Halloween — the second biggest retail day of the year. It used to be a fun day of dressing up as your favorite character and soliciting candy door to door.

The holiday has become so popular that in recent years stores that specialize in only Halloween fare have come to Bozeman.

So what’s the problem?

Politically Correct Halloween?

You knew it had to happen sooner or later — right? Wear the wrong costume and be publically vilified for your cultural insensitivity.

In today’s socially charged environment if you appropriate someone else’s culture then you’re a bigot, racist, or any one of a number of politically incorrect buzzwords.

We’ve gone so far as to cancel Halloween parties at some elementary schools because some of the children might accidentally come dressed inappropriately.

Since race bias is a learned response I guess kids will get a real life lesson about walking on eggshells around their peers. (Apparently the European kids in the photo above didn't get the memo)

Appropriate A Culture?

If you appropriate someone’s culture what exactly does that mean? The dictionary defines appropriate as “to take (something) for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission.”

If you use that strict definition I suppose you’d have to show up at the UN to get Mexico’s permission if you want to wear a sombrero as part of your Halloween costume.

I guess it never dawned on anyone that the costume you pick might be a reflection on you? Only Prince Harry would be dumb enough to wear a Nazi uniform to a costume party.

Some Final Thoughts

I will admit that some costumes are off limits in polite society. But to restrict your dress as an Asian, Hispanic, American Indian or historical figure (whether they owned slaves or not) is really pushing the envelope.

Virtually all the Disney characters are off the table.

I guess Zombies are OK as long as they aren’t African-American Zombies. Be careful dressing as E.T. or you might trip the alien trigger.

You’d have to dress as an undocumented space traveler.

If this condition continues we’re not going to be able to leave our homes without offending someone. I think we’ve reached the tipping point in our misappropriation of fun. So feel free to show up at my house as Speedy Gonzales. The candies in the bowl ready to go.

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