Friday, October 21, 2016

Not A Threat

The answer to bad speech is more good speech, not censorship

As an unabashed defender of the First Amendment I bristle at even the hint of government intrusion into the marketplace of free ideas, even when those ideas are upsetting or obnoxious.

Speech that makes you comfortable is not what needs protection.  And it would be impossible for firebrands like me to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" when my speech is regulated by boorish bureaucrats.

So when more than a few people sent me the link about UMass having a "threat meter" for  costumes which would pretty much lead to a bland Halloween -- and I always look forward to scantily clad young women dressed up as Indians, err, Native American  -- I took notice.


But I also remembered UMass allowed the nitwit Westboro Baptist Church to freely demonstrated their bigotry on campus a few years ago.  So I was also a tad skeptical of this latest brew ha ha -- especially when Campus Reform said they ran with it prior to a UMass spokesperson responding.

My favorite UMass spokesperson, however, did respond.

From: Larry Kelley <amherstac@aol.com>
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2016 8:48 AM
Subject: Halloween
To: Nancy Buffone <buffone@umass.edu>


Hey Nancy,

So I'm always a tad skeptical when these stories first break wondering if perhaps they belong on Snopes.

https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=8272

Is this a University wide program?  (I'm surprised there's no mention of clown outfits.)

Is the University taking any special measures for Halloween weekend like limiting guests, parking, etc?

Larry


#####
  

From: Nancy Buffone <buffone@umass.edu>
To: Larry Kelley <amherstac@aol.com>
Sent: Fri, Oct 21, 2016 10:45 am
Subject: Re: Halloween


Larry,

The campus has been planning for Halloween and has communicated guest restrictions on the residential halls to our studends. There is information on line at: http://www.umass.edu/living/sites/default/files/documents/assignments/homecoming_and_halloween.pdf

As far as the posters go, here's a statement from the News Office:

University of Massachusetts Amherst statement on Halloween costumes
As part of the university’s continuing efforts to foster an inclusive and supportive living environment for all students, resident assistants at UMass Amherst this month created bulletin boards communicating those values and explaining how some Halloween costumes may be offensive to others. The guidelines used to create the bulletin boards are intended to educate students about cultural appropriation and help them make informed choices about costumes. UMass Amherst does not prohibit or ban any costumes.
In one residence hall, a “threat level flow chart” for choosing a Halloween costume was posted on a bulletin board. It is not part of the recommended educational materials that RAs were advised to display, but rather was downloaded from the Internet and was posted by a well-intentioned student staff member. The chart has been removed from the bulletin board.

Thanks,
Nancy

Nancy Buffone
Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations



83 comments:

Anonymous said...

GEEZUM-Guess I better stow that " Lizzie Warren" outfit for Halloween-" Faux Indians" are ' ETHNO-CENTRICITY " ..LoL...!!

Nina Koch said...

It's brouhaha. Not brew ha ha. Unless you meant something different.

Anonymous said...

Senator Warren is the ultimate "faux" Indian!

Anonymous said...

We as a society now acknowledge that it's inappropriate for white people to paint themselves with black face, so it's nice to see that people are realizing that dressing up as an "Indian," and one that is a parody of a Native American no less, is also highly offensive.

Larry, will have to leer at some other costume I guess.

Anonymous said...

You cannot be all things to all people

Anonymous said...

I think these are mere suggestions made by someone affiliated with UMass. It's most likely RDs or RAs that posted these in dorms. You are well within your rights to dawn an "offensive" costume on Halloween. UMass will not reprehend you (like it will for masks/face coverings). Like the above 2:33 comment points out, it is becoming increasingly insensitive to wear costumes that bastardize other cultures. I think those involved with these posters are just trying to educate people to this idea.

Go ahead and dress up as a sexy "Indian" or whatever-- its your right. Just like the Westboro Baptist Church has the right to demonstrate freely. Both demonstrations may be legally okay. However, they are both morally wrong in the eyes of many Americans.

Anonymous said...

PC nonsense

Anonymous said...

This isn't speech, it is dress. As anyone who went to parochial school can tell you, they can tell you what dress code is appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Obviously dress is speech. A private organization like the Catholic Church, can make rules, even about speech, but the government cannot. Obviously their are always some restrictions on speech but the government is very limited by the constitution. People always seem confused as to what free speech means.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, the UMass response was bullshit and you know it.

