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Outsiders vs. Insiders: How Halloween’s been ruined by the politically correct thought police

Boo!

Scared? Probably not. In today’s world the “old” conceptions of Halloween no longer exist. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I saw Halloween as a fun but informal holiday where kids dressed up in goofy (or stupid, depending on your point-of-view) costumes, went door-to-door trick-or-treating and no one took the occasion’s Megyn Kellyoddities too seriously.

Think “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and that’s what I recall about the last day of October every year.

Not anymore. These days even joking about dressing up in certain ways sends a warning signal to the politically correct thought police who then break down your door. Former Fox News personality Megyn Kelly got into trouble recently for an off-the-cuff remark about costuming that hypersensitive liberals interpreted as racism and it cost her a morning show at NBC.

As usual, the media had a field day with Kelly’s professional dismembering at the hands of the liberal value shamers. Brent Bozell and Tim Graham wrote at CNS News, “Once upon a time, parents — most of them, anyway — were concerned with oversexualized costumes for little children, but how unenlightened was that? Today we're focusing our energy on what's really important. Now it's all about ‘cultural appropriation.’ White children need to ‘own their privilege’ and not dress up and pretend to belong to a non-oppressive race.

“Megyn Kelly ran afoul of NBC's ‘diversity/inclusion’ police, and as we write this, it looks like she'll be canned for saying: ‘But what is racist? Because truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on white face for Halloween.’ Oops. The word ‘blackface’ is loaded and should be avoided, since people immediately think of minstrel shows, and kids shouldn't dress up as Al Jolson crooning ‘Mammy’ in ‘The Jazz Singer.’

“Kelly continued: ‘Back when I was a kid, that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.’ Not only was she tongue-lashed on air by NBC's black news stars; it seems like this gave NBC a reason to end her morning show, a cover story to nix the (cringe) Fox News woman.”

Seeing as Kelly is around my age I relate to what she said. Back in the days when I still (sort of) dressed up for Halloween black comedian Eddie Murphy was the hot rage and I distinctly recall several enterprising fellow teenagers making themselves into Murphy’s “Gumby” character from his Saturday Night Live tenure. True, those kids didn’t engage in “blackface” -- but they donned “greenface” while intentionally impersonating a black man’s creative act.

They even adopted Murphy’s overly contrived “Gumby” lingo. It wouldn’t work otherwise, right?

At the beginning of his career Murphy’s spiel included several pointed barbs at the black culture from which he came from. Was it okay for white people to laugh at his jokes? No one really thought about it. Were they unsympathetic if they did? You may recall other Murphy impersonations from SNL – “Buh-Wheat” from the Little Rascals, or “Mister Robinson’s neighborhood” where he caricatured Mr. Rodgers (about as white as you can get). Could Murphy still get away with these overtly race-based routines today?

Back then costume-clad kids knew who they were trying to be – and no one was offended, least of all the black kids I knew. Ah, simpler times…better times.

Halloween was simply a day to be or act like something you’re not – an opportunity to express a little of your personality that didn’t harm anyone else or insult, even unintentionally. The holiday could even be used to drive home a point -- I remember many a Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter mask from the time, which was scary or hilarious depending on the presentation. Halloween came, folks carved jack-o-lanterns, hung up a paper skeleton or two, played a scary sounding record on the ‘ol record player and when everyone woke up the next day it was…November.

Halloween wasn’t an industry then like it is now, subject to invisible regulation and oversight by liberals who assume they know more about what’s “appropriate” and what crosses the line of “offense” to someone else. Back then “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark” (played by actress Cassandra Peterson) had her own TV show and made a pretty good career out of lampooning horror movies, all the while wearing a low cut dress that impressed teenaged boys like myself (okay, males of all ages). But it was harmless. Halloween was fun.

As we witnessed with the bloodless lynching of Kelly, dressing up or “pretending” to be someone (or in her case, even mentioning it) from a politically protected class can cost you everything. “Gumby” costumes may be a thing of the past but what passes for “culturally sensitive” in contemporary times? My son loves baseball and he and his friends plan to dress up as “zombie” baseball players tonight. Will self-appointed representatives of the dead cite them for approbation or thoughtlessness? Or perhaps major league baseball for slander and image degradation?

As parents we’ll be waiting at the door – not for kids demanding sugary treats but for lawyers serving lawsuits filed by someone claiming zombies (with face paint) look too similar to a sheltered ethnic group -- or ripped and tattered clothes pokes fun at poor people. It could happen.

In today’s culture Americans are exhausted with the left’s nonstop focus on race. Take the Michigan U.S. Senate contest where rising star black conservative Republican John James is throwing a scare into Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Andrew O’Reilly wrote last week at Fox News, “Much of James’ appeal stems from the fact that he is a conservative African-American in a state where the Democratic Party has had a lock on that voting bloc for decades.

“’James obviously has a compelling life story even though he's a young man with his Iraq War experience and his businessman background and the fact that he was from a Democratic family and has become a Republican and a conservative,’ Bill Ballenger, a political historian and former GOP legislator based in Lansing, told the Detroit News. ‘It at least would be a good move in the right direction for the Republican Party to have an African-American nominee as a major statewide candidate for a major office.’

“James has downplayed the racial aspect, though. ‘I believe in a red, white and blue message -- not a white or black message, and that's why my message is resonating,’ the candidate told Fox News' ‘The Ingraham Angle’ on Wednesday. ‘We need to push past the identity politics.’”

