Social justice or bullying a child? American ballerina rounds up Instagram mob to lecture 14yo Russian dancer on blackface
Ballerina Misty Copeland made history in 2015 by becoming the American Ballet Theater’s first black principal dancer. She’s since appeared in productions of ‘Swan Lake,’ ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘The Nutcracker,’ among others. Lately, however, she’s also found time to publicly shame Russian children for not measuring up to American standards of political correctness.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, Copeland called out a pair of teenage dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy – one of whom is 14 years old – for appearing in blackface, apparently during a rehearsal of ‘La Bayadère.’
Copeland’s followers saw red, and several reported the dancers for racism. To help them, Copeland tagged one of the dancers in her post.
“No doubt they will be upset and embarrassed by the online backlash but it would not be undeserved,” one wrote.
Amid cries of “terrible” and “disgusting,” some commenters chimed in to remind Copeland that the girls in all likelihood didn’t get to choose their own costumes, and don’t deserve to face the torches-and-pitchforks mob alone. “This is so wrong,” one said, but added that “the girls...have also been forced to dress like this and wear this makeup because of the company.”
Another pointed out that ‘La Bayadère’ was first staged in 1877, when the idea of ‘blacking up’ was not considered racist. Staging it in this day and age, he said, was Bolshoi Ballet’s own bad-taste decision.
But Copeland had none of it. “I’m tired of giving the oppressors the benefit of the doubt,” she wrote. “They need to be exposed, called out, educated and more.” When she was grilled on the ethics of sending a mob of adults to a child’s Instagram page, she replied “we can’t continue to make excuses for those who choose to not see what is in plain sight.”
“I don’t condone bullying, but lessons need to be had,” she concluded.
As for what role a 14-year-old Russian played in oppressing America’s black population, that part was left unexplained. So too was Copeland’s mention of “so many brown children being shot daily.” Whatever about the US, brown children are certainly not shot daily in Russia.Also on rt.com Critics must protect high art from cancel culture
With Copeland’s American followers teaching the “uneducated” Russians a lesson in political correctness, one former ballerina commented that unlike in the US, finding actual black dancers is a difficult task in Russia, where black people make up less than 0.1 percent of the population.
Moreover, she reminded Copeland that if she “wants to defend the interests of the black community and to fight racism, she needs to start with the world’s most racist country – America! And these are not my words, these are the words of my black American friends! There’s no need to take as an example a white Russian girl who plays the part in a ballet staged since 1877!”
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