Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Run Amok At Boston Ballet

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2022/12/15/diversity-equity-inclusion-run-amok-at-boston-ballet/

Two Sundays ago, a friend of ours took her children to Boston Ballet’s celebrated performance of The Nutcracker. The ballet itself was, as always, wonderful; but there was one aspect of the evening that blew her mind. It was an appalling display of virtue-signaling in the program that came close to ruining the night for her.

In the printed program for The Nutcracker, there was a page with the following verbiage:

Boston Ballet acknowledges that we gather on the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples, namely the Pawtucket, the Massachusetts, and their neighbors the Wampanoag and Nipmuc Peoples. We give our gratitude to the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout generations. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we know and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we gather. We recognize that this as a part of our core belief in the transformative power of dance and our commitment to educating, enriching, and healing our community. For information on resources and services provided by the Commission on Indian Affairs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, please visit the Commission on Indian Affairs, State of MA.

 (The same statement is on Boston Ballet’s web site.)

Aside from the atrocious syntax and grammar of the statement (“this” – i.e.,  “the painful history of genocide and forced removal” — is “a part of our core belief in the transformative power of dance”?), there is a tragically flawed premise here:  that all the indigenous peoples were innocent, peace-loving, friendly peoples who never warred against other tribes or savagely defeated other tribes and occupied their land.

Why do you suppose Boston Ballet felt the need to mention four tribes?  The Nutcracker takes place at a theater at 270 Tremont Street in Boston.  Why wouldn’t one tribe be enough to “acknowledge”?  Well, depending on the time period, one was up, and others were down. One was a taker, and the others were unwilling givers.

Until relatively recently, the history of mankind consisted largely of conquering and occupation. Regardless of the continent, our history for thousands of years has been that the powerful conquered the weak. And, of course, this is true of North America – well before Europeans arrived.

That doesn’t make conquering right or moral, but it is the way the world worked until the modern era.  Any honest examination of indigenous peoples’ behavior will acknowledge that savage tribal warfare took place over the centuries, and that these wars often ended in the winners torturing the losers and burning them alive – and sometimes eating their body parts.

Alas, the image  painted by Jean Jacques Rousseau in the mid-18th century of the noble savage in North America – the innocent being untouched by evil, a blank slate (tabula rasa, in Latin) to be written on by the environment (meaning the evil European conqueror) — is, of course, a myth. Rousseau actually never went to North America. If he had, perhaps he would have rediscovered the iniquity within each mortal soul, which affects every culture and every individual.

So the Boston Ballet statement above implying that only Europeans arriving in Massachusetts were guilty of pushing indigenous people off their land is not only wrong but ridiculous. It’s isn’t history. It’s just woke propaganda.

Even more disgraceful is the use of the word “genocide.” That’s a lie. The dictionary defines “genocide” as “the intentional destruction of a people or a group.” Genocide is totally at odds with the experience of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags in Massachusetts. A cursory review of the history from 1620 until King Phillip’s War in 1675 reveals that great efforts were made on both sides to live peaceably — and while there were certainly evil deeds done by some Europeans, there was also evil done by some Wampanoags. But no genocide occurred, as in Adolf Hilter’s attempt to eliminate Jews during World War II or the Turkish government’s deliberate destruction of Armenians between 1915 and 1917.

Boston Ballet’s statement is nothing but empty ideology. So what’s the point?

Why do progressives glory in this self-hatred of their heritage and their culture?

First, it gives them a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. It gives them a sense of confidence that in this world, there are saints and sinners (even if they would shy away from those terms), and that they are somehow, by their self-abasement, on the right side of the divide, that they are virtuous.

It also gives in to the latent human instinct to destroy — to deconstruct rather than to build.

And finally, and perhaps most importantly, it provides them with an opportunity to condemn other people while seeing themselves as doing good.

Boston Ballet should be ashamed to allow this self-loathing, virtue-signaling propaganda in its program and on its web site.

Generations of people – and especially children — have enjoyed The Nutcracker since redactors eventually perfected the presentation of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s 1892 masterpiece.

Why isn’t performing it enough? Why must the performance somehow be apologized for?

Please let us watch the beautiful dancing without having to endure hurtful lies.

 

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