Shakespeare gets canceled

February 18, 2021 • 1:00 pm

Yes, I’ve exaggerated with the word “canceled”, but if English departments were like police departments, you could say that Shakespeare is getting “defunded.” Unfortunately, I am not an expert on the Bard, having read only the most famous of his plays (and all of the sonnets), so all I can say is that he is not just an expert in constructing intricate and absorbing plots, but a genius, probably unparalleled, in the use of the English language. His preeminence is justified, but of course he’s a dead white male, and of course there is Othello (who doesn’t come off so badly, as Shakespeare was no white supremacist), and most of all there’s Shylock.

But crikey, that was the late 16th and early 17th century, and Shakespeare gets off pretty well compared to what were probably the attitudes of his English countrymen.  Nevertheless, he’s being downgraded, and this is expected given the way things are going. The criticism doesn’t seem to mention Shylock because, after all, who cares about stereotyped Jews?

The article below is of course from a conservative venue: the Washington Times. But that doesn’t mean that the quotes (indented) are fake, so if you find a fake one, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll give a few excerpts, as I must take my wintery constitutional before I watch the Mars landing. Click on the screenshot:

So let’s put Shakespeare in the dock. “Mr. Shakespeare, you stand accused of these sins:”

White supremacy and colonization (?):

For the new breed of teachers, Shakespeare is seen less as an icon of literature and more as a tool of imperial oppression, an author who should be dissected in class or banished from the curriculum entirely.

“This is about white supremacy and colonization,” declared the teachers who founded #DisruptTexts, a group that wants staples of Western literature removed or subjected to withering criticism.

The anti-Shakespeare teachers say fans of the plays ignore the author’s problematic worldview. They say readers of Shakespeare should be required to address the “whiteness” of their thinking.

If Shakespeare must be taught, these educators say, then it should be presented with watered-down versions of the original or supplemental texts focused on equality issues.

Elizabeth Nelson, who teaches English at Twin Cities Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota, told School Library Journal that she gives her students Marxist theory when reading Shakespeare’s tragedy “Coriolanus” about the Roman leader.

Toxic masculinity:

Sarah Mulhern Gross told the journal that she delivered “toxic masculinity analysis” to her students reading “Romeo and Juliet” at High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey.

I suppose this is because those Montagues and Capulets who were always quarreling were MEN, ergo the family feud exemplified toxic masculinity.

Being an irrelevant hack:

This is among the most ridiculous of the comments, but remember that Woke ideology rejects the idea of a meritocracy. And Shakespeare, often considered the greatest of English-language writers, is triply bad because he was a white male as well as a great writer, so he needs to be taken down a few pegs. For example:

The School Library Journal, which describes itself as “the premier publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens,” joined the fight this year and offered young adult novels as alternatives to Shakespeare.

The librarians also showcased an essay questioning the contemporary value of the playwright responsible for classics such as “Hamlet,” “Macbeth” and “King Lear.”

“A growing number of educators are … coming to the conclusion that it’s time for Shakespeare to be set aside or deemphasized to make room for modern, diverse, and inclusive voices,” said the essay, titled “To Teach or Not to Teach: Is Shakespeare Still Relevant to Today’s Students?”

“Educators grappling with these questions are teaching, critiquing, questioning, and abandoning Shakespeare’s work, and offering alternatives for updating and enhancing curricula,” it said.

Set aside! Defunded! This reminds me of Professor Philip Ewell, a black professor of music theory at Hunter College in New York, who said this about Beethoven (quoted in the New York Times):

Last April [Ewell] fired a broadside at Beethoven, writing that it would be academically irresponsible to call him more than an “above average” composer. Beethoven, he wrote, “has been propped up by whiteness and maleness for 200 years.”

Check out the link.

And talk about damning with faint praise:

“We believe that Shakespeare, like any other playwright, no more and no less, has literary merit,” wrote Lorena German, a teacher who penned #DisruptingShakespeare and is often engaged in Twitter discussions on the subject. “He is not ‘universal’ in a way that other authors are not. He is not more ‘timeless’ than anyone else.”

You mean that every author is equally timeless? Shakespeare doesn’t speak to us any more than, say, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull? All must have prizes!

Well, I’ll leave out the kvetching about wokeness that also permeates the article; the critics above speak sufficiently to the malaise afflicting the humanities. Anyone who can argue that Shakespeare is no more timeless than anyone else must not only argue that he’s revered simply because he was a heterosexual white male, but must also argue that every other author and playwright who ever lived is just as good as the Bard. And that’s just nuts.

