Kennedy Center Honors Not Hispanic Enough

The Kennedy Center Honors are an annual orgy of self-congratulation aimed at the PBS pledge drive demographic. This year`s award winners, for example, include David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, ballerina Natalia Makarova, Led Zeppelin, and old bluesman Buddy Guy.  (You can see the marketing logic: “Zep will bring in the big-giving white male 45-65 demo, but they are white, so we`ve got to find some old black bluesman to give an award to, too.”)

Not surprisingly, nobody at the Kennedy Center noticed they weren`t handing out enough awards to meet their implicit Latino quota. From Washington Post:

Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center, apologized for strong language that he used in a recent tense conversation with Felix Sanchez, chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, when Sanchez criticized the lack of Latino artists receiving Kennedy Center Honors. 

“I am writing to apologize for the language I used during our telephone call. It was an unfortunate choice of words, and I deeply regret using them in frustration during our conversation,” Kaiser wrote … 

Sanchez has previously quoted Kaiser as saying “f— yourself” and abruptly hanging up the telephone when Sanchez pressed his point in the Sept. 14 conversation. 

Kaiser told The Washington Post last week that he had felt upset during the conversation because he understood Sanchez to be insinuating that he is a racist. …

“Much of my career has been spent working with artists of color,” Kaiser said in the letter. “I have been passionate about presenting excellence and div­ersity in artistic and educational programming, and Latino arts and programs have enjoyed a dynamic presence.” 

A vibrant, presence too, no doubt.

Here are some Kennedy Center Honoree demographics from the Washington Post earlier this year:

Total number of male honorees in the history of the honors: 133
Total number of female honorees: 52
Number of years in which only one woman was an honoree: 20
Total number of African American honorees in the history of the honors: 39 …

Here`s the complete list.

You`ll notice that this earlier WaPo article on demographics didn`t bother to count up the number of Hispanics, either.

Basically, white people don`t want to employ black people, they want to give them awards, and vice-versa for Mexicans.