Black Playwright Canceled at Texas Wesleyan University Due to Use of N-Word by Character

We have been following cases involving faculty disciplined or fired over the use of the n-word in classes (including courses on racism) or tests.  Recently, a GW professor was removed from his class for such a reference. Now, “Down in Mississippi,” a play written by African American writer Carlyle Brown on the birth of the civil rights movement, has been reportedly canceled. Students objected to the use of the n-word in a play that tries to capture the environment of hate and racism of the period. Texas Wesleyan’s Black Student Association declared the reference to be harmful and “triggering.”

Calling for a boycott, the Association declared that allowing the play to be heard would “further hurt Black students and possibly students from other marginalized communities.”

The Rambler student newspaper reported that school and theater officials killed the production after a 90-minute campus discussion:  “The main concern the students voiced was the ‘triggering’ effect of using the racially explicit word, which is repeated 11 separate times throughout the play, and how it can cause trauma to the black students in the audience.”

The decision of the school, in my view, is wrong and counterproductive. I have not read the play but the objection was to any use of this word. Yet, the use in the play is clearly tied to the period, a vivid (and disturbing) picture of what African Americans faced at the start of the Civil Rights period.

Ironically, the removal of such words can reduce the repellent elements associated with racists of the period. Brown sought to present racism in its raw and accurate context. It is also an attack on artistic expression — a trend that threatens the freedom of expression on campuses.  We have seen a movement to remove major literary works like “To Kill a Mockingbird” from libraries due to the use of the word and some editors are removing references from such works.

Brown would likely argue that his work is meant to be triggering for viewers in seeing and hearing raw examples of racism. In a play on the start of the Civil Rights movement, the intent was clearly to capture a true and accurate depiction of the conditions that led to this historic movement. To demand that he sanitize the language is to deny his artistic and historical intent.

76 thoughts on “Black Playwright Canceled at Texas Wesleyan University Due to Use of N-Word by Character”

  1. How many of these same kids listen to rap music where the “N” word is used repeatedly in very derogatory ways about the modern Black population and offers no positive affirmations?

    1. Either the N word banned for all that also includes banning all songs using the N word (90% of hip hop music would disappear!) or everyone can now use the N word without being attacked. You just can’t have it both ways on this issue! I choose outright ban of N word for everyone and good riddance to destroying the N word the joggers so hate but sing in all of their songs.

  2. Look on the bright side! The triggered (n-word) snowflakes have just put up a big sign saying (” NO N-WORD BLACK AUTHORS ALLOWED”)!

  3. When I say “N word” what word do you hear in your head??? Exactly… So what is the difference between saying “N word” and the actual word??? It is still being thought…

  4. The “Participation Trophy” generation really are victims; victims of poor parenting and school indoctrination. They should have gotten NO unearned trophies and more butt whackings.

  5. I’m betting that the complainers weren’t black, they were rich, white liberals. Has there ever been any group more willing to embrace guilt than rich white people?

    1. It’s not guilt, it’s self defense. They claim support for racist groups like BLM and trumpet the talking points of the left to reflect their sanctimonious self image.They believe if they feign compassion for the oppressed and impoverished underclass, they will appear more as champions of social justice rather than the cowardly and greedy, self absorbed people they REALLY are.

  6. I think it’s ironic we can have the once most popular show in America, Game of Thrones, casually depicting graphic torture and murder and that’s just entertaining. But hear a single word in historical context in a play and it’s “traumatic.” Of course, it’s not actually traumatic, it’s just that this generation of leftists uses victimization like a club to get what they want.

    1. Boohoo. Don’t go see the play. You don’t get to cancel 1st amendment rights because your sensitive feelings are hurt. You should move to Europe. They have more strict speech laws.

    2. Don’t go see the play. You don’t get to cancel 1st amendment rights because your feelings are hurt.

    3. What do you mean, it’s all in their rap music and that’s what they call each other. Dave Chappel uses the “n” word freely.

    4. Oh cut it out! You think blacks are the only group that has perjorative terms used about their race, religion, nationality or even appearance? No one’s buying that blacks suffered anymore than any other group in the world.Black claims of special victim status because of racism is as over as the Jewish people claiming everyone is antisemitic. No one’s believing it anymore. Boo hoo.