To Democrats there’s nothing more frightening than a black man proudly declaring he favors President Trump and supports the conservative Make America Great Again agenda. Add in James’ rejection of identity politics and it makes him doubly dangerous to a mindset relying on dividing and conquering based on what you look like, not the words coming out of your mouth.

Trump pulled off the most unlikely of upsets in the Wolverine State on Election Day 2016, shattering the blue wall in a place that hadn’t gone Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988. Outsider Republican Trump eeked out the narrowest of wins, prevailing by about 11,000 votes there. Democrats blamed depressed African-American turnout for Hillary Clinton’s crushing defeat in Michigan. Now James is running hard in the statewide Senate showdown with Stabenow and the minority party has even more to worry about.

O’Reilly’s story indicated even Republican experts are skeptical James will close the polling gap by next Tuesday but all agree the Iraq War veteran has a bright future in the GOP and in politics. More and more African-Americans like James reject the notion that only Democrats represent their interests. Successful black entrepreneurs understand emphasizing ethnic heritage as a primary reason for people to vote for you only goes so far.

James’ message is similar to Ben Carson’s from 2016. Carson staked his campaign on his personal rise from a poor kid in a fatherless household in Detroit to world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon – a tremendous story. Carson was a favorite of social conservatives in the GOP primaries because of his unbending pro-life views and fondness for bashing political correctness.

No one would argue black voters are joining the Republican party in huge numbers now but it’s undeniable that a slow creep away from Democrats is taking place. Rapper Kanye West drew more press coverage for his fervent pro-Trump views but men like James are the true future of black conservatives in politics. Trump will do everything he can to promote their success and we hope James can somehow pull off an upset this year.

Helping minority conservatives gain exposure and prominence invites more to come out into the open and be heard – and to reject the Democrats’ race obsessed falsehoods. No need for these folks to dress up, not even on Halloween.

The media won’t help. If the recent fake bomb spree was any indication reporters and liberal TV talk personalities blamed Trump and Republicans for the actions – or false actions – of one weird guy in Florida. The president wasn’t about to let them get away with it either. Chris Mills Rodrigo reported at The Hill, “President Trump accused the news media of trying to ‘score political points’ on Friday after a suspect was taken into custody following a spate of attempted mail bombings targeting prominent Democrats.

“Trump argued during a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday night that the ‘media has a major role to play whether they want to or not’ in repairing the civility of political discourse. The crowd responded by chanting ‘media sucks.’

“’The media’s constant unfair coverage, deep hostility and negative attacks only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate,’ Trump continued.”

Without a doubt. If there’s a “war” in America today it’s between Democrats and their media allies against conservatives and Republicans seeking to expose the truth. Whenever a leftist goes crazy and commits a heinous crime the media never associates Democrats’ heated rhetoric with the actions of the person -- but when a kook like Cesar Sayoc (the alleged Florida bomber) is thought to support Trump there’s an instant connection to the president and his rhetoric.

It’s not exactly as though Trump tweets “Make fake pipe bombs and send them to all the most prominent Democrats.” Trump once suggested at a rally that phony paid protesters should be “punched,” but how does it have any correlation to mailing bombs? Just because Trump often advocates for Republicans to get tough and hold their ground in legislative disputes doesn’t mean he’s encouraging physical harm for Democrats (unlike Rep. Maxine Waters).

None of this make sense. Why do liberals and Democrats have free rein to cohort with radicals (as Obama did) or attend a church where the pastor blamed 9/11 on America or cite only one side when violence happens -- and the media lets them get away with it? It’s well-known now how FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page texted each other about “stopping” Trump and it barely received mention in the establishment media.

And it’s not like Democrats have only nice things to say about Trump and Republicans. Didn’t we just go through the Kavanaugh hearings where Democrats slandered the nominee as a girl abusing drunk in his teenaged days – and because of the unsubstantiated rumors was not fit to coach girls basketball even today? Democrats are professional character assassins…Republicans are meek by comparison. Does Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell incite anyone?

The truth is both sides are to blame for the deterioration of discourse in America – and the media’s fixation with sensationalism doesn’t help. Unfortunately, there are a few “Republicans” who go along with the liberals’ narrative. Owen Daugherty reported at The Hill, “[Ohio Gov. John] Kasich said he was hopeful Trump would be able to unite the country. He also praised the president for his initial response to the incidents, in which Trump denounced the attacks.

“But Kasich said that attempt at unity was short-lived when Trump once again attacked the media on Twitter, calling the New York Times ‘Fake News’ over its report on his use of personal cellphones that are susceptible to eavesdropping by foreign countries…

“’You rev people up and what happens? Somebody out there who is unstable does something crazy. And that's what I think we are seeing here,’ he said, adding that he fears ‘somebody on the edge that might do something very stupid.’”

This past weekend’s Pittsburgh synagogue shooting (carried out by a Trump-hating bigoted lunatic) would seem to prove Kasich right, but hate crimes happened way before Donald Trump ever entered politics, including those perpetrated by leftists on innocent Americans because of conservative policies. Even if it could be argued Trump’s fanned the flames of discord…he didn’t start the fire.

Kasich remains bitter because Republican primary voters didn’t buy the “let’s all get along” baloney he peddled in 2016, which certainly doesn’t grant him license to question Trump’s – or any other conservative’s – motives now. Trump and his team aren’t racists, anti-Semites, homophobes, xenophobes – or any --phobes. It’s irresponsible for the media to sustain the façade.

Halloween isn’t the only day Americans wish things could be the way it used to be. Politics has creeped unwantedly into every aspect of our lives – and there’s no going back now. Perhaps today we should take a break from the turmoil and remember the good things in life – and tomorrow start a new trend.

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