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Poll: 71 percent of Democratic college students want peers punished for 'highly offensive' Halloween costumes


Only 18 percent of Republican college students agree

Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images

As college students prepare to whip themselves up in yet another frenzy over what Halloween costumes are headed for the do-not-allow list, a College Pulse survey of about 1,500 students has unearthed some interesting tidbits.

The question put to them was, "Are highly offensive Halloween costumes (such as blackface) a protected form of free speech on campus, or should students who wear them be punished?"

What were the findings?

Overall, 51 percent of respondents said fellow students should be punished in some way while 49 percent said students' costume choices shouldn't be punished.

Among Democrats, 71 percent said highly offensive costumes should be punished while only 18 percent of Republicans agreed. Among independents, 47 percent concurred.

In the sexual orientation category, 70 percent of LGBTQIA+ students said the whip should come down on their peers donning highly offensive attire while only 47 percent of straight students saw it that way.

Then we get to religion

The findings according to religious affiliation saw Muslim students the most willing to dole out punishment for highly offensive Halloween costumes (74 percent). The remaining faiths calling for punishment are as follows, in descending order:

  • Jewish (68 percent)
  • Atheist (58 percent)
  • Nothing (57 percent)
  • Agnostic (55 percent)
  • Other (54 percent)
  • Catholic (46 percent)
  • Christian (45 percent)
  • Mormon (41 percent)
  • Protestant (37 percent)


The findings according to race saw black students most in favor of punishment for highly offensive Halloween costumes (72 percent). The remaining races calling for punishment are as follows, in descending order:

  • Two or more races (61 percent)
  • Asian (56 percent)
  • Hispanic/Latino (54 percent)
  • White (47 percent)
  • Other (32 percent)


As you might expect, only 38 percent of men agreed that fellow students should be punished for highly offensive Halloween costumes — but that number rose when it came to women (65 percent) and "nonbinary" students (76 percent).

What's up with this?

As the left more frequently has bestowed upon itself the title of moral arbiter in recent years, virtually nothing escapes its ever-present gaze — not even what trick-or-treaters wear.

Last year, for example, Gonzaga University told students in an email that while "the tradition of Halloween has Christian origins," it "has also become known for more dangerous and damaging traditions like binge drinking, sexualized or culturally inappropriate costumes, and vandalism."

The email continued, "We urge our community to be aware of the potentially harmful impact insensitive behavior can have on fellow students... One of these behaviors is cultural appropriation — the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing respect of [sic] that culture."

That said, if you need a Halloween costume shopping guide, your wish is our command:

Halloween shopping in 2017

(H/T: The College Fix)

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