Readers puzzled by 'word salad' Washington Post column decrying 'In The Heights' as insufficiently diverse

Media top headlines June 22

The Washington Posted getting panned for report on Stacey Abrams and Democrats’ ‘evolution’ on voter ID, Dave Portnoy bashing ‘dishonest loser’ who ignored Barstool Fund in criticism of the founder, and Meghan McCain being troubled by Biden’s abortion stance round out today’s top media headlines

Readers were puzzled Tuesday by a Washington Post column demanding Lin-Manuel Miranda be held “accountable” for his new musical they deemed guilty of “Black erasure.”

An adaptation of his own off-Broadway musical, “In The Heights” is set in the primarily Dominican upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights. Despite a diverse cast befitting its plot, Miranda has already had to apologize to critics who deemed his movie lacking in Afro-Latino stars. 

The recent controversy surrounding “In the Heights,” the big-budget film based on the musical created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, came as no surprise for Black Latin American and Caribbean people. With its White and light-skinned leading roles, the film became part of a long tradition in the Americas of Black erasure,” Julissa Contreras and Dash Harris Machado wrote in a piece that contains phrases like “Black Latinxs,” “distancing mechanism from their whiteness,” and “coloniality and capitalist frameworks.”

One paragraph in particular, deemed “unintelligible word salad” by one Twitter user, drew critics’ mockery.   

“‘In the Heights’ picks and chooses mythical “universal” Latino experiences over letting the truth stand in its entirety. The deprioritization of lived and racialized experiences in favor of a nonexistent mono-cultural “Latinidad” has no function beyond fantasy. How can we honor those who came before us and risked everything to exist despite the challenge of erasure? Are we willing to let them be sold out so that White Latinxs can use our keys to open their own doors? No. We must hold people such as Miranda accountable for writing us out of our own story. There is absolutely no community without accountability,” they wrote.  

Writer David Burge joked it was like “they fed 500 Oberlin term papers into an AI bot,” while Fox News contributor Guy Benson called it “embarrassing.” 

Source: Read Full Article