Benavidez quotes L.A. Festival Director Peter Sellars as saying that "this country cannot be run like an Islamic theocracy or a Latin American dictatorship."
These outrageously insensitive comments imply that there is something wrong with Islamic theocracy and South American dictatorships. As such they are highly offensive to Muslim theocrats and South American dictators. They imply there is something superior about Western secularism and democracy, an indefensible position in our multicultural society.
Would he have said, "This country cannot be run like a black group or a women's group"? The quoted comments are religionist, secularist, geographist, democratist, racist, sexist, ageist, classist, speciesist, ableist and, of course, homophobic.
I would have thought that in this day and age even an Establishment organ like The Times would be above such judgmental rantings--especially in an article on the very subject of multiculturalism that the comments insult. Do you think you have the right to publish such hate speech?
And as for Sellars, clearly he has forfeited the right to speak on cultural matters again. In a society that truly lived up to the ideals of cultural pluralism, he would be made to recant such hurtful slander, preferably on his knees in stocks in public.
Don't let it happen again.
We'll be watching.