A college at Cambridge University has been forced to revamp its annual spring dance, after complaints that their original inspiration was, well, racist. The objectionable subject matter? Gone with the Wind. Again, this is 2014 and these were students at the United Kingdom's Cambridge University, not Ole Miss.
The Telegraph reports that, like the prom committee at an all-white Southern high school circa 1961, St Edmund's College originally planned to design its May Ball around the 1939 blockbuster. But after complaints, they switched to "Journey through the Seasons."
Duh: Whatever the virtues of Gone with the Wind as a film and as a piece of film history, there is absolutely no question that it romanticizes the slaveholding South and is pretty much horrifying in the way it treats its African American characters. And at least when you watch the movie, that reality stares you straight in the face. As a concept for a dance? You're pretty much freebasing pure, undiluted Lost Cause nostalgia. Mamusu Kallon, a student born in Sierra Leone, put it to the Independent like so:
"It's a film that glamorises the romantic dreams of a slave owner and a KKK member while rendering the horrors of slavery invisible.
"The black characters fulfil every derogatory racist stereotype of the 'slave' and black people continue to be subject to the modern-day versions of these stereotypes. Surely Cambridge University should not be perpetuating this?"
But please do spare some pity in your hearts for the legions of Cambridge University students who are truly crushed they destroyed their velvet curtains for NOTHING.
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