- The Washington Times - Friday, April 22, 2016

A group of Brown University students accused a white graduate of “cultural appropriation” as she held a performance on campus including Hindu music and meditation.

About 15 students protested the performance by Carrie Grossman, titled “An Evening of Devotional Music,” Thursday night, The Brown Daily Herald reported.

As Ms. Grossman began describing her experience with Hindu chanting, the students reportedly interrupted her with questions about her supposed privilege.

“How does your whiteness impact how you engage with these cultures?” one student asked, according to The Herald.

Ms. Grossman said she discovered chanting on a visit to India and found the practice “very powerful and very healing.” She reiterated that there would be a Q&A session following the performance, but the students continued to protest despite several audience members asking them to be quiet.

The protesters were “asked to leave by the deans or to stay if we wanted,” student protester Sohum Chokshi told The Herald. Mr. Chokshi said the students organized their own kirtan, a form of Hindu chanting, outside the room.

Ms. Grossman later apologized for not understanding that her performance would offend people.

Student protester Aanchal Saraf called it a non-apology.

“You saying that it wasn’t intended to be harmful doesn’t make it an apology,” Ms. Saraf said during a discussion with Ms. Grossman outside the event.

“Use your privilege to make structural change,” Ms. Saraf suggested. “You as a white person are protected.”

(Correction: The protesters were not part of the Contemplative Studies Departmental Undergraduate Group, which organized the event being protested.)

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