Having watched “A Capitol Fourth” on television from Washington DC, I can truly say it was not diverse.
Here was the run-down of the evening’s performances:
1. Barry Manilow–white
2. The cast of Motown, the musical (an all-black cast)
3. Darren Criss (of Glee fame)–(white)
4. Jackie Evanco (child wonder from America’s Got Talent)–white
5. Steven Spielberg’s Abraham Lincoln movie clips with John Williams conducting his background music–Spielberg and Williams, white
6. Scotty McCreery (last year’s winner of American Idol)–white
7. Candice Glover (latest winner of American Idol)–a person of color [FINALLY!]
That was the lineup. White lead singers with backup choirs either all black or partial people of color. Can we say white people had the leads and people of color did the backup/backroom stuff?
If that was not bad enough, the cameras that panned the crowd had a hard time finding people of color. When “Motown” performed, the cameras found one or two people of color. When Candice Glover sang, they found one black woman in tears listening to her performance. After Candice sang, they panned the front row (all white) and showed people talking among themselves, looking very bored, and hardly clapping.
TIME WARP! Where was I?
Now I know that across the country this was not the representation at various other locations, but what image do we give to the world when our nation’s supposedly premier performance holds up a white standard and raises it on a flagpole to waive to the world?
When we talk about people of color, I assume we mean people who are other than Caucasian European descent. In the audience we were allowed to see, I saw approximately this ratio: white-90%, black-5%, Asian-4%, other of unknown descent-1%, Hispanic 0%. What?–no Hispanic singers or backup choirs?
If that was not enough, where were the gay performers? How about Lady Bunny–now that would have been a fabulous show! Or how about RuPaul?
At best, “A Capital Fourth” was a bastardization of what this country is. It represented a snow white show interspersed with one or two tiny bits of the diversity of this country. I, for one, was very unimpressed.
Communications Director, UUCJ