  7. How come no one ever taught these kids the old rhyme the old saying ….sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.
    How is hearing a word traumatic ….it’s not.
    Only unless you have some form of mental illness

    1. THE “LOW BRAIN WAVERS”…ie. LBW have WATCHED what was called the “IDIOT BOX” and BELIEVE 100% what they HEAR, unfortunately the COMMUNISTS HAVE, over DECADES have infiltrated the LACKEY’S are only too happy to SPEW THEIR UTTER NONSENSE and the LBW are only too hungry to sop it up and REGURGITATE IT ! To let a STUPID “WORD” have ANY power, let alone be ALLOWED TO *Metastasis. And then you have the 100% COMMUNIST MEDIA 24/7 REPEATING THE “LIES”… “Propaganda” anyone?

  8. and yet they will go out to their car after school, turn the key and blast rap music with the same word eleven times in a 4 minute song and be fine, I just don’t understand this “Trigger” thing, It seems to be very……..selective

    1. It’s racism reborn, plain as day.
      Hatred perpetuated by the other side to perpetuate hatred.

      1. Yet they will repeatedly call each other that as friends and enemies as soon as the song is over.

        Historical context is not racism. If the word is hatred, as you say, then they hate each other every time they say it.

    2. it’s more than selective ray…it’s complete bs and that’s all it ever was. tied to reparations, set asides and as much other free stuff as they can get their hands on sll made available by sycophant stupid whites, mostly female mostly feminist and mostly anti-american.

  9. What would YHWH think of what we’ve done with our natural right to free speech? You shall have no other sacred unspeakable words before me.

  10. They didn’t tell you to stop using the word.

    You communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) told yourselves that.

    What the —- are you so afraid of?

    What you should have done is held the line, enforce immigration law in 1863, and strictly adhere to the Constitution subsequently.

    But no, you just HAD to follow the orders of Karl Marx and give it all away; you just had to deny private property and family, disparage endeavor, enterprise, profit and “greed,” and redistribute the wealth you created to socially engineered dependents and parasites.

    I’ll bet General George Armstrong Custer is really upset that he gave his life for a bunch of ingrates and collectivists; the Founders must be rolling over in their graves.

  11. Jimmie: I don’t need you to tell me how f~cking good my coffee is, okay? I’m the one who buys it. I know how good it is. When Bonnie goes shopping, she buys sh!t. I buy the gourmet expensive stuff ’cause when I drink it, I want to taste it. But you know what’s on my mind right now? It ain’t the coffee in my kitchen. It’s the dead n!gger in my garage.

    Jules: Oh, Jimmie, don’t even worry about that.

    Jimmie: No, no, no, no, I don’t want to think about anything. I want to ask you a question. When you came pullin’ in here, did you notice a sign on the front of of my house that said “Dead N!gger Storage”?

    Jules: Jimmie, you know I ain’t seen no sh!t.

    Jimmie: Did you notice a sign on the front of my house that said “Dead N!gger Storage”?

    Jules: No, I didn’t.

    Jimmie: You know why you didn’t see that sign?

    Jules: Why?

    Jimmie: ‘Cause it ain’t there, ’cause storing dead n!ggers ain’t my f~cking business, that’s why!

    -Pulp Fiction, 1994. Written and directed by Quentin Tarentino. Winner of Best Original Screenplay at the 67th Academy Awards, March 27, 1995.

  12. Mark Twain used that so called N—– word in Huck Finnn.
    Falkner used that very same censored word in “Barn Burning”,
    Alan Ginsberg used that N— word to strong effect in his famed poem, “Howl”.
    All the ‘youts” in my Astoria neighborhood strangely used it when referring to each other…. most were not of Africano origins. In West-Central Chitown, many of the denizens on my block called out to each other this way as if the N— word was a source of pride. See why I be a wee bit confused? When do I get to say it to express something?
    Has the Biden DNC regulatory board as of yet instill yet a department secretary of allowable language usage?

    1. Now you understand that the adverse, 3 million-man, standing army of illegal aliens created on January 1, 1863, must have been compassionately repatriated where there is no n-word, per extant immigration law, for their own sense of nationhood and self-esteem – for their own benefit.

    2. The laughable thing here is, blacks call each other by the n word!!! so, who’s triggered?! BS much, you students? you are a JOKE!!!!

  13. Jonathan: By your own admission you have not read the play by Carlyle Brown. Neither have I so I will take a pass on the legitimacy of the Black students complaints about the play. But what drew my attention was your reference to your 2017 column “It’s A Sin To Kill A Mockingbird” in which you complained about Harper Lee’s classic being banned by the Biloxi School District. You even complained about “Tale of Two Cities” being removed from your kids school classes. You say “the masterpiece was dropped in favor of an African novel that is no literary substitute”. Who says? Are you saying a novel by an “African” cannot be also a “masterpiece”? The inference here is worrisome.

