Actor John Leguizamo's disgraceful one-man show

On stage at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles right now is a production "direct from Broadway" called Latin History for Morons.  It is a one-man show starring Colombia-born, New York–raised John Leguizamo, who wrote it.  He portrays a Hispanic man with a son in the eighth grade who is being bullied by his private school peers because he is Hispanic.  He is justifiably angry beyond reason and so endeavors to discern why Hispanics suffer from this "ghetto rage" he feels.

He decides that it is because Hispanics have no heroes of their own.  Leguizamo puts forth the idea that this is because the history of Hispanic and Native American peoples has been left out of the history textbooks, that Hispanic young people have been deprived of heroes of their past to be proud of and look up to.  So, in the makeshift classroom that is the set, he begins to instruct the "morons" in the audience on the truth of Hispanic contributions to the world.  He conflates Native Americans, North and South Americans, Cubans, Caribbeans, and the natives of the island nations where Columbus landed (Tainos) in 1492 as if all share the same blood group.  They do not.

He disproves his own thesis right off the bat by using books throughout the performance that tell of Native American and Hispanic heroes throughout American history, all the while complaining that their history is hidden or unwritten.  Leguizamo even uses Howard Zinn's atrocious, anti-American faux history book as if it were fact-based.

Anyone who has thumbed through any public-school history textbook in the last twenty-five years knows that Leguizamo's theory is not true.  All American history books are chock-full of Americans of African-American, Native American and Hispanic descent.  If any ethnic group is omitted, it is our Japanese and Chinese fellow Americans.  When the California History Standards were revised years ago (1994), Lincoln was nearly deleted to make room for Harriet Tubman.  Rather than adding heroes like Tubman, the oh, so politically correct professors in charge of the project began editing out George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  This explains in large part why two generations of American young people are so astonishingly ignorant of actual American history.  Leguizamo takes cruel advantage of that ignorance by delivering a whole lot of hooey as if it were factual. 

Leguizamo mourns the extinction of the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Incas at the hands of conquistadores as though each of those civilizations, worthy of study in their own right, were peace-loving, kind-hearted lovers of all humans.  They were not.  They were big on human sacrifice and war with any and all of their neighbors.  As Leguizamo tells it, the Europeans arrived and slaughtered them.  He called each of these extinctions genocide, as he does the extermination of the Native Americans of North America, though he exaggerates their numbers by millions.

Again, these tribes of North America, according to Leguizamo, were all peacefully coexisting in the vast, virtually uninhabited land that is now the United States.  He states as fact that the Europeans brought syphilis to the Americas and that they contracted it by having sex with sheep!  Most historians believe that the crew of Columbus's journeys brought it to Europe from the Americas.

Leguizamo clearly loathes the America that has made him rich and famous enough to have a one-man show in major American theaters.  He uses so much profanity that it becomes a substitute of real language.  The many hundreds of times he uses the f-word in its many variations is not just annoying; it's oppressive.  He even uses such language when supposedly speaking to his eighth-grade son. 

But the most depressing aspect of sitting through this show was the audience.  They laughed and cheered at every insult to America.  Yes, it is Los Angeles, but one would think there were a few patriots in the theater.  Apparently not.  Leguizamo made numerous anti-Trump slurs, an anti–Mel Gibson "joke," and an anti–Ted Cruz slam.  His "history" is mostly distorted to fuel his ire.

He was right to assume that the audience was with him, because it was.  And yet its members are all successful enough to pay $100–$200 for tickets to this show.  Therein lies the rub.  How is that so many Americans who live in the most successful nation on the planet, who enjoy the most freedom, with rights guaranteed by the Constitution, can use their hard-earned money to sit and hear their country unfairly trashed for a solid two hours?

Because, like these last two generations, they are mis-educated.  They have been wrongly taught.  They know very little about how this country came to be, how it became great, the many obstacles that were overcome.  They seem not to realize their great privilege of being American.  They feel no gratitude at all for their good fortune.

American theater was once upon a time a source of great joy and inspiration, a celebration of our civilization with all its foibles.  Now, unless it is a classic revived, it is almost always a vehicle for the denigration of our country and culture.

