University of Colorado at Boulder: Don’t Dress Up as a Stereotype at Halloween

by Charles C. W. Cooke

The Telegraph reports the latest fun initiative from the University of Colorado at Boulder:

University students in America have been told not to wear “offensive” halloween costumes . . .

Fair enough. Such as?

. . . including cowboys, indians and anything involving a sombrero.

“Anything involving a sombrero”? Anything

Students at the University of Colorado Boulder have also been told to avoid “white trash” costumes and anything that portrays a particular culture as “over-sexualised” – which the university says includes dressing up as a geisha or a “squaw” (indigenous woman).

They are also asked not to host parties with offensive themes including those with “ghetto” or “hillbilly” themes or those associated with “crime or sex work.”

A university spokesman called cowboy costumes a “crude stereotype.”

Such a crude stereotype, it turns out, that the University of Colorado uses it for their football mascot:

The University of Colorado has one of the more unique mascots in all of intercollegiate athletics, a real buffalo named Ralphie. CU has two live buffalo mascots, Ralphie IV and Ralphie V. Ralphie leads the football team out on the field both at the start of the game and second half. It is truly one of the special sights that exist anywhere in college or professional sports, especially for opposing teams, who often stop in their tracks watching the massive buffalo round the end zone and head directly at their sideline.

Here is a picture of the people who lead out the buffalo:

Ugh, those “crude stereotypes.”

I especially love the instruction that university students should stay away from looking “over-sexualised,” although I suppose that if the purpose of Halloween is to dress up in a manner foreign to you then this idea is actually rather creative.

In a letter, officials said: “please keep in mind that certain Halloween costumes inappropriately perpetuate racial, cultural, and gender stereotypes.”

Probably, yes. And Halloween itself perpetuates stereotypes about pagans. So bloody what?