So some of the alumni at my undergrad college are obnoxious pains in the ass. Let me start out by saying that and there is a cadre of them endlessly complaining about the violation of free speech and free expression by Hampshire college by a student group that decided to uninvite a musical group to a campus event. They want to get the school in shape, try to get the events coordinator fired and cancel the annual Halloween event. TALK ABOUT AN OVERREACTION.
It's been a big national thing, especially among the right wing press. What happened is that a few students raised some concerns about this band being mostly white and playing afrobeat. Fans started attacking the school, with band members also piling on—often with pretty racist comments. One member offered this gem about mostly white guys playing afrobeat music:
Are we not, in actuality, all different shades of brown? Has it not become abundantly clear that we are a world community that needs to support each other in art and love — not in derisiveness? We play afro-beat inspired music with love, and respect. We would create our art with historical and cultural appreciation, and with an intention of bringing people together regardless of individual socio-economic background or ethnocentric origin.”
Ugh. That's not the worst part of it but it's a quote that the band allowed to stay up on their website. They've eliminated all of the other evidence, you know, because if anyone saw the actual comments, I'm guessing that they wouldn't look as innocent and they'd have to think about their stance about being fired because they are white.
Finally the school committee elected just not to have them go there.
Then the band started going to national press outlets complaining that the committee fired them because they were white. The press outlets, by and large, did not bother to actually find out the students' side.
Now my question here is—how has the band's rights been violated? People keep acting like this is big fucking deal but I don't understand why this is news. They were just fired for a gig after being assholes to the people that hired them and now they are complaining about it. It's just a rightwing news story about evil liberals oppressing the white man in the midst of PC hysteria kind of bs.
So I ask you two things: Were the band's right to freedom of expression violated (I THINK NO) and why do you think this has been such a big news story? Because I'm missing the story.