As further proof that the gentrifying instinct of caucasity knows no bounds, a new theater presentation featuring “slave songs” sung by an all-white cast, backed by an all-white band and led by a white director has quickly become the biggest hit at the largest jazz festival in the world.
Coming soon to a theater near you is SLĀV, a “theatrical odyssey based on slave songs.” The show debuted at the Montreal Jazz Festival on Tuesday, and although it was only scheduled for five performances, the tickets sold so quickly that organizers decided to book the show for 11 more dates before it hits the road at venues across the U.S.
According to the Montreal Gazette, the musical “will explore many eras of black music including slave songs, work songs, railroad songs, field songs, prisoners’ songs, laments and lullabies.” The songs were given “new life” by Robert LePage, an acclaimed opera director who has worked with a list of names I would list here, but you probably don’t know them because they’re all white. Well ... you might recognize the name of Peter Gabriel.
The songs are performed by vocalist Betty Bonifassi, a woman who looks like Kim Kardashian’s grandmother had a baby with Post Malone’s grandfather and decided to enter the family business of gentrifying black things. Bonifassi left an “electro-noir” band to begin a career smearing Negro spirituals with mayonnaise and maple syrup.
“It’s not just one thing that belongs to one specific ... ,” LePage explained in Canadianese.
About 75 protesters showed up at the first show, which cost between $60 and $90 per ticket. The demonstrators yelled at patrons, accusing them of co-opting their pain, the National Post reports.
Bonifassi and LePage bravely faced their critics in the whitest way possible—by releasing a statement on social media. (What? Technically, that can be considered “facing.” They did it on Facebook. It has “face” right there in the name!)
“Yes, the history of slavery, in all its various forms, belongs first and foremost to those who have been oppressed and to the descendants of those people,” the statement read. “Diversity and its artistic potential are at the heart of SLĀV as much as the legacy of slavery.”
Apparently subscribed to the international version of the Caucasian Guide to Whitesplaining, the statement by the poutine eaters continued, “Do we have the right to tell these stories? Audience members will have the opportunity to decide after having seen the show.”
Of course. When confronted on their whiteness, people always deflect by arrogantly asserting that they have “the right” to do something offensive, as if that makes it OK. However, I tend to agree with them on their overall point.
Lepuke and Bonnyasshole are soul-sucking, culture-vulture, cheese-curd-looking, succubuslike, vanilla dingleberries who want to profit off the fact that people who looked like them kidnapped whole human beings and sold them, and now they think it’s OK to profit from that legacy of evil by auctioning off the history and culture of those people. Do I have the right to say that?
The Root’s audience will have the opportunity to decide.