Comedian Owen Benjamin does a bit where he talks about the time he and a friend dressed up as Mexican vaqueros complete with sombreros and ponchos. He said his name was Jose, and his friend’s name was Hose B. But Owen had a third friend, and this friend didn’t seem to be having any fun. So Owen asked him, “What’s the matter, little man?” To which his friend replied, “That costume is offensive.”
That story is a couple of years old, but the attitude Owen’s friend expressed about his Halloween costume being offensive has been gaining steam.
Of course its only culturally appropriation if white people do it. Critics never call the stereotypical white American nerd costume offensive. They also never criticize other races if they dress up in costumes as cowboys or Elsa from Frozen or the characters from Toy Story or PJ Masks or…this list could go on and on.
You can bet your sweet patootie that if someone dressed like a fishing lure and called himself “Bob,” no one would call it racist. They would think it’s funny, and in today’s political climate, people would probably like it expressly because it’s poking fun at a traditional “white” name.
Well, this story is about to get much dumber because apparently, a recent survey of college students shows that 51% of college students think that ethnically based Halloween costume choices are “offensive” and warrant punishment.
The College Pulse ezine asked hundreds of students, “Are highly offensive Halloween costumes (such as blackface) a protected form of free speech on campus, or should students who wear them be punished?”
Just 40% of students surveyed said that Halloween costumes are a form of free speech and should not be infringed. That would seem to shine a ray of hope on the situation.
Considering the fact that many conservatives and people who support the President have been forced underground and don’t publicly state their political beliefs anymore for fear of retaliation- especially on college campuses, the actual number of people who think Halloween costumes are just harmless fun is greater than the survey might indicate.
However, when the survey takers went to Ivy League schools like Yale and Harvard, the results were that about 58% of students believed so-called offensive Halloween costumes constituted a punishable offense. In the California State University system, three out of five students felt a Halloween costume should be grounds to have a student expelled.
In an article on the subject written by Paul Joseph Watson, he comments, “The results of the poll are unsurprising given that nearly 60% of millennials think the Constitution ‘goes too far in allowing hate speech in modern America’ and that the First Amendment should be re-written.”
While this does reveal a disturbing trend, we would do well to keep in mind that this does not at all reflect the attitudes of working people, and people living in the “fly-over states.”
The dark side of these surveys is that these college students, especially the Ivy League ones, are the people who are going to shape law and policy for the next generation. But the people not represented in the survey, working people, family people, and conservatives are the majority of voters. We are the people who truly care about this country and we think Halloween is fun.