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Writers weigh in on 'Disco Demolition Night'
2019-06-24

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Billboard published an article on the damaging aspects of "Disco Demolition Night"—which took place 40 years ago in what was then Chicago's Comiskey Park on June 12, 1979.

As one of the masterminds behind the infamous 1979 debacle, Chicago radio DJ Steve Dahl threw the first pitch at the game, which drew 50,000 people.

The article says, "The worst ramifications of Disco Demolition Night weren't the kicked-up clumps of sod or the hit the team took to their record however, but in the lasting images of an army of out of control white faces taking so much glee in the destruction of art created by Black, Latino and [gay] artists." Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers compared the event to a Nazi book-burning.

"While Dahl has vehemently denied it as merely a harmless stunt, its execution was racist and homophobic," a Vice.com article read. Rolling Stone critic Dave Marsh—who attended the promotion wrote at the time—wrote, "Your most paranoid fantasy about where the ethnic cleansing of the rock radio could ultimately lead. … White males, eighteen to thirty-four are the most likely to see Disco as the product of homosexuals, blacks and Latins, and therefore they're the most likely to respond to appeals to wipe out such threats to their security."

In an official statement, the White Sox said, "The intent of this giveaway was only meant to mark the historical nature of the night 40 years later. "Dedicated to advocating for a safe, welcoming ballpark experience for all people and communities, and will continue to engage in important, informative discussions with our fans and partners to build toward positive change through sports." However, the Billboard item questions what that really means.

The Billboard article is at www.billboard.com/articles/events/8515984/chicago-white-sox-disco-demolition-night-revival-mistake . The Vice.com item is at www.vice.com/en_us/article/8xzke5/disco-demolition-night-was-a-disgrace-and-celebrating-it-is-worse .


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