Ishmael Reed’s new satire trolls right-wingers and liberals alike.
Reed’s play could not come at a better time. The Conductor tackles timely issues involved in culture wars targeting school boards across the nation: “parent's rights” attacks on school board members and specifically women educators of color.
The play also tackles how Asian American political “props” (as Reed calls them) and other people of color are often positioned to undermine Black liberation and maintain the racial caste system in our country.
Ishmael is not afraid to name names! (Can you say: William Oberndorf, Heather Knight, and Diane Yap?) The Conductor calls out right-wing and liberal media’s complicity in spreading misinformation and biased narratives promoted by local billionaires seeking to dismantle our public education system.
Don’t miss your chance to see the play streaming LIVE performances at the Theater for the New City, Off-Broadway. If you can’t make it to New York to see the play, it streams online TODAY, this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) and Sunday at 3 pm ET (12 noon PT) And next week through Sunday, March 26th at 3 pm (12 noon PT).
This well-researched play contains lots of fodder for discussion and also lots of history!
As Emil Guillermo, who plays Gabriel Noitalde, a Fox News-type pundit, writes, it is important our schools teach a more well-rounded version of our history as Americans, a version that includes Asian American and Black solidarity:
“we increasingly have those amongst us in the AAPI community who sound just like DeSantis…Amid the satire, “The Conductor” is chock full of history, specifically Asian American history, the parts that aren’t taught currently in schools.”
The Conductor presents a strong argument for the importance of solidarity and education that celebrates and humanizes all our communities. 🙏🏽💗
If you want to learn more about the factors and events behind the play, I’ve written about it:
A friend of mine often says I was like a canary in a coal mine. I was on the front end of right-wing attacks, which have now become the norm whenever educators have dismantled discriminatory policies in our schools.
I went down a rabbit hole after reading an article in St. Louis Today by Coleen Schrappen about a right-wing legal attack on a hospital doing work to save the lives of trans teens.
The SF Board of Education Recall benefited political grifters and right-wing strategists, yet has produced little progress for SF’s most marginalized students.
I was no doubt the canary in a coal mine. As a parent organizer, educator, and former San Francisco school board member, I was on the front end of the wave of nationwide right-wing attacks against educators who have dismantled anti-discriminatory policies in our schools.
Edward Blum is the man behind two recent cases before the Supreme Court challenging #AffirmativeAction.
Reflecting on the Results of the SF School Board Recall
With anti-Asian bias on the rise in our communities, and the hate crimes committed in Georgia this week, it is especially important that we uplift and center Asian American communities. All Americans deserve to feel safe.
[This resolution was ultimately adopted by the Board. Subsequent to the SF School Board Recall, President Lam and Vice President Boggess dismantled the audit. At this time, there has been NO investigation or public reporting on who is behind the hate speech and pornographic cyberbullying that targeted Lowell students.
Learn more about the intent of the equity audit and read the adopted resolution on the SFUSD website.]
On the same day our nation was inaugurating its first Black female Vice President, students at Lowell High School in San Francisco witnessed extreme hate speech, pornography, and references to the Biden presidency directed at Black and Jewish students.