Can you imagine Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony Nr. 5, Op. 67, in C-minor, its short-short-short-long opening especially, performed on a battery of tom-toms? Changing its name from Fate Symphony (Schicksals Sinfonie) to, say, Black Lives Matter Dance?
Yes, the name symphony is out, also: too white.
Or, how about Henry VIII and his wife Anne Boleyn: do those names not sound to you like coming from the blackest regions of Africa?
To refresh your memory: Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England between the years of 1533 and 1536, used to be King Henry VIII’s second wife. She upset the monarch and he had her beheaded. Cynics say the reason was not her treason or anything like it. The King just wanted a son, an heir, that is, and Anne did not oblige. Her successor, Jane Seymour succeeded where Anne failed, but she would die while giving birth to her son, a prince.
While, yes, the Pope denied Henry’s request that his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, be declared null and void, and Henry formed the Church of England to be able to ignore the Pontiff’s chutzpah, there is one matter that is obvious: all actors in this tragic comedy of political gamesmanship were as white as white can get. Not because of any racism, but simply because Africa was too far away. It’s not even known whether the Tudors knew at the time where Africa lay.
Which makes casting black model Jodie Turner-Smith to play Anne Boleyn in a new British TV series somewhat surprising.
The producers’ decision makes about as much sense as the claim that the German composer Beethoven, born to Flemish parents, was black.
This is not to cast doubt on Ms. Turner-Smith’s acting abilities.
This is not to humiliate black musicians, composers and performers, either.
This is about lying.
If Anne Boleyn’s story was a fairy-tale, or a myth, a legend, even, then casting anyone to play her in whatever medium would depend on the concept the creators of the show had in mind.
But Anne Boleyn was a real figure, in real history.
Ms. Turner-Smith should be livid about the casting: a nod to the politically correct crowd rather than appreciation of her acting abilities.
Considering Henry VIII had the so-called Treason Act passed in 1534, making what we now call wrong-think a capital offence, the casting becomes doubly ironic.
The reactions to the newest sign of political correctness in good old England are, understandably, mixed. Those who have hijacked the word progressive call it cutting-edge, while those who say they try to remain realists, called it (another newish word) woke-wankery.
Yes, you can describe God as a black female, and you can even say that Eve was not Adam’s first wife (the name Lilith comes to mind, and the question remains how the writers of the so-called sacred texts managed to omit her role). You can say that Robinson Crusoe was, for the sake of argument, a Muslim (even though that would be stretching it: the original story describes him as British). And James Bond could as easily be played by a Chinese actor: his original author Ian Fleming described him as English, but why can modern England not have a Chinese-British spy in her employ?
But, to use the so-called progressives’ vocabulary, casting Ms. Turner-Smith as Anne Boleyn is cultural misappropriation.
The same holds for casting Beethoven as black.
When the world celebrated Beethoven’s 250th birthday last December, Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels exhibited artist Terry Adkins’ 2004 work Synapse. This video happens to be a part of Adkins’ Black Beethoven series. Adkins claims he’s not finished with the debate about Beethoven’s race.
As if there was one.
An etching created in 1814 seems to show the composer with a darker complexion than it usual. That sparked rumours of Beethoven having had a Moorish ancestor.
Of course, it wouldn’t be American activists if they hadn’t picked it up: Stokely Carmichael went so far that he told a 1960s gathering in Seattle that “Beethoven was as black as you and I, but they (whoever that they was) don’t tell us that.”
The Rolling Stone magazine put it in black and white in its pages in 1969: “Beethoven was black and proud!”
Were Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton white? Is Wynton Marsalis?
Rhetorical questions, both of them.
Why this, and why now?
A couple of real questions comes to mind, though: did black criminal George Floyd deserve to be put on a hero’s pedestal? And is Black Lives Matter a politically racist organization?
The answer to the first question: no. To the second: yes.
But why is all this racket going on just now?
The answer is similar to the question: what the heck is going on with the pandemic?
Check out the official pronouncements from the World Economic Forum: Great Reset, a.k.a. Fourth Industrial Revolution. Or from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: there are too many of us, we’re ruining the environment, Malthus had it right, limit the population, and those who remain alive will be better off. Or from George Soros and his Open Society: drop national governments, let the United Nations Organization lord over all of us.
To sum up: it’s called divide and rule. And since the original Marxist idea of dividing people along the classes failed, let’s use differences in skin colours to make these anti-human ideologies work.
People who are proud of their heritage will never fall for this: they understand that others are as proud of their heritages, and they respect it.
We’ll need to be strong to see through all this politically correct balderdash. It will remain our only option if we want to remain alive as people.