CNN.com had this article up today.
Reading it, I was struck by its similarities with my last post about black directors and August Wilson. Then I realized…they’re not remotely the same thing.
Navarrette is arguing that the failure of the Obama administration to hire this one specific person (Richardson) for this one particular job (Secretary of State) is a slap in the face to Latinos everywhere, one that will cost Obama the Latino vote in 2012. My argument earlier was that hiring one specific person (Bartlett Sher) for one specific job (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone) could be seen as a slap in the face to African-American directors. Similar, right?
Here’s where I see the difference in arguments: I’m talking about cumulative impact. He’s talking about all or nothing. If Richardson doesn’t get the gig (which he didn’t), all Latinos are offended. I’m saying that if a black director doesn’t get the gig, there’s still room to make it right with other gigs. It’s a question of absolutes.
And the bigger issue, of course, is that August Wilson plays are plays that are often directed by black directors. There’s not only a precedent there, there’s a reason to believe that a director’s race could play a role in his/her qualifications for the job. Not so with SOS. It would be great to have Richardson in the position, and he’s certainly qualified (and maybe moreso than Clinton), but you don’t get the feeling that a job was taken away from a Latino and given to a white person there.
Man, I feel almost like a union rep with that argument.