Oregon Festival Fires Conductor For Using Southern Accent In Joke With Black Friend In Orchestra

Halls was told that his four-year contract was being terminated.  Mobley says that he and Halls routinely joke about their homes and their cuisine.  Halls and Mobley were chatting at a reception when they started talking about a recent London concert that had an “antebellum” feeling.  Halls “apologized on behalf of England” and then joked in a Southern accent “Do you want some grits?” 
Mobley denounced how his friend was “victimized” due to “an innocent joke that has been entirely taken out of context.”  He said that he and Halls make fun of each other’s accents and that “Race was not an issue. He was imitating a southern accent, not putting on a black accent, and there was nothing racist or malicious about it.”
A spokesman for Oregon Bach Festival, said: “The University considers many factors when deciding whether to continue a contract.  Regarding Reggie Mobley, it doesn’t appear he was involved in the University’s decision. Having said that, it would be inappropriate for the University to disclose details about a personnel matter.” One would have hoped that one of the factors that would be considered is the victim’s account.  One can only hope that the Oregon Bach Festivals sense of music is better than their sense of humor.

68 thoughts on “Oregon Festival Fires Conductor For Using Southern Accent In Joke With Black Friend In Orchestra”

  1. This appears to be a zero tolerance policy that escaped the confines of public schools. Also, she probably learned to tattle on her classmates in school, too, instead of dealing with the issue directly. While there is probably more to the story, it sounds like she did not bother to discuss the matter with either man. Not a fair way to treat others.

  2. In line with this story, and Great Shades of Galileo!:

    Calls to punish skeptics rise with links to climate change, hurricanes

    Calls to punish global warming skepticism as a criminal offense have surged in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but it hasn’t discouraged climate scientists like Judith Curry.

    A retired Georgia Tech professor, she argued on her Climate Etc. website that Irma, which hit Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on Saturday, was fueled in large part by “very weak” wind shear and that the hurricane intensified despite Atlantic Ocean temperatures that weren’t unusually warm.

    That is the kind of talk that could get policymakers who heed her research hauled before the justice system, if some of those in the climate change movement have their way.

    “Climate change denial should be a crime,” declared the Sept. 1 headline in the Outline. Mark Hertsgaard argued in a Sept. 7 article in the Nation, titled “Climate Denialism Is Literally Killing Us,” that “murder is murder” and “we should punish it as such.”


    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Not sure I understand your point, Squeeky. Weak wind shear might or might not be influenced by climate change.

      1. “Weak wind shear might or might not be influenced by climate change.”

        When flipping a coin it might or might not end up on heads.

  3. Another way to look at this is as a “hanging one of them down in front of the courthouse” scenario. Where, even though the Democratic Party Liberals in charge of the firing know that they have made an error, they will persist in it to get their bluff in on anybody who disagrees with them and their victimology Narrative. A way to keep the Righties quiet for fear they will lose their job, even though the dude fired here isn’t even a Rightie.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. I’m playing the part of a southern school teacher in a community production set in the 1880’s Wild West. Although I have lived in Maryland for almost 40 years, being from the south, I can flat out do a southern accent.

      Hope I survive the performance.

  4. I get a strong feeling we’re not getting a clear picture of what happened. I used to work for a state agency that was involved in disciplinary actions against state employees and licensees. Confidentiality laws often applied to our proceeding and/or the alleged wrongdoing. Some of the cases I was involved in received media attention. The coverage was almost always distorted or incomplete or both–usually because of the inconsistent patchwork confidentiality laws. This story gives out that kind of vibe.

  5. I wonder if that oh-so-offended ‘white lady’ voted for jive-talking “I don’t feel no ways tired” Hillary and her pocketbook full of hot sauce?

  6. That flushing sound you hear is the country going down the toilet. If you order breakfast down south you’re going to get grits regardless of your race, ethnicity or gender identity. Can we find out this woman’s name so that she can be held up to much deserved national ridicule?

  7. And we wonder how those silly Puritans back in 1690s Salem could get it in their minds that somebody put the hoodoo on their cow!

    Like I always say, you have the same mindsets exhibiting themselves throughout history. Today’s Liberal Democrat is yesterday’s saloon-buster, or yesterday’s prissy missionary telling the Natives in Africa not to do it doggy style.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – didn’t the issue of cooking grits come up in My Cousin Vinnie? And wasn’t the cooker white?

