A Minor League Baseball team in Utah swiftly canceled its "Caucasian Heritage Night" after the event caused a stir on social media Friday, two days after the racially motivated massacre at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The theme night, scheduled for the Orem, Utah, Owlz' Aug. 10 game, had been advertised with "Irish, Italian, Scandinavian, German.... or even Utahn! Whatever your background, celebrate it at the Home of the Owlz!" But after an outcry, the team issued an apology and canceled the event.
Minor League Baseball, and the Orem Owlz, is about baseball, togetherness and family fun for all fans of all races, religions, and orientations. Our goal in this promotion, like any of our promotions, is to have fun and make fun of everyday normalcies. Our night was to include wonder bread on burgers with mayonnaise, clips from shows like Friends and Seinfeld and trying to solve the vertical leaping challenge. We understand, in light of recent tragic events, that our intentions have been misconstrued. For that, we sincerely apologize.
The apology came after outrage poured in through social media, with some people pointing out the poor taste of holding such an event after this week's racist killings of nine African-Americans in Charleston by a white gunman.
While the Charleston victims families were offering prayers & forgiveness the Orem Owlz were busy planning "Caucasian Heritage Night" #shame
— Diane (@bellecali_xo) June 19, 2015
— Kimberly Dotseth (@blendrealestate) June 19, 2015
Only in Provo would a "Caucasian Heritage Night" be seen as socially acceptable. Way to set us back 100 years Orem Owlz baseball.
— Brandon Hadley (@hadleyfoo) June 19, 2015
"White people in Utah have it tough. How can we lift their spirits?" "I know! Honky Heritage Night with the Owlz!" https://t.co/OLYRXGiL3d
— Paul Freelend (@PaulFreelend) June 19, 2015
Critics of such "white pride" events usually don't lambast white people for taking pride in their ethnic background. Instead, they point out that such events or themes minimize the struggles people of color face to be recognized.
"Refocusing on the dominant narrative instead of making room for the celebration of oppressed people is unnecessary," Everyday Feminism says. "It hurts our efforts to create a just world ... Nearly every time I turn on my television, or look at magazine stands, you might as well call it #WhiteOutDay. The media perpetuates a Eurocentric ideal of beauty as thin and white like it’s nobody’s business -– except that it is really big business."