Another college has come forward with advice on how to avoid giving offense if you are planning to wear a costume this Halloween. This time the school is North Carolina State University, and the advice, courtesy of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, comes in the form of an infographic, which the website describes as “helpful” though some may disagree with that characterization.
The infographic, which is reproduced below, has in its upper left corner a color-coded key similar to the one the federal government uses to chart the current terror level. The key contains three annotated colored boxes that are rather redundant unless you can’t read.
The rest of the infographic is given over to a flowchart that, among other things, fails to conform to flowchart graphical conventions, which dictate that yes-no questions be presented in diamond-shaped boxes. But that’s the least of NC State’s problems.
The opening yes-no question is “Are you planning on painting your face black to mimic a skin tone?” A “yes” answer advises that “blackface” is “never okay.” A “no” answer asks you, for some reason, whether you are Hitler.
In case you haven’t already gotten the picture, this is all meant to be in fun, though with a serious underlying message (kind of like a humorous birthday card). For those with no sense of humor, there is a page of text, much of it bulleted, that outlines the same do’s and don’ts in tedious detail.
In the end, this is the same humorless, over-the-top political correctness that has become the hallmark of all universities in America that seek to shut out emotional adversity by means of trigger warnings and calling imagined slights “microaggressions.” You are to be forgiven if you choose not to read any of NC State’s handouts, and here is my hope that students there follow suit.
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