      1. Heck yes, white people eat grits! I do about every other morning or so. The real kind. The Jim Dandy kind you have to mix with water and red pepper and a sausage patty and put in the microwave for exactly 5 minutes at 1100 mega-atomic-watts of torque, and then put some butter and black pepper and a sprinkle of salt on.

        Which, will fill you up for like 6 hours.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. The best grits I ever had were in Charleston. Big fluffy grits, not those kind with the flavor and consistency of sand.

          1. Yes, you have to allow time for the grit to absorb water. It is all very scientific. From wiki:

            Grits are a food made from corn that is ground into a coarse meal and then boiled. Hominy grits are a type of grits made from hominy with the germ removed, which is corn that has been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization. Grits are usually served with other flavorings [1] as a breakfast dish, usually savory. Grits originated in the Southern United States but now are available nationwide. Grits are popular as a dinner entrée, shrimp and grits, served primarily in the Southern United States.[1] Grits should not be confused with boiled ground corn maize which makes “hasty pudding” or “mush” or when using coarse ground corn, which may be made into polenta, or the “mush” made from more finely ground corn meal.

            Grits are of American origin and are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world such as polenta and mieliepap.

            The word “grits” is an uncountable noun, cf. “mashed potatoes.”[citation needed] It derives from the Old English word “grytt,” meaning coarse meal.[2]

            Traditionally, the hominy for grits was ground on a stone mill. The ground hominy is then passed through screens, the finer sifted material used as grit meal, and the coarser as grits. Many American communities used a gristmill until the mid-twentieth century, farmers bringing their corn to be ground, and the miller keeping a portion as his fee. State law in South Carolina requires grits and rice meal to be enriched, similar to the requirement for flour, unless the grits were made from the corn which a miller kept as his fee.[3]

            Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are bought in the South, in an area stretching from Texas to Virginia that is sometimes called the “grits belt”.[4]


            FWIW, I am not sure why the word “grits” is an “uncountable noun.” Heck, it is very easy to count! It’s just one word/noun, “grits.” DUH!

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            1. It’s an acronym For Girl(s) Raised In The South(s). That’s the one line that Vinnie missed. When see a southern girl it’s something to witness which reminds me Jeet Jet? Someone elses turn to translate.

        2. Squeeky – it was a plot point in My Cousin Vinnie. It had to do with the time it took to cook the grits which would not have allowed him to be an eye-witness.

            1. Squeeky – well, if you ever start crossing your legs and tapping one foot on the floor, I would start to worry. 🙂

        3. My mom would occasionally make garlic cheese grits for Sunday brunch when I was growing up. Yummy.

    2. Didn’t think about that, Squeaky. Yes, this is like Salem all over again. Won’t be long before they are burning Southerners at the stake. What sort of allegory would Arthur Miller write today?

      1. Well, from I have read about him, he was an inveterate Lefty, sooo he probably would never turn his very discriminating eye on his own kind. But not to worry! Thomas Wolfe did a good work up in Bonfire of the Vanities.

        The problem is, no one has written a “drama” based on the current PC culture, that I can think of at the moment. Because we are usually too busy laughing at those folks to take them really seriously as the dangerous intolerants they are. The “drama” treatment seems to be reserved for the Christians, even though the Liberal Left is just as nutty, and has the same mindset as some yokel in Bumcoitus, West Virginia, who dances around with rattle snakes while gibbering in tongues.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

  8. Next they’ll fire employees for “looking” like Southerners. Liberal Progressives should simply fire anyone who visits a Southern State, or acknowledging the existence of the South.

    How did the firing session go? “You are fired for imitating the accent of a person from the Southern States. Your employer is Liberal Progressive, viewing your free speech as a federal felony, a capital crime deserving the death sentence. It’s for the children. Be happy you’re only unemployed and welcome to die of exposure and starvation outside the city gates. Have a nice day.”

    Isaac ordered this firing.

  9. Socially-sanctioned aggression promoted by fools who succor it. It is a story for our silly times.

  10. This is so absurd! But it was equally absurd when a tennis commentator was fired for saying that Serena Williams was using a “guerrilla” offense in her game. ESPN apparently thought the term was “gorilla” and fired him. Who’s really racist here? It would be poetic justice if the woman who complained had her name distributed along with this story. She’s obviously a humorless bore.

