PC police making Halloween really scary

The End of Summer is upon us. No, not Labor Day, the official end of summer, but Halloween, the day kids of all ages instinctively know to be the date that signals the arrival of autumn with winter fast upon its heels. Kids know that summer should go out with a bang, with a day filled with big laughs, lots of yelling, and maybe even a fright or two to carry them through those long, dreary winter nights.

At the risk of sounding like an old codger sitting on the porch shouting, “Hey you kids, get off my lawn,” today’s Halloween vibe just ain’t like it used to be. Halloweens of more than half a century ago in my little town in Illinois were not confused with politics and political correctness. It was a night when tiny ghosts and goblins, spooks and spirits, fairies and firemen ran up to doors and waited for tricks or treats to land in their paper grocery sacks. Kids stayed close to home, except for short drives across town to scare relatives or friends.

Times have changed, things are different, and Halloween’s focus for many has shifted from the innocence of childhood fantasies to the evils of adult vexations.

A Facebook picture the other day showed a toddler, dressed like a mouse, sitting in a wagon decorated to look like a mousetrap with cheese as bait. The PC police pointed out that the getup promotes cruelty to animals and that the cheese came from white milk, which is a symbol of white supremacy. We can thank the PETA people for that. Who knew white racists and white supremacists got their strength from white milk? Chocolate milk, of course, is white milk in brownface.

Snow White and Sleeping Beauty used to be favorites of young girls. Today, some parents try to dissuade their little girls (or boys) from dressing like sleeping girls because of the #MeToo times in which we live. For those who missed it, a prince kisses the sleeping girl without her permission. Witches who seduce young girls with apples or put them to sleep with a prick are okay, apparently.

The witch, by the way, is number five on Google’s national list of most-searched Halloween costumes. President Trump, seen as the boogieman by more than half of adults in this country, dropped from 71 last year to 125 this year. Without Trump, how can we make America ghoulish again?

For some reason, the PC police are not interested in the online video game Fortnite characters, this year’s top Halloween characters. They use automatic assault rifles, shotguns, and missile launchers to rid the world of zombies. The game concerns some parents and teachers because they fear kids spend too much time using weapons of mass murder to kill people they don’t like, because apparently there is a definite line between the right amount of time and too much time. Yes, Halloween is full of irony, if nothing else.

The PC SWAT team visited The Houston Museum of Natural Science after someone put out an email invitation with Party with Spooks as the subject line. The email called “all ghosts and ghouls, monsters and mummies, witches and werewolves” to the museum’s annual fright fest. The museum’s administration sent out an email within a few hours to apologize for the word “spooks” by ghosting the word. The museum, the email said, is committed to diversity and inclusion, and regrets the use of a word “with an offensive connotation.”

So, there you have it. No spooks allowed on Halloween.

Aladdin also is no longer acceptable because the Disney films are racist toward Arabs.

No hooligans on Halloween because hooligan is a slur against drunken Irishmen.

Halloween used to be our last chance to bring back the ghosts of summer as we ran around and tried to scare each other. Today, though, the PC police and their neighborhood watch patrols will be the scariest creatures roaming the streets.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

John David Powell is an award-winning journalist living in Texas. His email address is johndavidpowell@yahoo.com.

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