By Bob Hicks
Over at Oregon Live, my friend Marty Hughley has been engaging in some unfair battle practices: He’s been using wit and logic against a slew of unarmed opponents.
The issue has been his story in The Oregonian about Portland Center Stage‘s new black-cast production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! and the alternately angry and smirking comments by the story’s Web trolls that director Chris Coleman’s casting decision somehow encompasses all the accumulated sins of liberalism, racism, and probably godless commie-loving atheism to boot. Several have employed that oddly derisive phrase “reverse racism,” a designation that somehow reminds me of the reactionary right’s labeling as “class warfare” of poor and working class people’s attempts to shift a bit of the nation’s tax load back onto the wealthy, a fair share of whom have been busily divesting themselves of the concept of community responsibility for some time now. (It’s only fair and just to point out also that another good share of the wealthy are generous and committed to giving back to the communities that have helped them prosper.) Never mind that if we are in the middle of a class warfare, one side has sticks and stones and the other has heat-seeking missiles.