Ethics Quiz: The Hitler Halloween Costume [UPDATED]


From the Las Vegas Review Journal :

An Adolf Hitler costume worn to a community Halloween event in Boulder City by the son of a Clark County teacher raised an uproar that spread far beyond the confines of the “Best City By A Dam Site.” Photos of the costume — consisting of brown pants and leather coat, a red arm band bearing a Nazi-style swastika and a brush mustache — went viral after being posted on social media after the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce-sponsored “Trunk or Treat” event on Saturday.

The reaction was harsh, with commenters’ outrage primarily focused on the child’s mother, identified as Janet Arsanian, and the fact that she is a teacher at Cortney Junior High School.

“Interesting to see a #CCSD teacher pridefully dressing her 13-year-old as Hitler,” wrote one Facebook poster. “These nazi sympathizers are supposed to be educating our kids.”

Wait: dressing your child as a monster or villain demonstrates support for the figure portrayed or his or her habits and conduct? Since when? I dressed up as a pirate in elementary school. Were my parents supporters of piracy? When kids dress up as Dracula, does that mean the parents are blood-suckers? Funny, when kids rang my door bell last year wearing Trump masks, I didn’t think that meant their parents voted for him. Were all those people wearing Nixon masks in the 70s Nixon supporters? I did not know that!

Hitler is a historical and cultural monster, scarier than werewolves, witches, ghosts or Voldemort because he was real. Why isn’t he a legitimate inspiration for a costume on a night where we banish boogeymen and dread by mocking them? The website Odyssey says in a jaw-droppingly stupid post about “offensive” costumes, “Hitler has never been an acceptable costume, and yet it is ranked among the most popular every Halloween.” If it is one of the most popular costumes, then it is “acceptable” by definition—not necessarily right, but acceptable: if people accept it, then it’s acceptable.  The post’s author doesn’t like it, that’s all. She continues, “Dressing up like a German, homicidal dictator really isn’t a good look.” And dressing up as Jack the Ripper is a good look?

Cognitive dissonance almost forces me to the adverse of positions of idiots like this (her name is Alexi Sanderlin ) She also declares that any costume she, or anyone, deems “cultural appropriation” is offensive, writing, “Please, please, please. I know you love Pocahontas or you think that wearing a sugar skull costume makes you cute, but it doesn’t. It’s cultural appropriation, and it will likely cause an issue wherever you’re going.” Note how Alexi bypasses actual reasoning to assume the truth of a highly dubious proposition (I’m being kind: “cultural appropriation” is extreme progressive crap), and accepts the fallacy of the assumed rightness of the perpetually offended.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh, right….

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Is it unethical to dress up as Hitler for Halloween?


Pointer: Amy Alkon

64 thoughts on “Ethics Quiz: The Hitler Halloween Costume [UPDATED]

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