    You continued in your 2017 post by saying the removal of Harper Lee’s book reflected “the utter lack of literary and historical appreciation of these parents (and the cringing compliance in District officials), students will not be exposed to a work that has shaped the minds for decades”. Your characterization of what happened in 2017 could certainly apply to what is happening today–in spades. Today there is an epidemic of booking banning, like John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice And Men”, Art Spiegelman’s Holocaust novel “Maus”, “the Handmaid’s Tale–and even “”To Kill a Mockingbird”–among hundreds of books that have been banned from school libraries. This is a subject I have covered in other comments. But today the push for book banning is much more organized–led by right-wing groups like the Goldwater Institute and GOP politicians who are putting considerable resources in promoting greater censorship in K-12 schools. Books with race, LGBTQ identity and other topics are the particular the targets. Many of the books banned are by Black and lesbian authors. George Orwell would be appalled if he could see what is happening in this country. And book banning has accomplices–the “cringing” school district officials you complained about back in 2017.

    So what you complained about in 2017 applies equally today. School book censorship is depriving students of the opportunity to “be exposed to a work that has shaped the minds for decades”. To be consistent you need, as a conservative academic, to sound the alarm about a quintessential “free speech” issue you have largely ignored since 2017. Would you want your kids to be deprived of reading “Of Mice and Men”?

    1. Dennis:

      I see you’re attacking Turley’s character, again.

      “Are you saying a novel by an “African” cannot be also a “masterpiece”?” Turley did not say any work by a black author could never be a masterpiece. Instead, he said that the particular book that replaced “Tale of Two Cities” was no masterpiece.

      If you could put your preconceived notions aside, perhaps you could consider the actual criticism of CRT, DEI, and similar movements is that they are racist. Important literary works are being removed from school curriculum because of the race of the authors, which is racist, or because their views cannot hold up to contemporary mores, which is anachronistic. Shakespeare, Faulkner, Dostoevsky, and Dickens are being replaced with inferior works, which are chosen because the authors are black, or LGBTQ+.

      This is occurring during an era when US public education is absolutely failing students. Around 60% of US students are not reading or math proficient at grade level. Too many schools are graduating students who are barely literate. Lobotomizing literature to conform to social justice experiments does American students a disservice.

      Pearl Cleage and Maya Angelou created important literary works, not because of their race, but because of the content and prose. There’s Kate Chopin to explore a woman author’s rebellion against social mores and restrictive society. Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South explored the burgeoning awareness of industrial diseases that cropped up during the Industrial Revolution, like “spinner’s phthisis”, or byssinosis, as well as desperate working conditions. Then there’s Upton Sinclair who infamously spoiled American’s appetite for meat with The Jungle, and the formation of food safety laws.

      As American public schools dumb down curricula, students are denied access to important literary works. They are now reading amateurish writing, often with poor grammar and simplistic ideas, because of the ideology or race of the authors.

      As for your contention that the right is banning books, once again I will remind you that parents objected to sexualized content in public school libraries that is totally inappropriate for children. Some of the works were deemed pornography. One example described pedophilia acts in a positive light, while another promoted for kids 10 and up had graphic illustrations of adults having $ex. Parents are not saying books shouldn’t be published, but they have the right to voice their opinion on material they find inappropriate for children in school libraries. Are R-rated movies “banned” because they are deemed inappropriate for children under 18? Should middle school libraries include Mein Kampf, admiring tomes on the KKK, and instructional manuals on how to make pipe bombs in public libraries?

    2. Is it possible that some novel by a black author is better than “To Kill a Mockingbird” ?
      Certainly possible. Out of hundreds of thousands – there may be one.

      Is it likely that any specific novel by a black author is better ? No.

      Is it possible that some speech by a white man is better than MLK’s “I have a dream” ?

      There are many excellent books by black authors.
      Many are “must reads”. None that I am aware of reach the importance of “to kill a mockingbird”.

    3. You said the Goldwater Institute is spearheading book banning.
      I have seen no evidence of that.
      That would certainly be inconsistent with the values of Barry Goldwater.

      My search found numerous instances of the Goldwater institute Fighting book banning.

      Most so called “right wing” book banning that I am aware of is evangelicals who generally try to get books about witchcraft out of schools.

      I would note that public libraries and particularly schools are special.

      They can not carry everything.
      We certainly would not want a school or public library carrying hustler.

