Who would have thought Halloween costumes would be so contentious? The one day a year when people dress up as whatever and gallivant around and trick-or-treat if you’re a kid or a parent, or just generally be a chuckle-head if you’re not. It’s truly one of the great American pastimes.
Unfortunately, some people have to make it political by complaining about certain costumes. Those complaints lead to some ugliness at Yale University recently.
Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Council (yes, they have such a thing) sent out an email prior to Halloween asking that students be thoughtful in their costume selection so as not to offend others. They listed specific examples of costumes deemed offensive, “such as feathered headdresses, turbans, ‘war paint,’ and blackface as examples of inappropriate ‘cultural appropriation and/or misrepresentation’.”
Erika Christakis, Associate Master of Silliman College, responded to the email and defended students’ right to wear Halloween costumes of their choosing, even if said costumes might be considered outrageous, inappropriate, provocative, or even offensive.
Christakis further urged students “not to take offense at insensitive Halloween costumes,” and she told students, “‘If you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. ‘Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society’.”
Unsurprisingly, many of the students got rather bent out of shape simply because Christakis believed that students should be allowed to wear so-called offensive costumes.
Well, things got interesting, with students being so offended that this happened (language warning because tolerance means dropping the f-bomb when someone disagrees with you):
Stay classy, Yale Students. Stay classy.
Seriously, what is up with this stuff about a “home” anyway? It’s college. You stay there for a few years and then go away. That’s been its business model since the college was invented. It’s not a home, it’s a school for crying out loud.
However, by saying “home” and calling it a “home,” students seek to turn disagreement into something more personal. They turn those disagreements into an invasion of their “home,” which they use to rationalize the behavior in that video.
Unfortunately, this is hardly confined to Yale. Mike Adams is a professor at UNC-Wilmington. He’s seen this kind of thing as well, and his class introduction takes it to task.
Welcome back to class, students! I am Mike Adams your criminology professor here at UNC-Wilmington. Before we get started with the course I need to address an issue that is causing problems here at UNCW and in higher education all across the country. I am talking about the growing minority of students who believe they have a right to be free from being offended. If we don’t reverse this dangerous trend in our society there will soon be a majority of young people who will need to walk around in plastic bubble suits to protect them in the event that they come into contact with a dissenting viewpoint. That mentality is unworthy of an American. It’s hardly worthy of a Frenchman.
Let’s get something straight right now. You have no right to be unoffended. You have a right to be offended with regularity. It is the price you pay for living in a free society…
Go read the rest, it’s worth it.
At this point, we’re ready for every college professor to start teaching their students this.
Photo Credit: TheFIREorg/YouTube