House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) shocked the world Thursday by promoting a white supremacist during what was supposed to be a solemn ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the January 6 uprising.
Speaking at the event on Capitol Hill, the speaker praised Lin-Manuel Miranda as "one of the great creative talents of our time" before introducing a pre-recorded video of Miranda and his fellow Hamilton cast mates performing the song "Dear Theodosia" from the hit musical. According to Pelosi, the Broadway bad boy was "very honored to be asked to participate today."
Social media users and other observers were appalled, however, given that Miranda has been credibly accused of being a white supremacist, or at least of being adjacent to white supremacy, in light of the controversy surrounding the 2021 film based on his musical In the Heights.
Journalists and other racism experts panned the musical for its "glaring lack of Afro-Latinx representation." The Washington Post dismissed it as "more of the same whitewashed Hollywood," arguing that the absence of dark-skinned actors in leading roles made Miranda's film debut "part of a long tradition in the Americas of Black erasure."
Miranda has also been credibly accused of fostering a transphobic workplace environment. A transgender Hamilton cast member reports being fired after requesting a "gender-neutral dressing room." The cast member also described experiencing "frequent incidents of discrimination and harassment … including being purposely misgendered."
Political experts instantly assailed Pelosi's judgment on social media. "What on earth," wrote journalist Josh Barro. "Who thought this was a good idea[?]" Several pointed to a recent Vox article that explains why Hamilton (and other cultural artifacts of the Obama administration) "feels so cringe right now."
Alas, the 81-year-old Pelosi is presumably not woke enough to understand why the decision to include Miranda in the ceremony was tantamount to committing violence against vulnerable communities.
That's no excuse.