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Symphony gives a cancel culture performance | READER COMMENTARY

Emily Skala, principal flute for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, right, takes a portion of her lunch break to work with amateur flutist, Carolyn Williams from Towson in 2010. (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun).
Emily Skala, principal flute for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, right, takes a portion of her lunch break to work with amateur flutist, Carolyn Williams from Towson in 2010. (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun). (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

The thought police are at it again (“Baltimore Symphony Orchestra rebukes flutist over social posts pushing conspiracy theories on vaccines, election,” Feb. 16). Apparently, flutist Emily Skala has committed a crime against humanity by questioning “the safety of the coronavirus vaccine, the efficacy of face masks, and the authenticity of the presidential elections,” among other offenses.

Ms. Skala plays a flute. She isn’t writing laws based on unfounded conspiracies. She isn’t attempting to foment rebellion by questioning medicine or politics. She is a musician, and as such, according to bsomusic.org, her credentials appear to be impeccable, having taught master classes at the Peabody Institute, National Orchestra Institute and Oberlin Conservatory.

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If one were to examine Ms. Skala’s Facebook page, one would find that among her likes are “Maryland for Elizabeth Warren, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” and “Lisa Murkowski.” I’m surprised that the Republican Party didn’t demand Ms. Skala’s resignation years ago.

Do her opinions somehow explain why there is a lack of diversity in the BSO? Does Ms. Skala decide who fills the chairs in the orchestra pit? The suggestion is made that she has in the past made discriminatory comments? Such as what? Is her statement that “Our color palette is acoustical, not visual” one of those comments? Are there not parallels between those sentiments and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream that children “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character?”

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Would outraged citizens have been demanding Ms. Skala’s suspension or censure had she said that she thinks that some politicians might be aliens from outer space or that the earth is flat?

Anthony Parker’s contradictory and hypocritical opinion that a statement from Ms. Skala “isn’t good enough” to help people feel “comfortable going back and supporting the BSO,” is absurd. Ms. Skala shouldn’t even consider making any sort of mea culpa admission. From what is reported, she has done nothing wrong. Instead, those flag-waving members of the cancel culture that would like to see Ms. Skala pilloried, should pen her a letter of apology.

Paul Leroy, Bel Air

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.

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