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An Oxford college has apologised for causing “distress” to students after attempting to organise a cannabis-themed party, which was accused of “cultural appropriation”.
Mansfield College was forced to cancel the “420 themed” party, scheduled to take place on Friday the 20th of April, after students said they were offended and complained.
In an email to students reported by Cherwell, organisers reportedly said the party would be a celebration of the “internationally recognised day of protest for the legalisation of Marijuana”.
They invited students to “dress up as their favourite stoner”, continuing: “420 is not about the consumption of da herb itself, and more about the arts, music, and literature surrounding it; it’s a celebration of a rich culture including everything from hippies to Hip-Hop, from Seth Rogan to the Dude.”
However, they also urged attendees to avoid illegal drugs and for white students to avoid politically incorrect costumes, adding: “if you’re white, don’t try to go as Snoop Dogg or Bob Marley. Blackface isn’t cool.”
Because you’d obviously go up to Oxford at 18 years old looking forward to your first cultural appropriation lectures https://t.co/y6LBtcacOI
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 18, 2017
Offended students quickly took to Mansfield College’s Facebook page to criticise the event.
One said: “Sorry I think the Entz don’t get April fools, is this an actual joke?? Because there are SO many aspects of the email that we all just received that are deeply wrong and squirm inducing [sic].”
Another said: “I’m genuinely working on the assumption that the Entz email has been hacked.”
The team behind the event sent another email out shortly afterwards, apologising “for the (no longer) ‘420’ themed BOP this coming Friday,” adding: “We understand that this was met with offence and we want to apologise dearly to those who were offended.
“We overlooked the clear issues with this theme and now realise our very significant mistake in the matter. We can’t apologise enough.
“And clearly nor did we expect any members of the College to be dressing in a manner so as to be culturally appropriating any culture.”
The Mansfield team also told Cherwell: “We recognised quickly that there were many real problems with this theme and it was consequently changed.
“To reiterate, the event will not be going ahead with this theme. We regret and apologise for any offence or distress which may have been caused.”