As I mentioned earlier, “Death in June” is scheduled to perform at The Rex Theater on May 29. The Rex Theater is managed by Grey Area Productions.
Scott Forsyth, the Booking/Production Manager of The Rex, responded to my concerns thusly: (general sic for typos)
You did note that Douglas P is openly gay, and is an advocate for gay rights, right ?Our course of action is this: We are going to see if this act’s performance contains anything that would be considered hate-speech or seems to present a racist agenda. If it does, they will never play any of our venues in the future.I dont want top get mired down in semantics – it’s a censorship and artistic expression issue, not a free speech issue , i know. But regardless, we’re not going to rush to judgement until we have empirical proof of what this act is all about based on personal observation. The greater Pittsburgh area has a population of over 2.5 million people. I’ve gotten emails from only 16 individuals who dont want this show to go on , and they’re all pointing me to the same 3 obscure websites. We both know that the internet is filled with misinformation, so i choose to rely on trusted sources and my own senses, for empirical truth.Regardless of terminology ,,, we didnt choose to bring them here , to correct you on your Facebook post. We didnt even know who this act was or that there was any controversy following them, until a few days ago. So, it’s not a choice we made. It’s a show that a reliable promoter is doing here ( a promoter who has never brought us anything controversial like this in the past ). The promoter continues to insist that Doug P is NOT a racist and that skinheads are not going to be attending this show, and that this act does not attract a white supremacy crowd. Yes, the fact that he Jewish and is very active in the Jewish community carries some weight when he makes this claim.Again, Grey Area stands firmly against discrimination of any kind, against any one, for any reason and we are not supportive of any form of hate speech or of any racist agenda. Period. It’s unfortunate that i cant convey our position and some concert industry standards in a way that everyone can understand , but thats my shortcoming i suppose. All i can do is hope that people can look at our entire body of work over the past 5 years, and realize that we truly do not support any form of racism in any way. I hope that people will give us the benefit of the doubt while we do our due diligence in determining whether or not this act deserves to be blacklisted. If they end up being what you say they are , then you dont have to worry about them having a home in Pittsburgh in the future, cause we’ll be right there with you next time, working to block their presence in our beautiful city.
Scott is not the first person to ask me if I realize Douglas P. is gay. Frankly, that’s a little insulting. I mentioned it in the first paragraph of my blog post AND I’m not stupid – do you think I didn’t do any research into this before I invested so much time? There’s also this undercurrent that men who are gay or Jewish can’t really be fascists or hateful or racist which we know is not true. That sort of blind trust in labels or affinities is dangerous.
But numbers talk and clearly only 16 people voicing concerns doesn’t warrant a change in plans. That makes sense to me. I have no way to confirm how many people contacted them. I’d choose to take them at face value, but … I really don’t agree that fascism as “an aesthetic” is acceptable. I think that’s an excuse. And because I did research beyond the 3 articles Scott mentions, I found this quote that speaks volumes about the authenticity of Douglas P.
DR: How important do you think race is in determining personality? How important is race to culture? Do you believe that it’s really possible to have racial purity, or would you even want to? Are certain races of particular importance to you? What do you consider to be the major racial divisions? Some say “Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid”, but others think that’s too simplistic.
DP: I prefer to suck, white, uncircumsised cocks of a certain age so I suppose that rules out quite a few races and religions in one huge act of sexual discrimination. However, taht’s natural selection for you. It follows onthat, of course race is important to me!
To top it off, he doesn’t believe in evolution. Which is not reason to “blacklist” him, but seriously it does explain his entire misunderstanding or intentional distortion of Nazi history and pretty much the entire 20th and 21st centuries.
So maybe he’s just a harmless creepy gay guy with a fetish for fascism and a great shtick to sell records. I mean The Holocaust was a long time ago, right? And bringing up Bosnia – that was in the 1990’s. Clearly, we’ve evolved as a society past genocide, mass murder and ethnic profiling. Right?
So I won’t go to the show (obviously) or patronize The Rex again. Simple enough. I’m not their target audience. And I’ve been “not going” to MichFest my whole lesbian life so really this is not a sacrifice for me. I’m disappointed that neo-fascism is an aesthetic tied to Jewish promoters, gay activism and hipster craft beer culture, but not really shocked.
For those of you who think I’m simply giving him attention (and the information that only 16 people bothered to protest), well how is that “ignore it” thing working out for you?