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This Halloween, I’ll just be myself

By Walter Geiger I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that the political correctness storm troopers have taken aim at Halloween and decreed that there are certain costumes you just cannot wear. Many college campuses have taken this to the extreme. Students and faculty are to avoid letting their imaginations run wild. Columbia University has strongly suggested costumes be cleared with its Office of Equality and Inclusion. No, I did not make that up. The mandate on college campuses and elsewhere this Halloween is the avoidance of cultural appropriation. To fail in that avoidance is to laud our ‘long history of prejudice, hate, discrimination, colonization and slavery’ to quote one college flyer. Yes, those original 13 colonies and all their colonists are reprehensible to some. So, forget wearing that pilgrim outfit while out and about on your trick-or-treating rounds. Students at Columbia must not wear any costume representing a culture that is not their own nor can they perpetuate stereotypes and misinformation. It is absolutely critical this Halloween that students not advance historical and cultural inaccuracies although the guidelines do not stipulate who gets to determine what is actually accurate or inaccurate. I guess those rulings are left up to the fine folks in the inclusion office. In order to comply with the new rules there are certain things you just must not do while seeking treats or at Halloween parties. First, you must not mock cultural or religious symbols. So, no sombreros, dreadlocks, headdresses, afros or bindis whatever those are. That eliminates dressing as Pancho Villa, Colin Kaepernick, Aunt Jemima and Bob Marley. Princess Kate is off limits as are all members of any royal family anywhere because, as you are aware, nobody’s bloodline is any better than anyone else’s and crowns are symbols of oppression. Secondly, costume wearers must not trivialize human suffering, oppression or marginalization by portraying the homeless, imprisoned, disabled or mentally ill. So, you can ditch that Hannibal Lecter outfit. Other costumes you should specifically avoid according to the PC police include: Jesus Christ, mental patients, nazis, Osama bin Laden, the pregnant school girl, oil spill workers, geishas, squaws, cowboys and sexy nurses, male or female. I guess the Village People of the disco era would be doomed from the start in this day and time, thus exterminating those perennial classics ‘˜YMCA’ and ‘˜In the Navy’ from our music history. We could never get so lucky. Even Good Housekeeping magazine has a list of costumes that don’t get its seal of approval. Its editorial board advises no Holocaust victims, no blackface, nothing ‘˜transphobic’, no refugees, no body-shaming (the fat lady has sung on that sort of thing), no terrorists, no making fun of anorexics and no lion tamers due to that whole animal cruelty thing. There are so many questions about what is right and what is wrong. Doesn’t dressing as a superhero make light of those who are not so super? Does donning the Batman costume shame poor, puny little Robin. If you dress your child as Luigi, aren’t you marginalizing Mario? I think I’ll just be myself this Halloween. After all, anybody can say anything they want about old white guys and the folks in the office of inclusion don’t bat an eyelash. As long as I avoid the stubbled Harvey Weinstein look, I think I’m good.

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