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Friday, December 20, 2013

A Jazzman’s Sour Notes on Race

December 19, 2013 by Bruce Bawer
Only hours after Front Page posted my article last week about bogus racism allegations – in which, among other things, I lamented that Black Studies programs in American universities are too preoccupied with inculcating victimhood and accusing people of racism to produce works like Terry Teachout’s recent biographies of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington – I discovered that Teachout himself, who is the Wall Street Journal‘s theater critic and critic-at-large for Commentary, had been publicly smeared with an allegation of racism just a few days earlier. 
The hurler of this allegation was Nicholas Payton, a well-known jazz trumpeter who holds the title of “Distinguished Artist and Visiting Lecturer” at Tulane University – and who has also taught “master classes, clinics and workshops at over 40 institutions” from Cornell to Stanford. If I’ve chosen to shine a spotlight on Payton’s attack on Teachout, it’s not because Teachout needs my defending (indeed, this isn’t really about Teachout at all) or because Payton is worthy of any special notice as a thinker (ha!), but because the way in which Payton goes after Teachout, and the terms in which he discusses matters of race generally, perfectly exemplify the irrational, indeed hateful, racial ideology that has increasingly infected American society……… Payton is a racist. A passionate racist. And he’s proud of it…..His numbers are legion – and, thanks to the efforts of his fellow ebony-tower ideologues, growing every day.…..Read More »

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