93 thoughts on “Shakespeare gets canceled

  1. The Bard barred ?!

    We do not know that he was heterosexual – plenty have speculated otherwise of course!

    I do not believe in forcing classics on unwilling teenagers, but it exists as literature, & even if you do not want to read it or watch it, you still have to bloody well study it because of its huge influence.

    1. Married with three children, the first of whom was conceived out of wedlock. He may still have been bisexual, I suppose.

      Unfortunately, with teaching you can’t avoid forcing things on unwilling teenagers.

      Actually, I would rather nobody was forced to read Shakespeare’s plays. They were designed to be watched. The only people who should have to read a Shakespeare play are the people who are going to act in one.

      1. This is valid to a point. When I began reading Shakespeare, Kenneth Branagh was making his best films. What first caught my attention was his exciting Henry V. And it really did help me when I turned to reading the plays. Watching helped me understand how the language was used, then reading helped me understand the language being used. And analysis of the plays in High School and college helped me go deeper. So, yes, please, watch Shakespeare! But learning to read him truly helps give you the full experience.

          1. That’s interesting. I have heard wonderful readings, and do agree with ol’ Walt in that poetry should be read aloud. But sonnets in particular were normally read as they were given as gifts and in letters to impress the ladies. I love the Sonnets.

            I’d also suggest the universality of Shakespeare is clearly demonstrated in Kurosawa’s Ran (King Lear) and Throne of Blood (MacBeth). The stories are told in film form, and w/o the language, but the themes, characters, etc are still there. And they are masterworks in their own right.

          2. You can get pleasure from memorizing the sonnets and being able to “read” them whenever you like, aloud or silently.

    2. “plenty have speculated” – starting with Oscar Wilde, I think?

      Shakespeare must be “problematic” for the Woke, what with the stuff they hate about him being mixed up with all that crossdressing…

      1. Haha! My BIL was rehearsing a musical of Mrs. Doubtfire in San Francisco, and one of the main criticisms the play received was whether cross dressing as a source of humor was still OK. So might as well toss Some Like it Hot and Monty Python out as well. (BIL’s production’s opening was put off when Broadway shut down, but it’s not “cancelled.”)

    3. The Merchant of Venice reflects to the Elizabethan – or layer – audiences their own AntiSemitism. It isn’t Shakespeare’s.

      Early in the play, Shylock explains that he’s been pushed off the pavement, spat upon & insulted by the same Christian who now wants a loan from him. Then, Shakespeare gives Shylock that wonderful soliloquy, in which he directly challenges the audience to recognise that a Jew is a human being just like them.

      To top it off, Shakespeare gives Portia that wonderful speech about mercy – then shows the savage cruelty of the Christians who deprive him of his daughter, his dead wife’s ring, his money, his livelihood, and even his community and religion. Shakespeare doesn’t dictate our attitudes. But he does show us alternatives and invite us to consider where we stand.

  2. If Shakespeare must be taught, these educators say, then it should be presented with watered-down versions of the original or supplemental texts focused on equality issues.

    If your goal is to teach about the sexism or racism of his writing, then isn’t it shooting yourself in the foot to water down his texts?

    “Dear students. We’re now going to discuss sexism in The Taming of the Shrew. But to protect you, we’ve removed all the scenes where sexist language, thought, or discussion of men’s of women’s roles occurs…”

    That would make it, what, two pages long?

    1. Also with the Romeo and Juliet example and toxic masculinity. Yes, I kind of think there is toxic masculinity involved, but (spoiler alert) it causes quite a lot of tragedy. It seems to me that, if you want to warn people of the dangers of toxic masculinity, Romeo and Juliet is a pretty good text to study.

      1. Wise observation. And you’ll find this across Shakespeare. He was hyper aware of social hypocrisies, and got himself into hot water with some of his plays the criticized the ruling class. He knew wtf he was doing.

      2. I think the Capulet-Montague thing is more accurately defined as a result of “honor culture.” Lady Capulet comes off as fairly cold and a bit bloodthirsty, so it’s not just the men who thirst for vengeance.

  3. The Bard barred?!

    I do not believe in forcing literature on unwilling teenagers, for the sake of it, but it exists in literary history, & if you want to know anything about the history of literature you have to bloody well study it even if you do not like it! It is a part of literary history!