    1. Exactly…we’re devolving into a nation of ignorant scolds!
      And organizations are losing their backbones and capitulating to these cranks…..
      Let’s hope people vote with their pocketbooks.

      1. There was a t.v. show awhile back, maybe it’s still on, I don’t know. Anyway, it was called “What Would You Do?” (or something like that). The host was John Quillones (sp?). It portrayed situations in public places of someone doing something wrong, to see if others would intervene or say something. Afterwards, the host asked the bystanders why they did (or did not) get involved. While there are of course extreme situations where a bystander should do or say something, overall I did not like the premise of making heros out of busy bodies, usually women, who thought it was their role to stick their noses in other people’s business. For example, there was one incident where a father was in a diner with his teen son, and loudly berating him for something. Then some old bag goes over and intervenes, while her sad sack husband sits there uncomfortably. Afterwards, the host praises her and she’s beaming like a superhero for sticking her nose into it and telling the father how he should talk to his kid. Shows like that just encourage nosy, know-it-all, self-righteous people to be even more obnoxious than they already are.

        1. The host I think was John Quinones, and I remember generally liking his news stories (he’s a pleasant, if not particularly hard-hitting journalist), but that show (if I’m remembering the one you’re talking about) was horrible. Agreed, the situations were contrived, and certainly not life-threatening. These shows predated the Big Brother & Survivor shows, but they all destroyed privacy, and gave everyone the ability to play voyeur in the lives of others. Judge, jury and executioner on the living room sofa. Ugh. Frankly, I think the great slide downward started with “It Takes A Village.”

          1. IIRC, the Survivor franchise dates from around 2000. I think the Quinones show was later. I’ve seen one or two episodes. The one I’m remembering had an actor posing as an evangelical ministering to a juvenile homosexual over lunch. “Pray the gay away.” is a phrase that I would doubt has ever been current among flesh-and-blood ‘witnessing’ evangelicals; it’s popular among progtrash sliming evangelicals (which I gather includes the writers working for Quinones producer). Of course, some guy sitting near them goes berserk… (I think they may have recycled this scenario).

            1. I’ll take your word on the show timeframe. Don’t think I remember watching even one Survivor episode from start to finish. That show you describe is cringe-inducing. Would not have gone over well with my former evangelical friends at the church I attended for a couple of years in college. I never knew them to pray the gay away (nobody was coming out on my campus in the mid 80s in TX), but they were into public confessions of sin in front of the congregation and controlling people’s interpersonal relationships. Based on my experience with them, and conversations with my Southern Baptist friends from TX, I think conversion therapy and phrases like PTGA are/were more common than you suspect.

  11. Next year they can present the Joe Stalin marching band a very serious group, there will be no complaints, comrades.

  12. Where’s all this going? See first article on the debt. When the easy money goes away and the debt has to be reconciled, people will come to know real hardship again. The bread and circuses will run out, eventually.

    1. Actually, what will happen if it happens will be a set of financial gyrations as governments make haphazard staff and compensation cuts because they cannot borrow and as the value of Treasury issues is marked down on balance sheets. That will mean a disagreeable recession, not ‘real hardship’.

      1. That’s what Obama pulled in order to turn the Bush Bankruptcy into a recession propped up by massive borrowing, inflation and devaluation. All for a couple of hundred thousand hamburger flipping jobs which in turn caused that industry to go robot.

        1. The economy went into recession in December 2007. It went into a rapid implosion in September 2008, stabilizing in May 2009. Hard to see how Obama engineered that.

    2. The plan the have is the continuation of the cycle of economic repression the attack on value of the retirement dollar and the problem with no COLA for the to replace it and the obscene rise in medical costs. Lower the average age of deathy and cut out all those really expensive procedures for the elderly. The fly i the ointment of the left’s plan is Trumps plan to ban death taxes – after all says the left – when they die it’s found money and belongs to The Party..

  13. I feel so protected the lady came forward to address blatant attack against another human. I hope she is around next time someone makes an off-color comment about my nose. It’s not my fault I have to go through life with this condition. Soon though, all of us of the larger nose population will be putting it to the rest of you. Justice is a great thing.

    If only it didn’t make so much noise at night while I sleep.

    I’ll get to my flat feet, but I’ll save that for another outrage.

      1. Apparently not–they’re still trapped in that interminable older thread (if you get my meaning, wink wink).

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