Fireworks light up the sky over Hampshire College Red Barn Friday night for Hampshire Halloween. And now the fireworks have turned into a firestorm
UPDATE: (Sunday later afternoon)
Hampshire College has posted yet another "official statement" on their website, only a slight tweaking from the one issued earlier this morning. Of course anything short of an outright apology and admission of a major mistake isn't going to cut it.
And this statement does neither.
They also use the "West Side Story" defense beleaguered Amherst school officials invoked after the nationwide firestorm erupted over the only cancellation of the award winning play in it's entire history.
The cancellation then had the effect of rolling a grenade into the middle of an ammunition dump.
UPDATE: (Sunday early afternoon):
UPDATE (Sunday morning): Official Hampshire College response (Believe it or not. Yikes!). "Reasonable conversation"?????
The student organizers of Hampshire Halloween contracted with a number of bands to play Friday night. Some members of our student community questioned the selection of one band, asking whether it was a predominantly white Afrobeat band, and expressing their concerns about cultural appropriation and the need to respect marginalized cultures. The students tried to be clear that they meant no disrespect to the members of the band in question, but wished to raise larger questions and deeper thought within our own community.
Unfortunately, voices unconnected to our campus and the planning for Hampshire Halloween drowned out a reasonable conversation about how to ensure that the entire student community could have a safe and happy evening. As can happen on social media, posts from off-campus individuals trivialized the concerns of our students and made them feel disrespected.
ORIGINAL Post (Saturday morning):
So just when I thought nothing could match the "only in Amherst" moments brought to you by our local Regional High School -- cancelling a production of 'West Side Story' because it was "racist", but then five years later allowing young girls to publicly perform the R rated 'Vagina Monologues' -- another indigenous "education" institute reminds us why the term Only in Amherst still applies.
Hampshire College, that bastion of, um, liberal progressive something-or-other, suddenly cancelled the group Shokazoba, scheduled to perform at their infamous "Hampshire Halloween" celebration, because they were, for lack of a better term, too white.
Interestingly the (appropriately titled) "Hype" committee felt comfortable engaging in censorship on their official Facebook page. Yeah, they have their priorities straight (sarcasm).
Hampshire College canceled our set tonight because we are "too white" to play Afrobeat. Racist much? Please spread the word! Unacceptable!!!
— Shokazoba (@Shokazoba) October 26, 2013