The independent news organization of Duke University

Day of the dead Halloween costumes and Donald Trump

guest column

Leave it to radical leftists to destroy perfectly good, traditional holidays. They've done their best to take Christ out of Christmas. They've bashed Thanksgiving and Columbus Day as celebrations of racism, oppressionand genocide. These bitter, joyless loons are now trying to take the fun and humor out of Halloween.

With the complicity of like-minded or cowardly college administrators, leftists want to censor "offensive" Halloween costumes. Purportedly to prevent emotional and psychological harm to the hypersensitive, delicate snowflakes that apparently are today's college students, several colleges and universities across the country have lately been attempting to restrict students from exercising their freedom of speech and expression on Halloween.

At Tufts University, for example, members of the Greek community were told this year they could face investigation by campus police and "serious disciplinary sanctions" for offensive costumes. The University of Florida offered 24/7 counseling services to students offended by costumes and encouraged students to report offensive costumes to its "Bias Education and Response Team." The University of Texas at Austin promulgated costume "guidelines" to ensure students do not don costumes that "could have a negative impact" by "intentionally or unintentionally appropriat[ing] another culture or experience." Here at Duke, the Center for Multicultural Affairs regurgitated its humorless #OurCulturesAreNotCustumes memes from last year.

The UT guidelines define "cultural appropriation" as "when somebody adopts aspects of a culture that is not their [sic] own." Presumably, this absurd concept of "cultural appropriation" also applies to such things as ordering Chinese take-out, wearing a sarong, taking karate lessons, and drinking a Corona on Cinco de Mayo, but on Halloween, it apparently applies to such innocuous costumes as an Indian princess, a geisha, a gypsy, a gaucho, an Eskimo, a hula dancer, and--God forbid--this author's favorite costume this year, a Mexican Day of the Dead skeleton with sugar skull makeup. Oh, the horror!

Let's be intellectually honest. "Cultural appropriation" and similar phrases, like "white privilege," "microaggressions," "trigger warnings," "safe spaces," and "tolerance," are nothing more than pseudo-intellectual leftist drivel designed to silence anyone not of color. Leftists believe white people cannot dress in a particular costume or exercise their freedom of speech solely because they are white, and that if they do, they are "racist."

Leftists essentially use these bogus, vacuous words and phrases to assign racism to white people simply because they are white, without any facts whatsoever to prove actual racism. Leftists are basically telling white people they must be racist solely because they are white. And that, quite simply and by definition, is racism--accusing people of something solely because of the color of their skin.

The fact is we live in a free country in which the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees to everyone freedom of speech. There is no constitutional right not to be offended. Halloween costumes, like it or not, are a form of speech, and one either supports free speech, or one does not.

Leftists, however, have proven time and time again they do not support free speech, unless, of course, it is speech with which they agree. Whether they are trying to ban Halloween costumes, disrupting conservative speakers on campus, or demanding the firing of professors that do not espouse the cultish tenets of liberalism, leftists are inherently fascists. It is ironic many of the same leftists that sanctimoniously proclaim "tolerance" have none whatsoever when it comes to political views that do not match theirs.

The whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speech some may find offensive. Inoffensive speech, after all, does not need constitutional protection. The right of free speech is indivisible; restricting the speech of one group or individual jeopardizes everyone's rights. Indeed, unless the free speech rights of all individuals--however offensive--are protected, students risk having school administrators, or even groups of students with Napoleon complex, arbitrarily deciding what is, or is not, acceptable speech. Censorship offends me and has no place in America, particularly on college campuses, where diversity and freedom of thought should be welcomed and encouraged.

Thankfully, leftists will be distracted from costumes and holidays for a while, having been recently "triggered" by the legitimate election of a president with whom they disagree. They're now scurrying for "safe spaces" in between throwing childish tantrums and wishing violence and death on all those "racist" Trump voters, all 60 million of them. It's funny how leftists went from saying "Love Trumps Hate" on November 7 to shouting "People Have to Die" on November 9. Different day, same liberal fascism. So much for "tolerance."

- John Campbell, Trinity '85                  


Share and discuss “Day of the dead Halloween costumes and Donald Trump” on social media.