    1. It’s also an invaluable cultural reference. Last month there were several comparisons made to King Lear regarding the former occupant of the WH. I read and keep the KJV Bible with my reference books near my writing desk. In order to understand where we are, we have to know why and how we got here. And Shakespeare and the KJV have enormous footprints in our culture and our language.

  4. I would like it if all of these so-called educators would describe exactly what they think the purpose of education is. If there’s no content, and if there’s no way to gauge success in student learning, it sounds like they are trying to talk themselves out of jobs.

    1. Several years ago I read about an opinion written by Justice Brennan. In it he referred to ancient historical personages and events. If the educators continue to destroy the existing historical and literary events life is going to be truly minimal. What will they do with the prehistoric phenomena?

  5. Oh for crying out loud! Shakespeare had a number of anti-Irish themes (there was a war going on between us – again – who knew?) but that does not detract from his absolute genius and one of his plays is compulsory in English studies for « high school » midpoint and end exams.

    1. Just out of curiosity, which plays have anti-Irish sentiments? Learning in the States, this was obviously less topical, even though that was at the tale end if The Troubles.

      1. I’d guess Richard II… Dad was in an RSC production in Stratford in the early ’70s at the height of “the Troubles” and the line ‘”Now for our Irish wars” always got a laugh.

  6. I almost don’t care what idiots say about Shakespeare and Beethoven. In a hundred, two hundred, five hundred years time they’ll still be there, reinventing themselves for every new generation who discovers them afresh. These absurd critics will be utterly forgotten, and if their criticisms are ever dug up from the musty electronic archives, it will only be as objects of derision.

  7. Good grief. Shakespeare is from a time where his audience would have had the opportunity to attend such abhorrent “shows”, right next to the theatre where his plays were performed, such as burning cats alive in bags. This is the time of Shakespeare. Think of context.

    1. The Woke religion has a new commandment:

      – Thou shalt seek out the worst word spoken or deed done by every person.
      – Each person shall be marked and shamed with that worst word or deed, forever.
      – No person, by virtue of good works, shall ever rise above their mark of infamy.
      – When the Word of the Woke shall be slavishly and supinely obeyed by all, then shall only the pure, the perfect, the blameless, and unblemished be tolerated: The Perfect Woke, alone, shall be recognized.

      (And good luck to them when the Red Guards come for them, too.)

  8. Wokeness is time and again an attack on competence and distinction. It’s rather blunt about that now.

    If your works have survived almost 500 years in the esteem in which Shakespeare’s have, then you have been vetted again and again and represent a mighty high achievement. And I think that the woke can’t live with achievement of that caliber as it thoroughly frustrates their hunger for flatness.

    In essence, by ridding literature and history of great achievements, it makes the achievement of the mostly contemporary and more recent replacements shine brighter. They won’t have those super high achievers like Shakespeare setting pace.

    Near-mediocrity and worse then become non-disqualifying events for being installed in whatever canon is newly inaugurated.

    1. This is just like those graphics “defining” whiteness as, among other things: Showing up on time, being polite, using reason and logic, deferring gratification, etc.:

      The subtext is this: The Woke proposition is that people who do not exhibit those characteristics should be rewarded equally to those who do exhibit them. Because, you know, racism and white supremacy.

      The same here: Mediocrities should be rewarded equally to people of great distinction. Because: Racism and white supremacy.

  9. When in disgrace with Pecksniffian scold’s eyes,
    I all alone beweep my outcast state,
    And trouble deaf administration with my bootless cries,
    And look upon myself and curse my fate,
    Wishing me like to one more rich in woke
    Featured like he/him, like he/him with friends possessed,
    Desiring this warrior’s vision and that scholar’s scope,
    With what I most enjoy contents them least;
    Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
    Haply I think of, and then my state,
    Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen social media posts sings hymns at academia’s gate;
    For thy sweet love remembered such privilege brings
    That then I scorn to change my state with kxngs.

  10. OK. I wrote a comment and it didn’t post. And I’m not rewriting it just now because I need to go Force Choke the friggin morons quoted in the article. I just got done with yoga and they do this to me! These “scholars” have me almost at phull Philly.

  11. Wonder what these cats woulda made of Voodoo Macbeth, the version of “the Scottish play” reset on a Caribbean island, directed by Orson Welles as part of the New Deal’s Federal Theater Project during the Great Depression, and staged in Harlem with an all-black cast?

