There’s nothing scarier for colleges than the scandal of a racist Halloween party—so one university is providing a lecture on how not to dress like a jerk.
By Erin Gloria Ryan | 6 October 2016
THE DAILY BEAST — The Celts believed that on the night of October 31st, the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the afterlife was at its thinnest, allowing the dead to walk among the ancient terrified masses. While almost everything about the holiday has changed, Halloween is still a time when something hoped long-dead lives again, leaving terror and panic in its wake. For college administrators, this terror is not Uncle Brian’s reanimated skeleton lumbering into the living room. It’s racist Halloween costumes.
College students’ near-endless capacity to act like jagoffs has caused plenty of administrative problems over the decades. But, thanks to the magnifying power of the internet and social media, what in the 1980s might have been a week-long annoyance has the potential to turn into something much worse. All it takes is one viral post of a photo of a white kid in a sombrero at a frat house, or a forwarded evite to a “ghetto”-themed party, or one aggressively chill white chick in a headdress to turn what would have been a headache into a chainsaw massacre of a school’s brand.
This year, Please Don’t Dress Like a Racist, Kids season kicked off early. On Wednesday night, at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, a crowd of about 30 people (mostly students) showed up for a program on avoiding insensitive costumes. Posters advertising the event provocatively asked “Is Your Halloween Costume Racist?” For those frightful of the looming boogeyman of “PC culture,” lectures on what is and is not offensive is a spooky, scary concept indeed. […]