It’s Halloween at Yale, which apparently means it’s time for administrators and masters to send out awkward, remarkably chipper (we’re looking at you, President Levin), but usually bizarre emails about staying safe and not going to the hospital. Fortunately, they haven’t included reminders not to dress up in blackface, which is something the administration at Northwestern University had to include in their campuswide email about Halloween this week. The email includes instructions not to dress up in blackface for parties and events (an issue that has actually come up at Northwestern in the past.) But it also includes a handy checklist of questions to ask yourself before you leave to go out on Halloween:
• Wearing a funny costume? Is the humor based on “making fun” of real people, human traits or cultures?
• Wearing a historical costume? If this costume is meant to be historical, does it further misinformation or historical and cultural inaccuracies?
• Wearing a ‘cultural’ costume? Does this costume reduce cultural differences to jokes or sterotypes?
• Could someone take offense with your costume and why?
Thanks for the tips, Northwestern!