The mere possibility of someone dressing up in what could conceivably be viewed as an “offensive” Halloween costume has sent many universities into paroxysms of panic and hysteria. Think that’s an overstatement? Countless colleges have issued stern warnings to students- and others- not to wear any politically-incorrect outfits, proactively banning the donning of ensembles designed to imitate everyone and everything from Caitlyn Jenner to creepy clowns. To whit:
The University of St. Thomas, in Minnesota, posted “Costume or Culture Appropriation?” fliers that list “unacceptable” costumes and clothing including Native American headdresses, Mexican sombreros, geisha outfits, or any form of blackface. A message in the flier counseled students: “Cultural appropriation is defined as ‘the act of taking intellectual and cultural expressions from a culture that is not your own, without showing that you understand or respect the culture.’” Talk about identity politics!
Maryland’s Goucher College held a “Halloween and Cultural Appropriation Tabling” event during which it was helpfully pointed out that offensive costumes incorporate “a long history of prejudice, hate, discrimination, colonialism, and slavery,” and turn “an important and/or sacred element into fashion.” The not-so-festive extravaganza also admonished attendees: “The scariest thing about your costume isn’t what you think.”
The University of California-Santa Barbara held a Social Justice Workshop to teach students how to spot Halloween costume abuse and appropriation, while Washington State University’s Social Justice Peer Educators Group held an event they termed “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume,” in order to instruct people about the dangers of “harmful” Halloween costumes. Northern Arizona University’s Housing and Residence Life cautioned against African-inspired costumes, Pocahontas, and Asian rice hats, among others.
A Notre Dame residence hall rector sent an urgent missive to her students before a Disney-themed dance instructing them not to dress up as Moana, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan, or The Princess and the Frog. This begs the question, WTF?? Golden Domers, these characters aren’t even real. They are fictional. Much like your university’s assertion that it is “dedicated to the pursuit and sharing of truth for its own sake” through “free inquiry and open discussion.”
The University of Utah’s Student Affairs Diversity Council (SADC) tells students to avoid Halloween costumes if they are- or could be- labeled “tribal,” or “traditional,” or if they include dreads, locks, afros, cornrows, or a headdress. (Assumedly these would all be okay if you were Native-American or African-American). The University of New Hampshire put on a cultural appropriation “teach in,” targeting not just Halloween, but also Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos.
Tufts University warned its scholars that they could be subject to probes from campus police if they dared to don costumes that could potentially make others “feel threatened or unsafe.” That warning would make me feel unsafe. Could the campus polizei brand me an Enemy of the State? The College Fix reported that Tuft officials encouraged students to report anyone wearing an “inappropriate and offensive costume,” examples of which included the usual suspects: Native Americans, geishas, Confederate soldiers, or anything involving blackface or sombreros.
The University of Texas issued a 29-point checklist regarding Halloween costumes, saying that even “seemingly harmless themes can be carried out incorrectly.” The University of Florida has offered its charges 24 hour a day counseling, seven days a week, around Halloween, stating: “Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions. Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people.”
A Greek official at Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg College actually warned his fellow Greeks that their chapters could be shut down if they wear the “wrong” costumes.
Ohio State University’s 2017 student magazine featured a “flow chart” that overtly supports and approves of students wearing costumes that “make fun of President Donald Trump,” while admonishing them not to dress as Prince. Rebrand yourself as The Hypocritical University, Ohio State. Why do you think it’s okay for you and yours to (sneeringly) appropriate the presidency, old white male culture, or gold hair?
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst put up “Simple Costume Evaluation and Assessment Meter” (SCREAM) posters around and about campus, and assigned threat levels based on how much a costume differs from the student’s own race. So, if I’m white, I have to dress a certain way? Same for Blacks and Latinos, et. al.? And think a certain way? And think a certain way about dressing and thinking a certain way?!
Princeton University’s Center for Equality held a “dialogue about the impact of cultural appropriation, Halloween, and why culture is not a costume.”
Culture is not a costume. That’s why we all must wear only things that those of our culture are supposed to wear! Get it? It makes perfect sense, does it not? We should always and only dress as others stereotypically think we should. That is politically-correct thinking.
(This Halloween, I’m going to dress as a big pot, steam gently wafting from the top, a large fracture down its side, bleeding out the very essence of America. The “Melting Pot” is finished. Thanks to political-correctness and leftist dogma, the U.S. is becoming balkanized).
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