‘Tis the season for great music!  I love music!  I especially love Christmas music, which seems to have brought out the best in composers and performers down through the years.

 

My enthusiasm is dampened, however, as I watch the seasonal specials:  Christmas With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, A St. Thomas Christmas, and Christmas at St. Olaf:  Where Peace and Love and Hope Abide.

 

All three assault one’s sensitivities when it is realized that less than five percent (closer to two percent) of these famous choirs are people of color.

 

I hate to ‘grinch’ up anyone’s Christmas, but this should be an affront to everyone’s sense of justice and fair play.

 

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Minneapolis is the home of an estimated 18% black persons, 2.2% American Indian and Alaska Native persons, 6.1% Asian persons, .1% Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and 7.6% persons of Hispanic or Latino origin.  I’ll do the math for you:  that’s 34% non-Caucasians.

 

The number is about 10.8% for the State of Utah; 20.8% for Salt Lake City.

 

That tells me that in order to reflect the real world our young people are being educated to take over, each of these world renowned choirs should boast from 20 to 34 musicians of color for every 100 members.  That they do not is an insult to their rich heritages and our intelligence.

 

At the close of each broadcast, we are invited to buy their CDs.  I will pass.  I cannot countenance the possibility that any part of my dollars will go to perpetuate this sad state of affairs.

 

Dan Martin