U.S. colleges are now warning students that they must avoid “cultural appropriation” in their Halloween costume choices, but some students are pushing back.
“Cultural appropriation” is the new buzzword which refers to people of one culture dressing up like people of another culture. For instance, a white person wearing an Indian headdress as a Halloween costume would be seen as “appropriating” the indigenous culture’s clothing. Millennials see “cultural appropriation” as highly offensive and “hurtful.”
One conservative student group, known as the Young Americans for Freedom, decided to start a national counter-initiative to protest the sanitization of Halloween, titled “Funeral for Halloween.” Students plan to fill a mock coffin with Halloween decorations and hand out fake obituaries announcing the “untimely death” of the holiday killed by “political correctness.”
Young Americans president Clare McKinney has been unable to get approval from the Student Activities Office of Notre Dame and its sister school, Saint Mary’s College, to set up on the quad next week.
Student affairs staff have repeatedly told her they need to “discuss the request” with YAF, as well as with other university departments, before they can approve it.
“We’ve had about 15 events, and biweekly club meetings, and I’ve never had problems reserving space for anything else,” said McKinney.
McKinney said she has been mocked and smeared on social media by fellow students for her opposition to the school’s participation in the annual “culture, not a costume” campaign, where schools apply that cautionary tagline to events, flyers, and social media posts ahead of Halloween.
A big fear this year is that white people will dress up as the popular Polyensian Disney princess Moana.
The “culture, not a costume” program, which was co-sponsored by the sociology and justice studies departments and pushed by administrators in a student-wide email, is said to be set up to make sure Halloween was fun and inoffensive.
Other schools using the “culture not costume” line include Central Michigan University, Washington State University, Kent State University, Dickinson College, Northern Arizona University, and many others.
Arcadia University’s departments of sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice held a program titled, “Cultural Appropriation: The Scariest Thing About Halloween.”
The University of St. Thomas posted pointers on its blog to help students who might be “second-guessing” their outfits. For instance, if a student realizes his costume could be described with the words “traditional,” “tribal,” or “ethnic”, that’s a signal to change costumes.
Adam Goldstein, the Jackson Legal Fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a free speech organization, said students who run into problems regarding their costumes should seek legal aid.
“Public universities are bound by the First Amendment and private universities that have promised freedom of expression to their students have made their own contractual obligation to the students,” said Goldstein. “If administrators break those agreements, students should stand up for what they believe.”
For more on this story, click the "read more" button below.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT to SAVE THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
Please join the thousands of DML readers who have purchased a bumper sticker. CLICK HERE.
If you would like to receive Breaking News text alerts on a smartphone or tablet, download the DML APP which is completely FREE and easy to use. Go to the Google Play Store or the IOS App Store and search for DML APP. Be sure to keep the app’s notifications setting on. Another way to receive alerts is to text to 40404 the following message: follow @realdennislynch (be sure to put a space between the word follow and the @ symbol).
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.
TV producers install degrading plaque memorializing Trump scandal