Happy Halloween for the politically correct
The liberal doctrine of freedom of speech for me but not for thee, so vividly demonstrated by the NPR firing of Juan Williams, also rules the campuses of many colleges and universities across the country. Recent examples:
Concerned about the delicate feelings of some of his students, contemptuous of others, Burgwell Howard, Dean of Students at the private, selective Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, emailed a thinly veiled warning about the proper way of celebrating Halloween politically correctly with (selective) racial and cultural sensitivity.
Howard provided students with a list of questions to ask before selecting one's Halloween attire: Is the costume based on making fun of real people or cultures? Does the costume promote cultural myths? Could someone take offense to it?
Students who answered "yes" to any of these questions were urged to rethink their choices.
Does this mean no disgraced ex Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) wigs? No President Barack Obama (D) or former President George W. Bush (R) masks? (The former is probably forbidden; as for the latter, why the more grotesque, the better.) What about Lady Gaga hair? Or wearing her meat--or any other-- dress? They weren't mentioned--except for Obama--the feelings of these multi mockables were most likely ignored.
However Howard carefully then detailed what is truly offensive.
He also discouraged "ghetto," "pimps and hos" and "gangsta" parties at the esteemed Evanston university.
"Halloween is unfortunately a time when the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most NU students can be forgotten and some poor decisions are made," Howard wrote.
"In many cases the student wearing the costume has not intended to offend, but their actions or lack of forethought have sent a far greater message than any apology could after the fact," Howard wrote.
In past years Halloween costumes with photos posted on Facebook of white Northwestern students in blackface
sparked outrage at the university and prompted a public forum to discuss racism on the predominately white campus.
Racism by whom?
Some students interviewed agreed with the directive, stating
the e-mail sends an important message about the university's commitment to inclusivity.
"It shows a sense of renewed awareness of cultural and racial sensitivity," he said. "It needed to go out."
Wearing a Nazi uniform, religious garb, other ethnic costumes, terrorist outfits or witches hats, Aqua Buddha and/or vampires also were not mentioned. Strangely a ghost costume wasn't barred even though that might entail wearing white sheets. Hmmm.
In a demonstration of non inclusivity however, the sensitivities of students who disagreed with this e mail, this interference in their freedoms, were ignored.