The student government at Queen's University in Canada has prohibited use of sumo wrestler costumes, saying they "appropriate an aspect of Japanese culture" and that "the process of putting-on and taking-off a racial identity is problematic."
The National Post reports:
The Alma Mater Society yesterday published a two-page apology and cancelled a food-bank fundraiser scheduled for today, which was to feature two Sumo suits. The letter scolds the student government's own executive for "marginalizing members of the Queen's community" and failing to "critically consider the racist meaning behind [the fundraiser]."
It also vows to discourage other campus groups from using the suits, owned by the school's athletic department.
Alma Mater Society Communications Officer Brandon Sloan told the Queens Journal that the group received multiple complaints about the proposed event.
"It was brought to our attention by students that there were some concerns about this, so we felt it appropriate that the event be cancelled and that we find other ways to raise funds," he said, adding that the AMS will either plan a replacement event or ask students to simply donate money to the Food Centre."
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