In a blatant act of woke discrimination, a New York City theater has launched a “voluntary” ticket pricing model for a new play based loosely on President Thomas Jefferson’s infamous sexual relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings. The pricing model seems intended to make a point about historic racial injustice, but it arguably perpetuates racial animosity — and may break the law, as the New York Daily News reported.
JACK, a theater in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn, introduced the pricing model for its play “TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever.” Tickets are available via “Two-Tiered Pricing (suggested but not required): $22 (General Admission); $15 (Admission for those who identify as People of Color).”
“This unique ticketing model for TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever prioritizes access for People of Color. TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever is a play that centers Black voices, and it is our goal to have as diverse an audience as possible – a true representation of the borough that JACK calls home,” the ticketing page explains. “We encourage our non-PoC friends and allies to pay the standard general admission to participate in this gesture of awareness, as well as contribute to our ongoing effort to offset the cost of subsidized tickets for PoC youth groups and Community Organizations.”
“Note: This ticketing model is suggested and self-identified,” the page adds.
Users can select the number of tickets for “General Admission” or “PoC Access.” A purchaser does not have to prove a racial self-identity to purchase the PoC tickets.
This virtue-signaling was likely well-intentioned, but it is certain to offend the very people to whom it aims to pander. The idea that race is a matter of self-identity is extremely offensive to racial minorities, as Rachel Dolezal and Elizabeth Warren discovered.
Yet the ticket pricing model is also an exercise in woke discrimination. By separating ticket-buyers into the groups “General Admission” and “PoC Access,” JACK is singling out white people. While the term “black” refers to one particular racial group, “Person of Color” refers to a broad swath of disjointed groups — everyone who is not white or descended from Europeans. The “PoC” formulation is explicitly racist against white people. It singles them out as “the other.”
This kind of racism is considered acceptable among the “woke” because those eeevil white people oppressed everyone else for so long. While the “woke” are intimately aware of the very real evils of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and America’s tragic legacy of race-based slavery, they seem blissfully ignorant of certain facts: that slavery was a universal human institution; that Arab slave traders trafficked millions of white Europeans; that human sacrifice was tragically prevalent before the advent of Judaism and Christianity; and that various forms of oppression long predate European colonization.
None of this is to excuse the horrific abuses of race-based slavery and European colonization, but it is important to note that white people are not uniquely evil and that European Christian civilization spearheaded the doctrine of universal human rights, regardless of race. Woke discrimination is based in part on the racist concept that white people are uniquely evil, and that is simply not the case.
Regardless of the justification for the two-tiered pricing system, it arguably violates New York City’s public accommodation law, which bars discrimination in places like restaurants, stores, hospitals, museums, and theaters. While anyone can “identify” as a person of color on the website, it seems unlikely the theater would take kindly to the idea of a Rachel Dolezal coming to the box office in person and claiming to identify as black for a discounted ticket.
The city government should investigate this woke discrimination — I’m sure Mayor Bill De Blasio would love to lead that effort!
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.