'Book of Mormon' musical: Humorous hazing or modern minstrel show? National faith leaders consider impact
"Ugly plays did not by themselves produce the Klan or keep some Americans from voting for African-Americans," he continued. "Original sin was enough for that. But minstrel shows did give racism an artistic and comedic whitewash. When Americans were hurt by the cruel stereotypes, they were told it was 'just a joke' and were painted as petty for not laughing along."
Sadly, Reynolds believes that "The Book of Mormon" will "pander to our prejudices and treat our Mormon neighbors as we would never wish to be treated. Some Americans will allow it to confirm unthinking prejudice, while cowardly Mormons will applaud it hoping for crumbs of respectability.
"Meanwhile, the actual Mormons in our midst will keep paying taxes, making strong families with children, and dying to protect the rights of a decayed and decadent theater 'elite.'"
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