- - Monday, October 30, 2017


Tonight’s the night of ghosts, goblins and angry witches, and the wise man and sagacious woman knows to avoid a ghost or a wicked witch. But in most precincts that’s still a misdemeanor. Running afoul of the politically correct dress code, particularly on campus, is a felony.

Several of our most distinguished campuses, where a student does not necessarily have to learn to read and write, have nevertheless put in writing a list of Halloween costumes that are forbidden lest they “misappropriate” the culture of another.

“What you might want to wear for one night of fun is a stigma that others wear for life,” says the Center for Student Diversity at Towson University in Maryland. “We’re a culture, not a costume.”

Notre Dame University discourages dressing up as any Disney character, such as Aladdin, Pocahontas or Mulan. Donald Duck, Goofy and Mickey Mouse might not get a student called to the dean’s office, but disrespecting Snow White almost certainly would because it would offend the snowflakes, and honoring Snow White is offensive because she’s by definition a white supremacist.

Afros, dreadlocks and ponchos are out, naturally, and so are the tattered rags and patches of the homeless (though this appears to be the ordinary dress of many students.) No fair aping the dress of “imprisoned persons,” so that excludes orange jumpsuits to depict Hillary Clinton, Paul Manafort or other targets of Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor assigned to finding something, anything, bring down President Trump.

No cowboys and Indians, either, even if you call them by their correct nouns, “Cowpersons” and “Native Americans.” Being politically correct requires careful attention to particulars. Certain Cherokee merchants in Georgia, for example, have been observed selling Sioux bonnets to tourists. Is it cultural misappropriation when a Cherokee misappropriates the Sioux culture?

The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota has issued a handbill to students, identifying “Costume or Culture Appropriation,” and prohibits the wearing of Native American headdresses, Mexican sombreros and geisha outfits.

Some frustrated celebrants say they’ll take no chances, and go trick or treating in the altogether. But it’s cold out there. Another suggested the appropriate attire for a college administrator who comes to the party is a beanie, preferably with a tiny propeller on top. He’ll be recognized as the college dean.

“I know I can’t dress up as Pocahontas,” says one student (who requests not to be named), “so I think I’ll go to the party as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a white lady pretending to be an Indian.”

That could get her arrested on some campuses, but it sounds about right in our bubble. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that a goblin will getcha if you don’t watch out. So be careful out there.

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