Hungarian Conservative

Segregation is Back in Fashion

Wikimedia Commons
A theatre in Toronto decided to put on two plays under their ‘Blackout Night’ event, intended for a black-only audience. This was not the first instance of segregationist efforts resurfacing in North America.

On 17 February, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada is celebrating Black History Month by putting on a performance of ‘Is God Is’, a 2018 play by African-American playwright Aleshea Harris, at the Babs Asper Theatre. The organisers are dubbing the event a ‘Blackout Night’, for quite an unsavoury reason—that is because they want an all-black audience.

That’s right, they were planning on denying entry to certain people based on their skin colour. In their official news release about the show, they claimed they would ‘welcome an all “black-identifying” audience’. Meanwhile, the ticket sales site Ticketmaster labelled the event as ‘exclusively for Black audience members’. What makes their efforts even more sinister is that the NAC is a federal cultural organisation, meaning it receives part of its funding from the tax dollars of the same Canadian citizens they are banning from their show because of their race. By the way, it is not only white people who are denied at the door. Groups that are typically viewed as ‘marginalised’ in woke ideology, such as Native Americans or Latinos, are not allowed either, based on the exact wording of the public messages.

Since the announcement, a major backlash has ensued online. Popular YouTube commentator Jeremy ‘The Quartering’ Hambly also covered the controversy on his channel.

Subsequently, the Ottowa theatre has put out what they called a ‘clarification’, stating that in fact ‘everyone is welcome at the show’ and no one is going to be turned away because of their race.

However, this did not stop the neo-segregationalist trend completely. Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto planned two performances of plays by black playwrights, Okay You Can Stop Now and X Da Spirit, for 9 February, also exclusively for black audiences. This theatre did not back down after the public opposition to their racist efforts. Instead, they found a ‘clever’ way around Canadian legislation in place prohibiting racial discrimination. The British newspaper The Telegraph quotes one of the organisers saying:

‘If someone identifies as a non-black person and requests to enter the room, a member of our team will be present to speak to that person. We try our best to have this labour land on a non-black staff member, and we will have non-black front-of-house, leadership or technical and production team members present in the lobby to help de-escalate such situations.’

This practice described above is somewhat reminiscent of the method organised crime groups use when trying to convince businesses to pay them ‘protection money’.

What’s worse, it falls in line with a trend where self-proclaimed progressive activists want to return to the time of racial segregation, supposedly for the protection of black people. The Canadian theatres did not come up with the idea of a ‘Blackout Night’ on their own—they were following in the footsteps of performance centres in New York in the United States. Also in New York, a 2021 report by the Civil Rights Project showed the school system there to be the most segregated in the US. However, some on the woke left, such as a columnist for The New York Times, have suggested that black New Yorkers embrace ‘Afrocentric’ schools instead of fighting against the racial divide in local education.

In California, another progressive stronghold on the other side of the United States, Evergreen State College held a ‘Day of Absence’ in 2017. In another nod to the Jim Crow-era style separation between races, they decided not to allow white people on their campus for one day. Due to the opposition led by their biology professor Bret Weinstein, they have not tried to repeat the questionable practice since.

Biology professor Bret Weinstein, who lead the opposition against the ‘Day of Absence’ at Evergreen College PHOTO: Flickr/Creative Commons

Racial Progress Undone By the Progressive Woke

Thankfully, there are federal laws on the books both in the US and Canada that prohibit discrimination based on race. However, it is disturbing to see that there are multiple initiatives that, at times admittedly, these laws are in the way of. It is a testament to how far the current progressives drifted away from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, the era which the most famous of these laws originates from.

These political actors are hell-bent on expanding the definition of racism to include what they call ‘colourblindness’, as in if someone is not willing to give special treatment to people of colour, especially black people. That way, they can still use the ruse of fighting for social justice to advance their political agenda. In the meantime, they are also taking us further and further away from the vision of Martin Luther King Jr., who advocated for a world in which people are judged not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.

A theatre in Toronto decided to put on two plays under their ‘Blackout Night’ event, intended for a black-only audience. This was not the first instance of segregationist efforts resurfacing in North America.