        1. Precisely. The themes and characters are unchanged. He used the language of film, and, what I call “cultural dialect” or “accent” to create Shakespeare for his audience. And those are powerful films demonstrating the universality of Mr. Billie S’s work.

  12. Pre Covid in Auckland NZ a pop up Globe theatre well, popped up to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary. Here’s the link but it showed that Shakespeare can be adapted so there is another way to approach Shakespeare.
    Note the ugly-Shakespeare production company name.
    Contemporary films have also paved the way using black actors in lead roles this I think helps by relegating or perhaps negate cis, white, old, patriarchal or any woke lunacy. In the above link you will see what else they have in mind for diversity.
    The plays don’t change just how the production is conceived and presented. It makes for more interest to the wider public.
    The pop-theatre production were a great success BTW.
    You’re not gonna like this but there is more than one way to skin a cat…

  13. McWhorter recently wrote a clear essay on the confused, recent notion that music theory is racist, and he cites interesting musical examples easily found on YouTube, including a gorgeous Beethoven string quartet I never knew about.

  14. O, brave new world that has such people in it. Let me break the ice by saying that, in my heart of hearts, I think these people will become a laughing stock when they are hoist by their own petard, and they learn that the Bard was more sinned against than sinning. It sets my teeth on edge when people play fast and loose with facts and claim to be the be-all and end-all when in fact they are the Devil incarnate. But jealousy is the green-eyed monster, and it is what leads them on their wild-goose chase, claiming to be filled with the milk of human kindness. But they will give the devil his due when the game is afoot and the crack of Doom sounds. When their ideas come full circle, in one fell swoop, they’ll be eaten out of house and home.

    But it’s an ill wind which blows NO man to good, and in my mind’s eye I can see myself being merry as the day is long, dining on a dish fit for the gods, when they and their idiocy are dead as a doornail and stay so forever and a day. It’s not for the faint-hearted, and no one has ever described me as having a heart of gold…but I do wear my heart upon my sleeve in these matters. When all our yesterdays have lighted these fools the way to dusty death, I’ll not give them the cold comfort of killing with kindness, but will say, “Good riddance!” I could be well moved to say more, but as brevity is the soul of wit, I will be brief: I wait with bated breath the day that the rest of the world cries havoc and lets slip the dogs of war against such fools as THESE mortals be.

    As good luck would have it, most of the preceding – and many, many more – expressions are brought to you by William Shakespeare.

  15. Perhaps Shakespeare is mentioned because he is widely known of outside academic circles, unlike the playwright Christopher Marlowe who was contemporaneous and is said to have co-written 3 of Shakespeare’s plays? [Disclosure: I acted one of a cast of adolescents in one of his plays.]

    Which leads me to think that Shakespeare is being ‘picked on’ because he can be used as an object lesson. The tallest poppy syndrome perhaps… he is hated because he was successful.

    Goodness knows what The Woke will make of Chaucer.

  16. We all agree that this is silly, and that it will all blow over in the end.

    I just worry that this is what everyone thought in the 5th century when the Christians were cancelling anyone who wasn’t a Christian or was the wrong sort of Christian.

    Remind me how that went in the end?

    1. Yeah. I’m deeply disappointed the universities are the source of this because they are education generations.

    2. “Cancel culture” is merely capitalism. You have a changing demographic with different interests? Want their money? Cancel what they don’t like. Until recently, the common phrase was “be woke and go broke.” Now that’s changed. So perhaps the formerly cancelled are taking revenge.

    3. The Woke are Neo-Barbarians—modern-day Goths, Vandals, and Huns smashing the institutions of Western Civilization.

  17. The New English Review reports as follows about some countervailing developments in the UK. It remains to be seen, of course, how significant they are—and whether anything similar, however feeble, can develop on this side of the Atlantic.

    “It is significant that the increasing counter culture and wokery is being challenged and that counter measures are being taken or contemplated. This is being illustrated by recent developments in the UK which should be in interest in Washington, D.C.

    Potentially the most promising of these developments is the meeting planned for February 23, 2021 by Oliver Dowden, British Culture Secretary who invited leaders of 25 of the UK’s main heritage bodies and charities to discuss “how to defend our culture and history from the noisy minority of activists constantly trying to do Britain down.” It is arguable that these charities and heritage bodies, involved in the assertion that many historical properties have a colonial past or are linked to slavery, are losing track of their official purpose, the protection and promotion of British heritage.

