Oxford college cancels 'cannabis themed' party after 'encouraging cultural appropriation'
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An Oxford college has been forced to cancel its controversial “420 themed” party after it was slammed for encourging cultural appropriation.
Mansfield College had organised a party to celebrate 4/20, an “internationally recognised day of protest for the legalisation of Marijuana” which is held around the world every year on April 20th, however, after several students criticized the plans the party was swiftly axed.
Students were invited by email and told to come dressed as their favourite “stoner icon”, with suggestions including people like the rapper Snoop Dogg. However, they were warned: “If you’re white, don’t try to go as Snoop Dogg or Bob Marley. Blackface isn’t cool”.
The invite also told students “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.”
It appears a worry students may wear blackface as well as anger that the event was inappropriate due to its theme, as cannabis is a Class C drug, alongside criticism the organisers were encouraging cultural appropriation by telling students to dress up and embrace the "culture", subsequently led to the party being cancelled earlier this week.
An email announcing and explaining the cancellation was sent to students. It reads: “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.”