Not So Inclusive A Cappella: An op ed from the demon rejected by TI

DemonOpEd.jpgAMHERST, MA – With the addition of the first woman in the Zumbyes, you might be thinking that times are a-changin’, that Amherst a cappella is taking a turn for the more inclusive. I’m here to tell you that isn’t true.

Hi. I’m Adramelech, former Great Chancellor of the Underworld and President of the High Council of Demons, 8th archdemon in Beelzebub’s Order of the Fly, and royal wardrobe supervisor for the devil himself. I know I sound scary, but I’ve changed! What set me on the path to righteousness was listening to our very own Christian a cappella group, Terras Irradient. The first time I heard “Shackles”, I found myself grooving in my seat, and I even shed a tear at “Worthy is the Lamb”. I immediately stopped using my evil powers to make the J Chap pews even more uncomfortable, cut off ties with my old employer, and dedicated myself to a new goal: being a member of TI.

When they posted auditions, I was so excited I accidentally let loose a plague of lice! It was my time to shine. I used to sing in the fire showers down below, and all my torture victims told me I had a good set of pipes on me (that is, before I ripped their tongues out), so I was pretty sure I’d at least make it to callbacks. I mean, they said during the freshman showcase that I didn’t have to be Christian.

So much for getting my hopes up.

I’m used to people quivering in my presence, but I thought things would be different here, especially with the institutional commitment to diversity. But when I walked into the room, the only thing I was greeted with was screaming. I guess I’m not attractive enough for you, Terras Irradient! I guess my mule head and peacock body doesn’t fit into your Western, Judeo-Christian beauty standards! Once the screeching died down and I explained myself, they (trembling) told me to sing what I had prepared. Feeling shaken but not discouraged, I continued with the traditional version of Silent Night, sung in my native 7th Circle dialect. I must’ve made an impression, because blood began to drip from Meredith’s ears and Donna’s eyes rolled back into her head. Then, they asked me about my faith. Well, of course, I told them: I’ve been serving the devil ever since I was a little baby demon. Of course I believe in Lucifer’s right to rebel against God, the punishment of sinners for all eternity, and doing general evil. They told me they’d think about it.

Well, they certainly didn’t need much time, because when the callback list was posted, my name was suspiciously missing. I got worried. Maybe they made a mistake? I know I can sing. So I messaged them on Facebook, just politely checking in about my audition, and they had the audacity to say that I wasn’t the right fit for the group! That my voice reminded them of famine! That my mule head would be disconcerting to parents during Family Weekend! Well. I certainly did not expect that from a group that claims to be inclusive. I tried to go to Title IX, but Laurie said the law didn’t cover discrimination based on demon status, and there was nothing she could do for me.

I am disappointed in the Amherst community, which is why I want my story to be heard. It’s great that the Zumbyes feel like they can take this step forward into gender inclusivity, but we can’t call ourselves an inclusive community until all members are respected, loved, and appreciated for what they uniquely bring to campus. So what if what I bring is abject terror, plague, and Val noodle bar? I am a worthwhile member of this school and deserve to be treated as such. Hail Satan! Tusks up!