The usual spoil-sports are out in force once again this Halloween season, warning celebrators that they risk offending anyone and everyone with their racially-and-ethnically insensitive costumes. At Michigan State University, faculty went so far as to put up posters all over campus to make sure that students understood the monumental hurt a Halloween microaggression might cause to those who aren’t privileged enough to be white, American, or (presumably) cisgendered.
“Is Your Costume Racially, Culturally, or Ethnically Based?” ask the posters, which went up in the dorms last week. In case students were unsure about what that question meant, helpful illustrations were included in “costume fail” examples: A white guy dressed up as a mariachi player, a woman dressed up as a sexy Native American, a woman wearing a Japanese kimono, and a space alien wearing a jumpsuit that says “illegal alien” on the front.
Michigan State senior Sergei Kelley told CNN that while he appreciated the intent behind the message, he felt it was an example of political correctness run amok.
“They’re some good intention behind it,” Kelley said. “We don’t want to make fun other people’s cultures. You don’t want to say I’m going to wear this to purposely mock you or mock what your culture stands for, but I think there’s a difference between that and telling students wearing a sombrero with a mustache is somehow racist.”
The American Mirror reports:
Cultural appreciation, MSU explains, is “learning about another culture with respect and courtesy.”
Steve Bertolini, a senior International Relations major, offered a different definition for cultural appropriation at MSU: “A dangerous term that undermines free speech and expression of ideas.”
It also undermines MSU’s own identity, he argued.
“Suppressing any costume idea because it reflects a culture is ridiculous,” Bertolini said. “Should we abandon Sparty as to not offend those of Greek origin?”
Sparty, the MSU Spartans’ wildly popular mascot, is a muscular male Spartan warrior dressed in stylized, cartoonized Greek battle gear.
Other MSU students, like freshman Clara Peters, think it’s wrong for the university to label students who mimic popular culture or television characters as racists.
We would say that student brings up a good point about Sparty, but then again, we wouldn’t want to give the oversensitive liberals any ideas. We doubt they would condemn the “appropriation” of Greek people, but they might actually start taking offense to a hyper-masculine symbol of war. At this point in the game, there’s really no telling what they’ll be “outraged” by next.