Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Peggy Noonan on Raisin in the Sun

Peggy Noonan writes a spendid little piece in Opinion Journal about the "new" Broadway play, "Raisin in the Sun," written by Lorraine Hansberry and first performed on Broadway in 1959. It showcased a virtuoso performance by Sidney Poitier, whose movie version is available on DVD. Don’t rent it, buy it.

Incredibly, Noonan thinks the lame performance by rapper Sean Combs (in the lead role!) does not hurt the play, buttressed as he is by the acting of Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald. Noonan observes that his celebrity is drawing folks to the play who would not otherwise take one in. Which leads to another observation of Noonan’s that should startle us all. She rightly notes that "a terrible cultural moment" took place during the play’s performance when the audience she was in responded with cheers when a character decides to put a $5 down payment towards an abortion. "They didn’t understand it was tragic," Noonan observes. Indeed.

Discussions - 3 Comments


I commented on this article myself. To me, the audience reaction is indicative of a wider cultural trend. Personal pain, increasingly, is subsumed by the vitriol of rampant political ideology. People are forgotten and replaced by "the people." This cannot be good. When a beautiful play like Raisin in the Sun cannot make us escape our ideology and feel the depth of human suffering, what can? And we wonder that the same people have the gall to refer condescendingly to our soldiers as "mercenaries" in Iraq...Here was my take.

Thanks, gentlemen, for your comments. Let me add that the greatest rhetorical victory of the anti-abortion/pro-life folks is their insistence on calling "the fetus" by its rightful, natural name: "the unborn child." It is precisely because the pro-abortion crowd wants to avoid acknowledging what everyone knows--namely, that the fetus is a certain kind of fetus, a human one--that they repat as mantra their claim not to be "pro-abortion" but "pro-choice." Who can argue with a person’s choices, right?

Alas, this rhetorical headfake only begs the following question: Does it not matter if the choice concerns not only the mother’s life but her baby’s, as well? Of course, this question sounds loaded to the pro-aborts b/c of the terms "mother" and "baby," which is fine b/c it at least moves the discussion to an exploration of the nature of the "woman’s right to choose": should we not consider if anyone else’s rights are at stake"?

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