On stage at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles right now is a production "direct from Broadway" called Latin History for Morons.  It is a one-man show starring Colombia-born, New York–raised John Leguizamo, who wrote it.  He portrays a Hispanic man with a son in the eighth grade who is being bullied by his private school peers because he is Hispanic.  He is justifiably angry beyond reason and so endeavors to discern why Hispanics suffer from this "ghetto rage" he feels.

He decides that it is because Hispanics have no heroes of their own.  Leguizamo puts forth the idea that this is because the history of Hispanic and Native American peoples has been left out of the history textbooks, that Hispanic young people have been deprived of heroes of their past to be proud of and look up to.  So, in the makeshift classroom that is the set, he begins to instruct the "morons" in the audience on the truth of Hispanic contributions to the world.  He conflates Native Americans, North and South Americans, Cubans, Caribbeans, and the natives of the island nations where Columbus landed (Tainos) in 1492 as if all share the same blood group.  They do not.

He disproves his own thesis right off the bat by using books throughout the performance that tell of Native American and Hispanic heroes throughout American history, all the while complaining that their history is hidden or unwritten.  Leguizamo even uses Howard Zinn's atrocious, anti-American faux history book as if it were fact-based.

Anyone who has thumbed through any public-school history textbook in the last twenty-five years knows that Leguizamo's theory is not true.  All American history books are chock-full of Americans of African-American, Native American and Hispanic descent.  If any ethnic group is omitted, it is our Japanese and Chinese fellow Americans.  When the California History Standards were revised years ago (1994), Lincoln was nearly deleted to make room for Harriet Tubman.  Rather than adding heroes like Tubman, the oh, so politically correct professors in charge of the project began editing out George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  This explains in large part why two generations of American young people are so astonishingly ignorant of actual American history.  Leguizamo takes cruel advantage of that ignorance by delivering a whole lot of hooey as if it were factual. 

Leguizamo mourns the extinction of the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Incas at the hands of conquistadores as though each of those civilizations, worthy of study in their own right, were peace-loving, kind-hearted lovers of all humans.  They were not.  They were big on human sacrifice and war with any and all of their neighbors.  As Leguizamo tells it, the Europeans arrived and slaughtered them.  He called each of these extinctions genocide, as he does the extermination of the Native Americans of North America, though he exaggerates their numbers by millions.

Again, these tribes of North America, according to Leguizamo, were all peacefully coexisting in the vast, virtually uninhabited land that is now the United States.  He states as fact that the Europeans brought syphilis to the Americas and that they contracted it by having sex with sheep!  Most historians believe that the crew of Columbus's journeys brought it to Europe from the Americas.

Leguizamo clearly loathes the America that has made him rich and famous enough to have a one-man show in major American theaters.  He uses so much profanity that it becomes a substitute of real language.  The many hundreds of times he uses the f-word in its many variations is not just annoying; it's oppressive.  He even uses such language when supposedly speaking to his eighth-grade son. 

But the most depressing aspect of sitting through this show was the audience.  They laughed and cheered at every insult to America.  Yes, it is Los Angeles, but one would think there were a few patriots in the theater.  Apparently not.  Leguizamo made numerous anti-Trump slurs, an anti–Mel Gibson "joke," and an anti–Ted Cruz slam.  His "history" is mostly distorted to fuel his ire.

He was right to assume that the audience was with him, because it was.  And yet its members are all successful enough to pay $100–$200 for tickets to this show.  Therein lies the rub.  How is that so many Americans who live in the most successful nation on the planet, who enjoy the most freedom, with rights guaranteed by the Constitution, can use their hard-earned money to sit and hear their country unfairly trashed for a solid two hours?

Because, like these last two generations, they are mis-educated.  They have been wrongly taught.  They know very little about how this country came to be, how it became great, the many obstacles that were overcome.  They seem not to realize their great privilege of being American.  They feel no gratitude at all for their good fortune.

American theater was once upon a time a source of great joy and inspiration, a celebration of our civilization with all its foibles.  Now, unless it is a classic revived, it is almost always a vehicle for the denigration of our country and culture.