    A second event is the statement by Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary who has expressed concern about the silencing of voices in Britain and the chilling effect of censorship. He has declared that the government will take new measures to strengthen the existing legal protections for free speech. These will ensure that student unions at universities will for the first time have a direct legal duty to ensure free speech for their members and guest speakers. In addition, individuals, academic staff or students, can seek compensation in the courts if they feel they have suffered from impinging of their free speech. This would apply to cases of students expelled, academics dismissed or demoted, and speakers “no-platformed.” Freedom of speech in British universities will be protected by these stronger legal measures.

    A new feature is to be a Free Speech and Academic Freedom Champion who will foster free speech and academic freedom, impose fines on those student unions and others that restrict speech unlawfully and redress the situation if individuals have been dismissed or demoted for their views. It will deal with disruptive protests that prevent a person from speaking, and will end the practice of refusal to invite speakers because some groups might object.”

  18. I’ll bet every white social justice warrior today is child or recent descendant of someone with racist beliefs. If racism is the original sin of this country, then you can’t wash it out. Just cancel yourselves and be done with it.

    1. Yes, and all the conservative parents concerned with violence in children’s cartoons in the ’80s grew up watching Bugs Bunny. Puritanical adults deciding that other people’s kids can’t handle what they handled as kids is an American classic. Unfortunately, it’s just as annoying today as it ever was.

  19. I suggest that anyone who proposes cancelling some great scientist, writer or scholar because they happened to live in an era where racist attitudes were the norm should first prove that they themselves have some achievement to their name equivalent to that of the person they want to cancel. Wannabe Shakespeare cancelers, show us your great literary works. Scientist cancelers, show us your Nobel prize.

    The number of cancellation notches on one’s belt don’t count as achievements by the way.

  20. I’ve been wondering lately if we really need to teach everyone how to appreciate Shakespeare. It seems pretty niche. I think I’d like to see more of high school English devoted to how to critically read the news and social media and advertising and Op Eds. Coming out of school without having your critical reading skills well developed seems like it leaves you as prey for shysters. Shakespeare is something you can enjoy on the weekend

    1. You can use Shakespeare to develop critical reading skills and its often used in that way. Further, I tend to think that stripping school of all culture to produce people who are specialized in mundane things is rather bland and can’t exactly lead to much of a culture in general. Why teach history? Why teach languages? Why teach music? Why teach phys ed? What a dull world we would have.

    2. Surely you can teach both. Given that Shakespeare represents what many consider the artistic height of the English language, it would be criminal not to expose students to him. That doesn’t mean he should be shoved down students’ throats at every opportunity, but high schoolers should read at least one of the plays before they graduate.

  21. I think Dr. Coyne nailed it in the last paragraph. It’s weird that people don’t understand what a terrible, self-defeating attitude this is. If a teacher has nothing to say about literary merit except “We believe that Shakespeare, like any other playwright, no more and no less, has literary merit,” – that is, it’s all equally good, no possibility for object-level praise or criticism, no standards of craft that one writer fulfills better than others – why hire her as a teacher? When you become a playwright, according to her, you’re just like Shakespeare, no more and no less! No need for hard work and effort, no need for expert criticism and advice, no need for expensive schools to teach you the trade! Just like punk rock – three chords and you’re good to go, right?

  22. I also wonder if twenty or fifty years in the future, people will look at our age and wonder how we could be such complete fools. “People really believed that men and women were the same, except for differences in socialization, and they ostracized people who simply pointed out typically male or female preferences and habits as ‘sexist’ – didn’t they learn biology in school back then? Did they not have eyes in their heads?”

  23. My alma mater, SUNY at Buffalo, downgraded Shakespeare & indeed, all its English classes years ago. When I first started at UB, they were all four credits. When I went back to finish my degree in 2008 (after having a family), all those classes were only three degrees. So of course, you had to take more classes to get the required credits to graduate. Oh! & you had to have more credits to graduate than you did in the late 70’s. So you had to take all kinds of so-called “breath of life” classes to “round out” your “life experience” … never mind that some of us were closing in on our 50’s & had plenty of life experience. Whatever. Woke or not, it’s all about the $$$ & not getting an education, that’s the sad truth of it.

  24. There’s a phenomenon in the movie industry : rebooting franchises. Interesting takes on old, tired movies, applying new technology, modern ideas and iconography, etc., with the objective to appeal to new, young, audiences.

    It appears that everything is subject to a reboot, as if it is simply a franchise. Science, mathematics, art, literature, medicine -are all simply franchises.

    What would happen if theater and poetry were invented today – with all the people with different shades of pigmentation in their skin, and different languages, and different carbonated beverage logos, and so on? The Elect boldly suggest to find out what that would look like – by deleting particular output from the literature.

  25. I possess a 1960 Tudor Edition of William Shakespeare The Complete Works inherited from my late father. Over the years, I have read from page 1 to page 1376 and back again. Great to read my Dad’s comments in the margins. Shakespeare’s works are a treasure of the English language.

  26. What we’re seeing is the result of a long-term cultural trend and a more recent one.

    The canceling of Shakespeare is the culmination of the form of Critique prevalent in the Humanities. Students are made to study a text not for appreciation or enjoyment, or to gain knowledge of the author’s technique, but to ferret out all the systems of oppression at work. The more you find, the more acclaim you receive, so is it any wonder that literature only exists for these academics as a hotbed of toxic ideologies only brilliant professors can adequately diagnose? It’s the ultimate revenge of the uncreative, the triumph of the professor over the artist. This attitude is carefully handed down from professor to graduate student, and now we see it at work in the subjects of this article, who only find oppression in Shakespeare.

    As for the recent trend: after the spring of 2020 the entire country became hyper-conscious of genuine forms of oppression at work. So it’s no problem for activists who would have been laughed out of the room two years ago to now get serious attention when they claim someone like Shakespeare is part of system of oppression and must be deposed to allow authors from marginalized cultures/peoples to get the spotlight instead. Higher education in the US is run like a business that must keep customers happy, and since no one wants to be called a racist or oppressor, educators are happy to roll over on their bellies for even the most unhinged “customers” and activists. This attitude trickles down to the administrators of high schools, who are usually the over-educated products of graduate schools and quite woke themselves.

    Once again the English departments are sawing off the branch they sit on. Critique certainly has its place, and students should NOT be taught to uncritically appreciate texts, but without a bedrock of appreciation there’s no pleasure in studying literature, except for those who get their rocks off by righteously attacking long-dead authors. If schools don’t attempt to inculcate an appreciation for literature—as opposed to ideologically pure agitprop—they’re leaving students at the mercy of a market-ruled society that would rather have young people playing videogames and watching Netflix.

  27. A few comments about this: Firstly, over time, trends change in literature as new works are continually created and writing styles change. In the 19th century you would not have found classes in postmodern or existential literature, for example, so it might make sense that students are expressing a preference for different genres than in the past. In the scientific community, you don’t usually learn about modern science by reading classics. HOWEVER those science classics are a valuable insight into scientific history. There’s a lot of anti-semitic material in Shakespere (Taming of the shrew, esp.) Same thing in some of Mark Twains works with racism, etc. It used to be okay to acknowledge that those things existed in the text, but in a sense value them IN PART because it showed just how bad things used to be. Now, after all vestiges of past racism are extinguished, no one will be able to prove that it happened. I only found out recently that there was widespread racism against groups considered “white” in the 1800s and early 1900s. But most of these white groups have become so assimilated that they’ve forgotten all about the signs that said “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs,” “Italians need not apply,” and the surreptitious housing discrimination that used to occur. Yes, housing discrimination was not “De Facto” (written into the law) as it was in the Jim Crow south, but there is a reason why LIttle Italy was established in the heart of one of the most notorious ghettos of NYC (including in Red Hook, Brooklyn.) That’s because no one wanted to rent to the low class, illiterate, dirty Italians. Same thing happened with Jews, and other Eastern European Groups, and the Immigration Act of 1924 was established in part to limit the influence of these groups. This was many years before the numbers rose for other immigrant groups who are more predominant today, who tend to be darker complected.

  28. Sorry: one more comment I forgot to include. Let’s not confuse groups which are using the new “wokeness” as a way to pursue their own agenda and get rid of some curriculum with those who are just radically armchair fascist. For instance, PETA claimed “all white foods were racist” in order to prevent people from drinking milk. Unfortunately for them then they had to admit that soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, rice milk, and brazil nut milk were also racist. Plus, none of their vegan followers wanted to give up their falafel burgers on brioche with french fries.

Leave a Reply