The Oxford Union Has Been Accused Of Racism For Selling "Colonial Comeback" Cocktails
If you're debating whether Britain should pay reparations to its former colonies, you probably want to be a bit more careful with the drinks menu.
Oxford University's oldest debating society has been accused of racism, after flyers were found in its bar advertising colonial-themed cocktails.
Several posters promoting the drink were found on tables at the Union bar, according to Oxford University student Adam Cooper, who posted the image on Twitter on Thursday evening.
The posters, which refer to the cocktail as the "Colonial Comeback", depict hands shackled by chains, resembling those of African slaves during British colonial rule.
"Quite a lot of people were angry with [the posters]," Cooper told BuzzFeed News.
"It was quite creative racism, almost a kind of curveball racism. We thought, what's this, is this actually happening? Oh, I see. Racism."
The Oxford Union is arguably the world's most famous debating society. Past speakers include presidents, prime ministers and Nobel Prize winners.
The cocktail was apparently intended to accompany a debate on whether Britain owed its former colonies reparations.
The motion was titled: "This House believes Britain owes reparations to her former colonies", and featured Sir Richard Ottoway, Tory MP for Croydon South, and the Indian academic and politician Shashi Tharoor.
While the Union made no official statement following complaints about the cocktail, The Oxford Student newspaper reported that its treasurer, Zuleyka Shahin, apologised before the debate began, and informed students that the posters had been taken down.
An unnamed union official also told the paper that the cocktail's name was "vile and disgusting".
"Considering the Union's reputation, this viewpoint from the Victorian age could have been tongue in cheek, but it doesn't come across as that," he said.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the Oxford Union for comment.