A Mexican restaurant has been banned from handing out free sombreros to students because the publicity stunt was branded ‘racist’ by university officials.
Pedro’s Tex-Mex Cantina, a Norwich restaurant, gave the hats to University of East Anglia students at a freshers’ fair in the city in a bid to drum up business from the student population.
But officials at the students’ union, where the fair was held last week, took the sombreros from students and ordered the restaurant to stop giving them out because they thought it was offensive for non-Mexicans to wear them.
The union said it breached an advertising policy sent to stallholders, which said: ‘Discriminatory or stereotypical language or imagery aimed towards any group or individual based on characteristics will not be permitted as part of our advertising.’
The policy specifies 15 types of discrimination, some of which include colour, ethnic origin, and nationality.
The union said the sombreros were seen as racist and a form of ‘cultural appropriation’.
Note that officials in a student union are drawn from those who have actually had some education at that institution. Thus the University of East Anglia would appear to need a cull among the faculty who have taught these people this.
Cultural appropriation of a sodding hat?