Once again they throw an undergraduate "under the bus" as they run for cover.

They got caught.
They got caught -- and ran for cover.

Don't think for an instant that UMass didn't support the message.
Don't think for an instant that the RA wouldn't have been stomped on if it hadn't.

Enku Gekaye should answer for this one.

Dr. Ed said...

One other thing: This wouldn't have gone viral so fast had there not been so many people knowing how much of an ideological gulag UMass has become.

This made four reputable national newspapers -- that'll help recruitment.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you thought this poster was something for Snopes, Larry, indicates that it is worthwhile for people to learn that wearing costumes like this is an example of cultural appropriation. People probably haven't thought of it that way. To 'dress up' as a Native woman is dressing as a race and a culture not your own. Imagine a dorm with students of diverse backgrounds, and a Native student seeing another student dressing up, basically, as her, or people of her heritage. It minimizes her story. It's not the same as dressing up as an occupation, like a doctor/nurse, firefighter, or an imaginary being like a vampire, or a politician, like Trump.

Tom Porter said...

Yes, (Anon 5:37) people do seem confused as to what free speech is, but they also don't seem to know what racism is. I'll agree the costumes in the poster - like most Halloween costumes these days - are "sexualized" (but not hyper- ), however they are not racist. UMass students, get back to your studies.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I'm so fed up with everyone being offended by everything. Now, Halloween costumes. OMG, grow some skin, people. FED UP with extreme sensitives everywhere and having to walk on egg shells in case anyone gets hurt feelings! And Umass totally threw the students under the bus in this email, covering their own skin.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's racist and sexist. That's not how Native Americans dress today, which is actually just the same as you or me, and it's not how they ever dressed. It's an offensive caricature.

Anonymous said...

White people, misappropriating Native American culture since the Boston Tea Party.

Dr. Ed said...

So unless you are Italian, you can't wear a toga?

Anonymous said...

Wearing a toga is not about pretending to be a Roman. Native Americans have been fetishized, caricatured, marginalized and demeaned.

Tom Porter said...

It must be confusing today for college students. Not too long ago they were taught to appreciate diverse cultures: how many "international food nights" did you attend in the Cricker Farm cafeteria with Hondurans, Cambodians, Persians proudly sharing their wares, and you appreciated every bite? How many times in middle school did you have your consciousness raised by reading Langston Hughes' or Maya Angelou's poetry? How many festive, compulsory Cinco De Mayos did you participate in singing Guantanamera with the school chorus?

But not now: try on a sombrero, gringo, and your number is up.

The victimization competition has jumped the shark with the cultural appropriation nonsense: how about all the UMass students from non-English speaking heritage who "appropriate" the English language? "Appropriate" the American iPhone. "Appropriate" (by enjoying) Jewish humor? "Appropriate" (by sipping) - beer on St. Patrick's day? "Appropriate" (by driving) the automobile that white Henry Ford invented? Yes, be outraged.

UMass administrators, please get back to whatever it is you do.

Anonymous said...

It would seem that any costume that does not represent a mythical being is now wrong according to millenials with limited culture and life experience. I feel sorry for all these folks dressing as indians and firemen as kids pretending to teach the next gen it is wrong if they are older. Culture is everywhere, imitating and mocking culture is human. We are already experiencing a homogenation of culture due to the internet and excess regs, read loss, this awkward concept will only speed up the process. Joke is on the kids, one way, one culture, keep your nose out of others...so strange...all this to avoid offending someone, which is almost valueless. There is no lesson here, move on, be normal, recognize that other cultures are odd and interesting ot they would be your boring culture. Plus where is the respect for people who's culture is to think for themselves...gasp. I also remembered how uncreative people actually are and that mythological beings are just a conglomerations of other cultures, all costumes are out, including suits and ties.

Anonymous said...

A fireman is a job. An Indian is a person. That's called objectification.

Anonymous said...

There is a reason there's no more Frito Bandito. Big corporations have dropped this type of offensive stereotype. UMass is an educational institution. That's what they are doing, educating people for the 21st century.

Dr. Ed said...

No, "Drunken, Slutty Indian" is objectification, and you keep this up and you'll see a true objectification of prejudices that you might not want to see emphasized.

And a fireman is a person, damn it. Or, conversely, being a squaw was a job.

And while we're being oh-so-sensitive to the Native NonAmerican culture, lets discuss the lovely mating ritual known as stealing women. Yes, a group of young men would go on a raiding party and literally steal girls/women from other tribes. They'd also often attack White households for a similar purpose.

