What’s scarier than Obama’s vision of unlimited government power? How about a Halloween mask with his face on it?
Apparently, that’s the conclusion the Jennie Stuart medical center in Kentucky reached. After an employee came to an office costume party dressed up as the president, complete with a mask bearing the commander in chief’s likeness, the company apparently decided that this was–you guessed it–RACIST!!!
Fox News reports that they sent the entire company, all 750 employees, to diversity training!
Did you know that we have a president who is off-limits for even the mildest forms of mockery such as a Halloween costume might entail?
Excuse me, but I’m pretty sure people have been wearing masks of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush for decades. No one ever seemed concerned about this. I don’t think any company ever went into panic mode and ordered hundreds of employees into diversity training.
Now, because it’s Obama, wearing a Halloween mask depicting the president is racist?
Unless there’s some element to this story that I’m not getting, there’s nothing remotely racist about it. Instead, it seems we are witnessing yet another example of the stiffing political correctness that characterizes our present age.
Of course, this all has to do with the taboo on “blackface” performance. Prominent in the early twentieth century, in a typical “blackface” performance, white stage performers would paint their faces and mock blacks with unflattering skits and musical sketches, mocking their physical appearance or demeaning blacks’ intelligence. Something like that–we can agree it’s racist and worthy of scorn. But that’s a mile away from wearing a Halloween mask with the face of the president of the United States on it.
You see, when you agree to become the President of the United States of America, leader of the free world, etc, you are implicitly agreeing to become the target of a great deal of criticism, scorn, and–yes–mockery. I don’t know whether the guy who wore the mask at his company party loves or hates Obama, but either way–the idea that no one can wear a mask of the president to a costume party in this country without drawing out legions of racial grievance police is, in a word, ridiculous.
The president, whatever his skin color may be, is a public figure. In fact, he’s the most public of all public figures. As such, wearing a Halloween mask with his face on it ought to be a right of free speech. In this context, it also ought to be seen as evidence that he is being treated–for better or worse–just like white presidents have been treated. That’s the very definition of equality.
What could be more non-racist than that?
Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.