Civil Rights Law & Policy Blog

Editor: Andrew M. Ironside

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, October 26, 2013

So, I shouldn't wear my John Wayne costume?

John_Wayne_portrait
The University of Colorado recently started placing fliers around campus asking students to keep the feelings of other students in mind when selecting this year's Halloween costumes. As The Huffington Post reports, "Advertisements posted around campus depict students from different ethnicities, cultures and religions standing next to a person dressed in costume. In one, a young black man is standing next to another man wearing blackface, gold chains and flashing a prop gun. Another shows a young Asian woman holding a photo of a white woman dressed in a geisha costume." Be courteous, consider how others might interpret your costume. I'm with ya.
 
But, then the Post reports:

At CU however, cowboys are not totally fine.

"When you dress up as a cowboy, and you have your sheriff badge on and a big cowboy hat, that's not a representation of a cowboy, that's not a representation of people who work on a ranch that's not a representation of people who live in the West, that's kind of a crude stereotype," CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard told Campus Reform.

Line-drawing is difficult; the difference between mockery and good-taste is sometimes not so clear. Indeed, that line depends on context, and context depends on both individual and community experiences. Whether a costume is a "crude stereotype" or an allusion to an iconic American symbol like John Wayne or Kirk Douglas might be disputed in different parts of the county.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/civil_rights/2013/10/so-youre-saying-no-to-my-john-wayne-costume.html

Freedom of Speech, Universities and Colleges | Permalink

Comments

The kids need to get off their computers and iPads and start demonstrating against this Dean. Occupy the Dean's Office!

Posted by: Liberty1st | Oct 26, 2013 10:46:15 PM

In full costume!!!

Posted by: Andrew M. Ironside | Oct 27, 2013 6:33:21 AM

Post a comment