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Column: Don't politicize Halloween

From ancient Celtic times to the modern day, Halloween has been a tradition that represents a fun way for children to exploit their neighbors for candy and for everyone to dress up in crazy costumes. It signifies a holiday in which people have fun. However, Halloween is now being politicized, and this needs to stop.

The argument against Halloween is that people might be offended by costumes because some Halloween costumes highlight stereotypes or crude imagery. People should not be stopped from dressing up, even if it hurts someone’s feelings. Part of the fun of the holiday is laughing at stereotypes.

Besides, the stereotypical costumes do not always make up a majority of costumes; even if they do, that is part of the holiday. People can personally talk to someone about a costume they find offensive, but trying to stop the holiday as a whole is absurd. And besides, these politics should not even be involved in the discussion. People have the freedom to dress how they like.

The greatest enemies of Halloween are schools. More and more schools are not allowing Halloween festivities. For instance, an elementary school in Massachusetts cancelled its annual student costume parade because it hurts students’ “individual differences.” Now, the students will have a “Black and Orange spirit day” instead of their parade. Political correctness ruined the holiday for the children, and this school was not the first in Massachusetts nor nationwide to do something like this.

Halloween is also being attacked on the college level. Many know about the Yale lecturer who wrote the letter about Halloween costumes. She argued that the students should decide individually if their own costume is offensive and that the institution should not have the power to restrict costumes. This lecturer and her husband received a huge backlash from students about the letter. She resigned and no longer works at Yale. Her husband, who also worked at Yale, was surrounded by students and yelled at. The idea of hiding offensive costumes from students is ridiculous and doing it on a college level where the students are adults is silly.

This whole attack on Halloween is not very partisan either. Although many believe that not restricting Halloween costumes comes from a conservative standpoint, even liberals like Cenk Uygur from the YouTube channel “The Young Turks” say Halloween is the one exception where costumes should not be viewed as offensive.

If a student wants to wear a sombrero, a Native American chief outfit, or anything that may be deemed offensive, then they should be able to still wear that costume. If a little girl wants to dress up as Moana, then she should be able to without being deemed culturally inappropriate. Making costumes about political correctness and ruining the holiday because of politics is ridiculous. Halloween is the time to wear fun costumes that may have ties to different cultures. Part of the holiday is embracing this fact and enjoying it.

Recognizing cultural differences is a way of appreciating different cultures. And while some may not appreciate cultures being represented this way, at the end of the day Halloween is a holiday, plain and simple. It is meant to be fun. It is not meant to be a platform for politics or promoting the idea of political correctness.

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