Dear Straight Talk: I'm in college and my very nice roommates are talking about dressing up as Muslims for Halloween. One, who is buff, is even talking about putting on blackface and going as Muhammad Ali. I think both the blackface and dressing in turbans are bad ideas. They say I'm being too "politically correct." What do you think? It's so easy for girls to just wear a sexy outfit, but much harder for guys to come up with a creative costume. Any suggestions? Also, do I go out with them dressed this way? They are my best friends here. — Sam, Boston, Mass.
Editor's Note: We're in this game together: all colors, creeds, and characters. To move evolution forward, we each need to strive for a core ethic of non-violation, and this must include passive-violation, which many "culture costumes" involve.
My favorite ethic for living, gleaned from the movie, "Thrive," is the liberty perspective: "In a thriving society no one is allowed to violate anyone else except in self-defense." This ethic requires us to become aware of and sensitive to the world around us so we don't violate others inadvertently. As I said earlier, wake up and smell the multiculturalism. Ignorance is no excuse for violating others. If you're napping, I hope you have friends like Sam who aren't.
This ethic also works for your own good. Anything you do today, yes, even as a drunk, high, or still-in-the-bubble college student, can be photographed or taped and made public throughout your life. Nothing is guaranteed private anymore. (The golden lining on that cloud is that people behave better when they have to be accountable.) Like Brandon says, "... you definitely need to care about being appropriate." —Lauren
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