And now, here’s a little ray of hope in an otherwise bleak culture of identity politics. National Review‘s Kyle Smith writes about a new play showing at Lincoln Center, no less, that takes on modern liberalism’s clash with traditional American meritocracy. The play, according to Smith, asks questions such as, “Is pizza racist? Is Kim Kardashian an Asian-American because she’s half Armenian and Armenia is in Asia? Oh, and should a less-qualified black student be given a place at Yale over a more-qualified white student? What if the white kid is a child of privilege? What if the black kid is, too?”
In the opening scene sets the stage, a university staffer puts together pictures for the school brochure but the pictures – which feature minorities – don’t look diverse enough. Speaking of one black student, she laments, “He doesn’t always photograph — he looks whiter than my son in this picture.” Someone asks if she wants “more dark-skinned ones,” to which she replies, that she simply wants “pictures of students who are recognizably minorities.”
Of course, these sorts of situations are all ridiculous, but rampant in today’s nutty world of college identity politics. The play, called Admissions, is “a relentless, often very funny exposé of the hypocrisies and self-contradictions of the diversity craze that defines virtually every elite campus in America.”
Really? In New York? Smith describes more:
Harmon has hit upon the perfect figure to personify this folly: Sherri Rosen-Mason (Jessica Hecht), the dean of admissions at an elite private school in New Hampshire who spends every waking hour fretting about how to add more diversity to the student body. That kind of dedication to opening doors to persons of color, though, means slamming one in the face of her son Charlie (Ben Edelman), a senior at the school, who gets rejected from Yale. His best friend, Perry, who has less impressive test scores, grades, and extracurricular activities but boasts one parent who is half black, gets in. It seems obvious why Perry was admitted to Yale and Charlie wasn’t, especially to people like Sherri and her husband (Andrew Garman), the head of the private school, who have dedicated their careers to rejecting Charlies and fawning over Perrys.
I can’t believe that this play can even exist, let alone in the heart of Manhattan where both the audience and the actors presumably are comprised of some of the most liberal people in America. How did this happen? Smith explains, “Because it’s simply assumed that no Republicans are listening in, ever, progressives in theater fall into animated quarrels among themselves about the defects in their own moral reasoning,” he writes. “Admissions is what happens when they’re forced to work through the injustices created by their social-justice obsession. Late at night. After a couple of glasses of pinot noir.”
I, for one, am really happy that these sorts of conversations are happening at Lincoln Center, and presumably dinner tables all over America. It’s time to deal reasonably with the albatross that is identity politics in an honest, creative way.
Hat Tip: National Review
Image Credit: By Nils Olander from Panoramio (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons