What’s weird about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? It’s lily whiteness?
The other night I listened to most of a PBS concert of Xmas music broadcast from the Mormon Tabernacle Temple Campus in Salt Lake City. It took me a while to wake up to the faces. They were 99.9% white, whether in the choir, the orchestra or the audience. I’ve let that fact sit in the back of my mind for a few days now.
Is it because they are Mormons, white middle-class Utahans, or are they just racists in a polite Christian way?
It seems an irony that while the President of the US is elegant, intellectual, cool and a black man, out in Utah they are all very white! Is there a disconnect?
There has to be. It’s not a simple accident, or it’s not that the best musicians and choir members must be white. It must be the way the leadership out there prefers it to be, WHITE. Oh, they invite the likes of Natalie Cole and Ms. Blige and they even get their video cameras to pan on a young black face, here and there. But the irony of the 99.9% whiteness gets under my skin, somehow and more and more as I think about that obvious disconnect!
Which raises the question in my mind. Did God intend that Utah should be peopled by whites, or is it the Mormons, who like it better that way?
Later on this morning I encountered a very intense video about a collection of images captured by Robert Frank many years ago but recently shown in Washington DC. The collection is titled ” The Americans“. The audio review is given by Dominique Nabokov, a European. The irony of Utah’s whiteness stands out even more against the backdrop of the style and non-whiteness of many images in this collection. Click here for the link!
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