Words like kidnapping and rape cme to mind, and there wasn't any nicety about age, this often happened to girls that were only 11-12 years old (who were kidnapped along with their older sisters). And we're not even talking about merely being raped, as horrific as that is, nor even being repeatedly raped, but having to bear the rapist's children. Plural.

You want to defend that?!?!?

Dr. Ed said...

One more thing: it ISN'T cultural appropriation for young white women to dress up as Indians.

Young White women were often present as the "wives" of Indian men who had either kidnapped them, or purchased them from other Indians who had.

History is often messy and you want to be careful about historical claims of victimhood.

Anonymous said...

Those costumes have nothing to do with history. However, your ignorance of it is breathtaking.

Anonymous said...

Native Americans' victimhood is pretty darn self-evident.

Anonymous said...

Wow....ed...you have revealed yourself as a total idiot...as opposed to a partial idiot...umm... I guess we always knew....but now it is official!

Anonymous said...

Why is it offensive? I am still free to dress up as anything or anybody i so desire. People offend too easily. But they're free to take offense if they so desire.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Now SHE'S offensive.

Anonymous said...

The many Americans who take offense can fuck off if they don't like it.

Anonymous said...

It's Halloween, lefties. Lightn up. You know, you Choose to be offended. If that's how you wanna be, be my guest.

Anonymous said...

Burning the flag is considered speech. So why not dressing up as a slave?

Anonymous said...

Cultural appropriation is as old as time. Where do you think your favorite music came from?

Anonymous said...

people who cry racist are themselves racist.

Anonymous said...

Trump 2016

Anonymous said...

So who. Cares?

Anonymous said...

There you go. Racism against whites. Because noone else appropriates any culture, of course.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone has. Especially this year. Time to get over it, Natives. And the Jews never got reparstion from Egypt. Pity.

Anonymous said...

Do we appropriate Audtrian culture when we go se a Mozart opera? Oh dear. Did Oscar Peterson appropriate Polish culture when he interpolates Chopin? Go ahead, lefty. Keep up the elitist attitudes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, doc. I am still free to offend if i choose. And you are still free to allow yourself to be offended. That's called pulling your own strings.

Anonymous said...

...I see billions upon billions of ants all talking at each other. Usually about themselves.

Anonymous said...

Lieawatha. Talk about appropriation!

Anonymous said...

Everyone and their grandmother is a victim. I'm a victim of the leftidt drivel I'm exposed to round the clock. Elitist, arrogant, self righteous.

Dr. Ed said...

You do know that P am part Indian (by blood), don't you?

History is messy.

Anonymous said...

NY Daily News just published "10 Costumes You Should Stop Wearing" and Native American With Headdress and Sexy Native American were number 1 and 2.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Ed, sure. Brahahaha! How are things up in Maine?

Anonymous said...

Ed, do you have a Certificate of Indian Blood? Thought not. You are like someone whose great-great-grandfather came for Italy claiming to be Italian and thus an expert on Italian cuisine.

Anonymous said...

Why do all the "lefties" who claim to be so protective of others, so enjoy bullying Ed? I don't know the guy but I believe he is entitled to his opinions. Many of the lefty opinions are as "far out" as Ed's but they don't seem to recognize their own nonsense and would rather "pick on" him. Shameful behavior.

Anonymous said...

I think it's wonderful of UMass to stop nice white boys and girls from dressing up like dirty Indians.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:39...either you are ed or haven't really followed his comments. Some people just demand to be bullied!(over 18 only) and I am not a lefty.(Vira is a shameless race bater!)

Anonymous said...

Question -Is smashing " Trumpkins " a " Hate Crime " ???!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes and they appropriate ours too and yours. You're free to appropriate any culture you like. Is it against the law??

Anonymous said...

Wearing a toga IS about pretending to be Roman. What else Would it be?

Anonymous said...

PC Censorship is being called education. What else would you expect from an institution run by leftidt idealogues who are indoctrination rather than teaching. Hmmm. What could the agenda possibly be?

Anonymous said...

Costmes are costumes. Halloween is a day to wear a costume of your choosing. Not theirs.

Anonymous said...

The NY Daily News can kiss our collective asses.

Anonymous said...

He's as much a Native as E. Warren is. Come to think of it, so am I.

Anonymous said...

