Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July, Slants and Redskins! - David Cole

For far too many political-opinion writers, Independence Day has turned into an annual bitchfest about the U.S., with an inescapable flood of op-eds about how America is “warlike,” how the Founders were “racist,” and how the whole shebang is merely an excuse for mindless jingoism. Even those on the right sometimes join the clambake of woe, moaning about how our changing demographics will soon make the holiday meaningless (“enjoy July 4th before it becomes Cuatro de Julio”). This trend over the past few decades toward pessimistic July 4th essays is understandable. It’s a reaction to decades of “Happy Birthday, America, I love you, you’re doin’ great!” pep talks and PSAs from the Red Skelton/Bob Hope/Paul Harvey crowd who defined the 4th during the Cold War years. But as the eminent philosopher Huey Lewis once proclaimed, it’s hip to be square, and I think this year, a positive, uplifting, dare I say retro July 4th essay is warranted.
Because Guy Aoki finally lost one. And those of us who treasure free speech and detest leftist SJW censorship won big.
Who is Guy Aoki? To best answer that question, let’s travel back to 1999, the year in which minority advocacy groups declared the “great American TV whitewash” in response to the fact that the fall television shows announced by the major networks had fewer “people of color” in lead roles than in previous years. The “whiteout” was treated as a worse crisis than the Dust Bowl. Rags like theL.A. Times pimped the story for all it was worth, and one result was that people involved in the casting of TV shows were condemned to atone for their crimes against diversity. Back then, under my newly assumed last name of Stein, I was peripherally involved in mainstream production and casting, happily making a living in obscurity, avoiding controversy wherever possible. So when I was first told about “the workshops,” I held my tongue. Ah, the workshops. Casting folks were ordered by panicked studio and network heads to attend “diversity workshops” where we were berated by a rainbow coalition of screaming leftist ninnies, and where some of the biggest names in casting were forced to sit through hours and hours of unqualified “actors of color” giving piss-poor readings, because of course we all know that the best way to find true talent in any field is to force people to the front or back of the line based solely on skin color.
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