Timothy McNair is a graduate student of opera at Northwestern University’s famed Bienen School of Music. McNair is at the school on a full scholarship, but the 25-year-old is standing up to his school after his professor, Donald Nally, gave him an assignment to perform a song created by a racist American poet named Walt Whitman. McNair asked his instructor if he could be assigned to perform the work of other artists but Nally denied him the opportunity and told him if he didn’t turn in all of his completed work by Friday, May 17th he’d receive a failing grade. McNair refused.
“Certainly I do not deserve to fail this class. I have a 3.7 GPA. I’m an officer on three committees of this university. So what is deserving for me? Is to be able to perform two pieces and have the third piece removed because of the insensitivity,” McNair told Chicago’s WGN news station. Although the piece McNair is instructed to perform does not contain any blatant racism, McNair believes it is still offensive that he was asked to complete the works of a devout racist. “We know (he) was historically racist. He’s called African Americans ‘baboons’ and was for oppressing voting rights,” McNair said of Whitman.
But let a white person had to sing a song written about Osama or Sadam that shit would have been on every new station.
I didn’t realize Walt Whitman had written such racist stuff (that wasn’t covered when we read his work in high school, SURPRISE) (if you’re curious, his archive has a super-apologist piece about it - along the lines of “well sure he was racist, but everyone was racist back then!”), and this is super fucked up.
I also had not realized that Walt Whitman had written that way. I haven’t researched Walt much but I always thought he was a fairly respectable person. If anyone had been required to recite something from Osama or Sadam, I’m quite certain the professor would receive a lot of trouble if not being let go because those are people who are against America. Technically, it’s kind of a different issue. But still wrong, I agree that this man should not be required to do that. Just like I wouldn’t want to have to recite something that an avid Atheist wrote if it contained derogatory statements about Christians and I shouldn’t be expected to do so. This is wrong and this man should not be required. Asked maybe, but required? Absolutely not.
I was at walmart the other day, and I was sitting on a bench waiting for my mom to pay, and I was braiding my hair because that’s something I do when I’m bored, and this dude walks by and says, “hey baby, what else can you do with your hands?” I gave him my most polite smile and said in the sweetest way possible, “strangle you.”
And I think I actually scared him because his eyes got kind of wide and he just walked away.
Oxycodone, muscle relaxers, ibuprofen…not quite as much fun as the other night but at least I’m starting to get past the itching from my antibiotic. Since my pain level’s higher, the oxy isn’t making me loopy, which kinda sucks. It sucks on the more pain level and the not loopy level. So I’m like totally coherent for discomfort. :( Oh well.