In a remarkable fuss over nothing that can only occur in a university, where seemingly students have too much time on their hands, colleges at the University of Oxford have been drawn into a 'race row' after advertising New Orleans and 1920s-themed balls, to be held in May 2016.
According to some students the balls may cause offence to female and ethnic minority students.
Well, according to the complainers, the 1920's were a time when people of different ethnic origins and women were not largely present in colleges.
Magdalen College’s ball, inspired by "The Great Gatsby", promises to take students "back to 1926". It has been marketed using the quote:
"Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!"
Arushi Garg, a law student at the college, is quoted by the Telegraph:
"Obviously my demographic (woman of colour from a former colony that remains a developing country) makes me less likely than others to uncritically long for a past that privileged some more than others.Lincoln college has faced criticism for "cultural appropriation" (what does that mean in English?) due to the marketing around its New Orleans-themed ball.
But it would be nice if they cut down on the nostalgia a bit, because if we were re-living the past, the corridors of institutional spaces like Magdalen/Oxford is definitely not where you would find people of my gender, race and nationality.
I wrote to the Magdalen organisers and they engaged quite respectfully with me, and are communicating with me to understand why I think this is problematic."
The co-chairmen of the student union’s Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality and others have said that it promotes "nostalgia for an era steeped in racism."
As noted, only in a university would you find allegedly intelligent people getting hot under the collar over a fancy dress dance. Whatever era you look at, it would offend someone from somewhere. The present day isn't exactly heaven on earth either!
I am surprised they haven't complained about the word "balls" to describe the dances, given that it clearly has sexist connotations!
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