Halloween is every perpetually aggrieved liberal’s favorite time of year to dole out outrage over culturally/racially insensitive choices of costume. On top of the relentless barrage of politically correct language decrees and hostility towards anyone who refuses to abide by them, the time has come to herd these idiots off of the nearest cliff in the vague hope that sane liberalism might survive in the 21st century.
This is probably the only time I have, and will ever agree with Bristol Palin, but I wholeheartedly back her public support of Kylie Jenner’s Halloween Eskimo outfit. For those of you who missed it (and I’m sure most Banter readers did), here it was:
Well, as a person born and raised in Alaska (born on Alaska Day, no less) who is also part Yup’ik, let me say this. I’m not offended! In fact, I’m flattered that you think Eskimos looks [sic] this chic. I think “cultural appropriation” Halloween guides are a joke, I think people need to lighten up, and I think you look great!
Right on cue, liberals united around condemning Palin (who as she points out, is of Eskimo heritage — and yes, I’m using the word Eskimo). Wrote Cavan Sieczkowski of the Huffington Post:
Bristol Palin wants the world to know she has no problem with Kylie Jenner’s Halloween costume.
Jenner dressed in a fur-trimmed, all-white costume with a platinum wig Friday night for a Halloween party. The 18-year-old dubbed the look “Eskimo” and “Snow Princess” on Instagram… the Huffington Post noted the problematic nature of cultural appropriation and the offensive roots of the term “Eskimo,”…
Thankfully we have the Huffington Post around to let us know what is and isn’t “problematic” when it comes to cultural appropriation, although this appears to change on almost a weekly basis and requires the utmost vigilance to stay on top of what privileged white people can and cannot wear, or say in public.
The truth is, rigidly self-reinforced guilt complex is now running so dangerously out of control that it has become the virtual currency of liberal credibility. To be accepted by the liberal establishment today, one must understand exactly where they and others lie on the holy grail of intersectionality. Overlapping or intersecting social identities must only be thought of as they relate to systems of oppression, domination or discrimination. You cannot communicate with black friends without acknowledging their oppression in the language you use around them, and you must never appropriate your Native American friend’s culture by wearing anything that could be construed as offensive to them.
Furthermore, white people must explicitly acknowledge their own privilege before speaking with anyone who is “lower down” the food chain on the intersectionality chart, and make efforts to never criticize anyone from a racial or cultural background with a history of oppression. Consequently, all humor related to race, gender or cultural identity are strictly off limits — as college student Anthony Berteaux helpfully schooled Jerry Seinfield on in an open letter on the Huffington Post a few months back:
It isn’t so much that college students are too politically correct (whatever your definition of that concept is), it’s that comedy in our progressive society today can no longer afford to be crass, or provocative for the sake of being offensive. Sexist humor and racist humor can no longer exist in comedy because these concepts are based on archaic ideals that have perpetrated injustice against minorities in the past.
Provocative humor, such as ones dealing with topics of race and gender politics, can be crass and vulgar, but underlying it must be a context that spurs social dialogue about these respective issues. There needs to be a message, a central truth behind comedy for it to work as humor.
Because who would know more about what makes comedy work as humor — a 20 year old Gender Studies student or Jerry-fucking-Seinfield?
Personally, I’m all for cultural appropriation and race based humor. Why? Because now more than ever we need to take ourselves less seriously, acknowledge that we are all human beings living on the same space ship spinning around the sun, and learn to get the fuck along. We need to learn about each other’s cultures, wear each other’s clothes, steal each other’s music and breed with people from different backgrounds as much as possible. The future of humanity and our planet literally relies on us realizing that we are one species and the sooner we get used to it and stop insisting we categorize ourselves according to imperialist 19th century pseudo-science, the better.
If Bristol Palin understands this, it can’t be that hard for liberals to follow suit.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.