Weekend Quick Takes

This weeks news of note include segregation in the music industry and developments in the hearings for Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court Justice

On Segregation

When Bruno Mars burst onto the music scene in 2010, he was praised by many for blending various styles and for his ‘eclectic array of sounds’.  Since then, he has incorporated reggae, R&B, funk, and more into his music, racking up ten Grammy awards and appearing at the half time of two Super Bowls along the way.

In what has become an ongoing effort by people of a certain political leaning to divide people into classes, into ‘us’ and them’, a music critic has charged that Bruno Mars is guilty of blatant ‘cultural appropriation’.

Only a few months after winning a Grammy for album of the year, an online video series featured a panel discussion that included writer Seren Sensei trashed Mars. “Bruno Mars 100 percent is a cultural appropriator,” Sensei said in the video. “He is not black, at all, and he plays up his racial ambiguity to cross genres.”

While Mars collaborates with many African American artists, he isn’t African American. He was born in Honolulu to a Filipino mother and half-Puerto Rican and half-Ashkenazi Jewish father.


Isn’t it a bizarre commentary on our culture these days that if you are inclusive and celebrate other cultures you are ‘appropriating culture’, rather than just enjoying a diverse range. Elvis, for example, was once given credit for using the influences of black artists in his own material and bringing it to the mainstream. Now, he is considered by some to be a ‘cultural appropriator’.

So some people have come full circle intellectually.  Some now advocate it and suggest that only people of the same race can enjoy, in this case, music of a certain genre or with a certain cultural influence. Let’s call it what it is—these people are advocating segregation. Only a generation ago, we fought to end segregation and now some are fighting to maintain divisions and denigrating those who don’t see those divisions. Ms. Sensei, you are a segregationist and I think of you the same as I think of those who promote segregation in any other form.

Supreme Court Hearings

On the topic of the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, allegations surfaced in the last week from a former classmate charging Kavanaugh was guilty of sexual assault when he was in high school.

We have to take issues of sexual assault seriously. And as with any potential crime and as the Constitution demands, respect that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

Setting those important issues aside for now, until they play out, one thing that can’t but bother an objective person. It has come to light that Ranking Minority Member of the Justice Committee Diane Feinstein knew of the allegations from when Kavanaugh was in high school back in July even though they only came to light in the last few days. Why would that be?

There can only be two potential reasons that Feinstein may have delayed announcing the accusations: 1) there is a deliberate attempt to delay the nomination, likely until after the November elections or 2) Feinstein questioned the validity of the allegations and so didn’t want to release them until she was pressured to do so.

In either case, it’s sad that our process is such that we are willing to sacrifice a man’s personal reputation and public standing solely for politics. And we wonder why the people now going into politics are not the high character people that we wish dominated our legislatures

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