Every year, as Halloween approaches, the social justice-oriented “woke” police begin issuing their edicts, proscribing certain “offensive” costumes and cancelling Halloween events lest someone — anyone — be offended.
Late last month, an elementary school in the tony Chicago suburb of Evanston announced that they would be cancelling Halloween altogether over concerns that some children who did not celebrate the holiday would be offended by chilling costumes and spooky treats, according to North Cook News.
A Wisconsin school followed suit, calling the holiday “inappropriate” and not “inclusive,” and also did away with parades, parties, and costume-wearing in school. Supervisors at the school district claim that the holiday made certain children feel excluded and highlighted “inequities.”
Across the pond in Scotland, one school swapped out Halloween for “Autumn Dance,” according to the Sun, after two parents complained that “not all families celebrate Halloween,” and forcing kids to purchase Halloween costumes to wear to school could put an unnecessary strain on family budgets.
Most schools happily incorporate Halloween into their calendars, though — at least for the first twelve years of mandatory schooling. Once students get to college, the real woke police take over, sucking the fun out of Halloween with strict rules about which costumes are acceptable and which costumes could lead to trouble.
Michigan State University leads the way in 2019, releasing its rules late last week and pasting posters across campus asking students to consider whether their planned costumes are racially, culturally, or ethnically based.
The College Fix reports that “[p]osters asking ‘Is Your Costume Racially, Culturally, or Ethnically Based?’ appeared in dorms last week courtesy of the school’s Residence Education and Housing Services. The placards feature examples of ‘costume fails’: a guy dressed like a mariachi, women dressed as a Native American (‘hypersexualized racism’) and in a Japanese kimono, and … a space alien (allegedly represents ‘illegal aliens’?).”
The American Mirror, which covers incidents of far-left meddling across the education system, was able to get ahold of one of the posters, which gives strict guidelines to students celebrating both on and off campus. No “[s]ombreros and mustaches, Nazi gear, Rastafarians, illegal aliens, Middle Eastern attire, and other ‘racially, culturally, or ethnically based’ costumes.”
Students are warned to avoid any costume that involves “cultural appropriation:” “[w]estern appropriations of non-Western or non-white forms” carry with them “the connotation of exploitation and dominance.”
The school told the Mirror that they won’t necessarily be enforcing the rules, however. MSU, the Mirror reports, “is not saying students can’t dress that way,” but want students to know “how their costumes can be portrayed,” particularly on social media, where audiences can quickly mock and cancel an individual for non-woke choices.
Of course, Michigan State University’s mascot is the “Spartan,” drawn straight — one might even say, appropriated — from Greek history.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (or FIRE) notes that not all colleges are as “hands off” in enforcing rules as MSU, and that students have been punished for non-woke costumes in the past. Students should be aware that colleges may not be clear about how “wrong” costumes will be treated, that guidelines can be vague, and that the rules can sometimes be subjectively enforced.
FIRE also notes, however, that Halloween costumes are protected speech and that public colleges and universities must allow students to express themselves as the students — not the administrators — see fit.
To be safe, college and university students might want to forgo politically charged costumes and stick with more generic commentary on current events. Yandy.com, the headquarters for bizarre, overly sexy costumes on the Internet, features a “sexy White Claw,” “sexy meatless hamburger,” and “sexy tariff” costumes that are sure to confuse rather than oppress.