December 12, 2013
Administrators at a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts are being accused of canceling a Halloween concert last month because the lead singer of the band was “not black enough.”
In a letter to Jonathan Lash, president of Hampshire College, the American Civil Liberties Union criticized the school’s decision to cancel the event, saying it was clearly race-based, according to Campus Reform.
“The genesis of the decision, as you know rested on the accusation that this afro-funk band had insufficient representation of people of color,” the letter read.
MassLive reported that the performance “was canceled after some students voiced concerns that the band, which has a black singer but is predominantly white, was appropriating black music.”
ACLU official William Newman did state in the letter that the band was accused of cultural appropriation and misappropriation, and called for an apology.
“Comments posted on the event Facebook page, maintained and monitored by the college, state that the African-American lead singer was not black enough,” he wrote.
Elaine Thomas, Hampshire director of communications, told Campus Reform by email that the school has a different understanding of the situation.
“At issue here are very different understandings of what occurred by the band and by the students who organized the event,” she said. “Our dean of students, who is the individual working on this, has reached out to the band and asked to meet with them.”
So much for the post-racial era supposedly ushered in by President Barack Obama.