When I was 6 years old, I dressed as Captain America on Halloween. Good thing I wasn't 18 and a student at the University of Florida in 2016. I'd have harmed scores of people. My costume might have been reported for perpetuating a negative stereotype and for insulting someone who found patriotism galling and the National Anthem oppressive. Captain America? He's culturally inappropriate!
Far-fetched? It's not. This week, the University of Florida offered up counseling services for students offended by Halloween costumes. Let that marinate for a minute. College students taking offense at a Halloween costume? Welcome to Dystopia, check your common sensibilities at the door.
In a posting titled, "Halloween Costume Choices," the university administration wrote, "If you choose to participate in Halloween activities, we encourage you to think about your choices of costumes and themes. Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions. Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people"... especially those enrolled in Wussification 101.
This is the same school where four years ago, a fraternity threw a “rock stars and rappers” party and it's members showed up in blackface, "bling," and ass-exposing baggy pants. A year before that, one of the school's softball players tweeted a photo from a party where the attendees were dressed as football players in blackface.
Perhaps the genesis of heightened sensitivities is right there, and it begat social justice warriors which begat safe zones which begat BERT, the Bias Education and Response Team. It's a real thing at the University of Florida. Find offense? Call Bert!
Bert, Bert, he's your man, if he can't coddle you, no one can!
Of course, the offense is always tied into ideology. If a Christian found offense in someone's "devil" costume would they be afforded comfort or derision? A heterosexual uneasy with someone's drag queen costume, do they find sympathy or mockery? Social justice is always one-sided.
Wanna dress up as Ken Bone? Careful there, that represents the white oligarchy. Iron Man? He's patriotic AND a man-- double dose of debasement right there. Dress up as Donald Trump? Awesome! Wanna dress as Hillary? OMG, I'M OFFENDED!
Prejudiced attitudes on college campuses are rote. What's more concerning is the mollycoddling mindset.
Not sure what message this university, and others like it, is sending it's students. If someone can't handle a Halloween costume, how will they handle a workplace, or the global expanse of real life?
But the good news is, if a white guy is walking the campus dressed as Barrack Obama, there is a 24/7 counselor available in the Counseling and Wellness Center. Maybe they'll help you grow a pair.