The beginning of the end of Halloween

Dr. Ed said...

Ed, do you have a Certificate of Indian Blood?

What makes you think I want one?

What makes you think these things are any less morally/ethically repulsive than the Nazi Nuremberg Racial Purity laws?



Dr. Ed said...

You are like someone whose great-great-grandfather came for Italy claiming to be Italian and thus an expert on Italian cuisine.

Whereas a piece of paper would make me one?

Only those licensed by the Italian Government have the right to knowledge of "Italian cuisine"? -- which is very different from food actually served in Italy.

And you do know that some of the best "Italian" food is actually made by Greeks, don't you?

But Larry Kelly's forebears coming from Ireland doesn't make him "Irish"?

Anonymous said...

Ed, you are not a Native American. And if your forebearers come from Ireland you are not Irish. Irish people are born in Ireland. If you are born in America you are an American of Irish heritage. Irish is not a race.

Anonymous said...

The beginning of the end of Halloween

They destroyed Christmas, now Halloween, what's next?

Anonymous said...

Ed, this isn't about you. It's about whether dressing up as a Native American in this day and age is offensive. It is. Welcome to the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Yeah does She have a certificate? No.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean the Intercollegiate Cowboys and Indians Tournament is off?

Anonymous said...

Only if you allow those on the left to dictate to you.

Anonymous said...

"They" have absolutely not destroyed Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. Leftists have nothing to offer that can diminish that.

Anonymous said...

It's not offensive. You say it is. I say it ain't. Not sure why "this day and age" enters into it.

Anonymous said...

I think if you allow yourself to be offended by it, you should dress up as something else!

Anonymous said...

We all laughed back in the 60's when they said communism was a creeping, insidious menace. Well, it's 2016 and our government is run by leftist idealogues. A marxist is on the verge of becoming president. Come to think of it, a Marxist IS president now.

Anonymous said...

So, a women whose big secret is she was giving paid speeches to big banks is a Marxist? Get real.

Anonymous said...

who in their right mind would vote for open borders?

Anonymous said...

Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that analyzes class relations and societal conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the mid-to-late 19th century works of German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Dr. Ed said...

Ed, this isn't about you.

Wrong. It's about me when people make it about me.
Which was done. Read above...

It's about whether dressing up as a Native American in this day and age is offensive.

No. Its about some people proclaiming the right to tell others how they may attire their bodies Worse, proclaiming this right on the basis of blood content, and even worse than that, defining the latter on an arbitrary manner and not scientific fact.

It is.

To you.
But this is a free, not fascist, country.
We fought a war against a man named Hitler over that issue.
YOU don't have to dress up as an Indian, but others can if they wish. Repeat after me: "It's a free country."

Welcome to the 21st century.

Seig Heil, M*****F*****

I want America to remain free...

Anonymous said...

How's Maine, Ed?

Anonymous said...

...as though this blog is only open to priggish Amherst residents.

Anonymous said...

They destroyed Christmas, now Halloween, what's next?
October 24, 2016 at 7:37 AM

HahahHahahahahahahahahaha...ahahahahhahahahaha

Christmas IS EVERYWHERE. There's no escape from it.

Anonymous said...

Oh I hope not! My team from Springfiel College has been practicing their Massasoit War Whoop since August.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Sounds familiar.

Anonymous said...

Or Ramadan. Or Kwanzaa or Hannukah. (You never hear about the War Against Ramadan...)

Anonymous said...

On it goes. Has anyone's outlook EVER been changed by some rant or screed or accusation published here? It's just a vehicle for making ourselves feel important. Or for killing time.

Anonymous said...

Chris Hemsworth Apologizes for Dressing as Native American

Chris Hemsworth has officially joined the fight against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The actor, 33, pledged his support to the Standing Rock protests while also taking the time to apologize for once dressing up as a Native American.

“Standing with those who are fighting to protect their sacred land and water. #nodapl #waterislife,” he captioned an Instagram photo of himself dressed as Thor.

The actor went on to address the controversial costume he wore while attending a “Lone Rangers”-themed New Year’s party last year.

“I was stupidly unaware of the offence this may have caused and the sensitivity around this issue,” he wrote. “I sincerely and unreservedly apologise to all First Nations people for this thoughtless action.”

Anonymous said...

Told you so, but you all live in a bubble and have missed that we're in the 21 Century. "When I was a kid we did..." Yeah, but it's not 1962 anymore.