Ignore Activists. Wear Whatever Halloween Costume You Want | Opinion

It's Halloween on Sunday. Despite the warnings of perennially unhappy social justice activists, please wear whatever costume inspires you. The holiday isn't racist—and, no, there's no "cultural appropriation" in your costume choice. Cultural appropriation must be dismissed as an extreme and segregationist perspective that will continue to divide this country.

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, the same debates always occur: Is candy corn the worst? Which neighborhood should you take the kids to trick-or-treat in so that they can get the full-size candy bars, not the cheap drugstore-bought bag of off-brand garbage no one wants? Is this costume appropriate, or will it get you or your kid canceled?

I implore you to declare it appropriate and acceptable to buy the costume you or your child wants to wear.

Activists have grown increasingly hostile with claims that white people shouldn't be allowed to don specific costumes. They pretend it is somehow offensive for a white girl to dress as the Disney character Moana for Halloween. The young white boy who wants to go as Aladdin? It's apparently culturally inappropriate. If you're a white adult in a costume for a party or to accompany your kids trick-or-treating, you better be especially careful. Don't dress up as a ninja, or you may well be accused of a hate crime and doxxed on social media.

Under the complaint of cultural appropriation, left-wing activists have declared anything tied to a culture borne out of people of color to be inherently offensive. It's not part of your culture, so it is culturally insensitive for you to don the costume. It's not meant for you.

Each year, so-called "experts" offer their takes on how to properly choose costumes. It's all framed in terms of "equity" and "inclusion."

In National Geographic, a mother explained how she avoided microaggressions by her young son, who wanted to dress as Maui from Moana. Instead of using the costume of the demigod character, the mother "compromised by dressing him in a shark costume with Maui's hook, so he was Maui in another form." It undoubtedly looked like a poor-man's Maui costume. But at least the boy got to enjoy Halloween.

In some extreme cases, kids won't even get to wear costumes deemed more appropriate by activists. Schools nationwide have decided to cancel Halloween celebrations.

Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School in Seattle used to host Halloween festivities each year. This year, however, the school's Racial Equity Team canceled them entirely. School bureaucrats based their decision on the school's commitment to "foundational beliefs around equity for our students and families." In lieu of a parade where students dress up, students will be treated to "thematic units of study about the fall"—whatever that is.

Masks from the hit TV series 'The t
Masks from the hit TV series "The Squid Game" are seen in a store on October 28, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. David Benito/Getty Images

This is all unnecessary. It's not just backward thinking—it also goes against the very core of what makes America so great: an appreciation of different cultures.

The white girl dresses as Moana because a strong female character inspires her. That was one of the very reasons Disney made the film. So now the young girl inspired by the character is to be punished, disallowed from dressing up as her favorite character? What sense does that make?

In a lot of ways, this activism is intentional. It targets white kids, both to influence their future behavior as adults and to punish them for their skin color for past sins they had nothing to do with. You don't hear calls to stop young black or Asian girls from dressing as Elsa from Frozen. If a Latino dresses as a ninja, no one says a thing. They shouldn't—and these activists shouldn't target the good-natured costume decisions of young white kids, either.

The contrived complaints of cultural appropriation also have a more dangerous consequence. It amounts to a form of cultural segregation in a country that thrives on its identity as a proverbial melting pot. What's more, the activism extends beyond Halloween.

White chefs can't own and operate a Mexican restaurant. Straight actors can't play gay characters. White musicians can't be inspired by Asian culture.

This is all, of course, ridiculous. Cultures and practices are supposed to be shared and enjoyed by all Americans.

This thinking invites self-segregation, ironically pushed by the very people who extol the virtues of multiculturalism and diversity. This then only further divides the country.

When everyone saw themselves as Americans, we had relative peace and prosperity. But extremists on the Left claim that bygone era was just one big era of white supremacy, and it must therefore be eradicated in its entirety. What has come of that push? More abuse, more exclusion and, in many cases, even violence.

So wear your costume, show your appreciation for different cultures and dismiss the pushback. Enjoy Halloween. When you ignore the activists, free candy can help bridge the divide.

Jason Rantz is a frequent guest on Fox News and is the host of the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH Seattle, heard weekday afternoons. You can subscribe to his podcast here and follow him on Twitter: @jasonrantz.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.