      Fights over the choices of books that public school students should be required to read, or to a lessor extent should be in the library,
      are not about book banning or censorship
      There is good reason that the 1619 project should not be taught in school – it is garbage history.
      You are free to read it at home. Your public library is free to carry it. Your college probably should be required to have it.
      But there are limits to what we can get students to read – and faux history should not be among that.

    4. I think Steinbecks of Mice and Men is an excellent novel.
      But I can think of better required reading in high school.

      To kill a mocking bird is #1 on Times topp 100 novels of all time.
      Don Quiote
      The Scarlet Letter
      Huckleberry Finn
      Paradise Lost
      All Quiet on the Western Front
      The Plague

    5. If we are going to expose students to works that are going to shape there minds for decades.

      There are very very few books that meet that criteria.
      I am hard pressed to think of a book in the past 60 years that meets that criteria.

      Orwell would be appalled – by the left.

      The right is trying to “expose students to the works that are going to shape their minds for decades” – not lessor works.

      The left is trying to control everyones thoughts words and reading.
      No one on the right is defacing statues. Trying to re-write history
      Or put a new coat of paint on communism and try to resell the most bloody ideology in history once again.

      Perhaps the Gulag Archepeligo should be required reading ?
      Or for something shorter One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

      If your going ot shape minds – shape them with truths that have withstood the test of time.
      Not stuff that is likely just a passing fad.

      Regardless, if Every student read 1 book a month from 3rd grade forward – and that would be incredibly ambitious.
      That is 81 books by graduation. Frankly you will be lucky to get 80% of US students to read 25 books by graduation.
      They had better be the best of the best.
      To kill a mockingbird is.
      I do not think anything else you mentioned is in the top 25.

    6. Sadly Dennis you’re extremely ignorant they’re not Banning books because of the color of the author’s skin they’re banning it for the content hardcore sexual pornography shouldn’t be in elementary school libraries Dennis do we need to spell this out for you

    7. I believe most of the ‘right wing’ groups who are objecting to certain books in school libraries are focused on outright porn and/or graphic sex, whether homo- or hetero- in nature. Speaking as a retired school librarian, it is inappropriate for such works to be available in a school library. The clientele is entirely MINORS, and the school’s job is to act as the parents of the children they serve during the school day. That is at the heart of the matter.

  14. So, we can listen to black hip/hop and rap where uncensored they frequently use the n word.
    Yet using it to establish context in a play? Really?

    I guess we should go back to the old movies and add censoring ‘bleeps’ to them…


    1. Actually..

      Every act of Abraham Lincoln was unconstitutional, accomplished through unconstitutional violence, and remains illicit and illegitimate.

      Lincoln refused to obey the law.

      The Supreme Court must engage in Judicial Review of every unconstitutional act by every president from Lincoln, Wilson and FDR, through LBJ, Obama and Biden.

      The entire communist American welfare state is unconstitutional, including Social Security, Medicare, War on Poverty, forced busing, affirmative action, Dept of Education, etc.

      The Supreme Court recently acted retroactively by 50 years to correct the unconstitutional Roe v Wade.

      The Supreme Court must act retroactively by 150 years to correct the unconstitutional acts of Lincoln and his successors, which were executed with a gun to America’s head.

      You should not be required to listen to hip whatever because the Naturalization Act of 1802 was in full force and effect on January 1, 1863, requiring compassionate repatriation.

      Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802 (four iterations – they meant it)

      United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” March 26, 1790

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof…

      The thesis of the American Founders was not illegal and harmful immigration and invasion.

      Lincoln installed a standing army of 3 million illegal alien invaders on American soil in 1863.

      Lincoln was Karl Marx’s “earnest of the epoch” leading America toward the “RECONSTRUCTION of a social world.”

      “Suppose 20 millions of republican Americans thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that kingdom?”

      “If it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may believe that the addition of half a million of foreigners to our present numbers would produce a similar effect here.”

      – Thomas Jefferson

      “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

  15. Texas Wesleyan University is private property.

    Its owners alone may “claim and exercise” dominion over this private property.

    Citizens/consumers are free to avoid this private property.

    Laws that deny any form or degree of the constitutional right to private property are unconstitutional.

    Property damage, bodily injury, etc., are illegal on private property.

    The right to private property is absolute, or the right to private property does not exist.

    If the right to private property is not absolute, America is absolutely communist.

    “Abolition of private property.”

    – Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

    “[Private property is] that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

    – James Madison

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