorian College of the Arts’ 40th anniversary of dance, at Space 28, a theatre on its Southbank campus. He considered contacting Melbourne University, which is respon­sible for the VCA, and the Australian Human Rights Commission because, surely, this is ­rac­ial discrimination that infringes some of our laws. Then he decided against butting up against turgid bureaucracies, choosing instead a quick dose of sunlight as a better disinfectant. …

Big picture:

A show that ­excluded people of ­colour from entry while whites took their seats would be correctly condemned as racism. But here it’s just art? That is not a rational ­position.

This new form of artistic apartheid is not an unintended consequence of identity politics. Divid­ing people according to skin colour is an entirely deliberate pursuit by academe, bureaucracies and sections of Australian politics. …

Race-based identity politics in the 21st century is toxic because it is untethered from the fine aims of the civil rights movement of the 20th century. Back then, activists fought for equal rights for people regardless of colour, creed or sexuality. Today we have returned to a dark place of defining people ­according to inherited characteristics such as skin colour. Isn’t that what racists do?

Well obviously. The PC line is now that all non-whites are good while whites are bad. More on that play here.

Racists, bigots, sexists, people of prejudice … they are usually happy to tell you why they discriminate, but it is still morally wrong.

hat-tip Stephen Neil