A black eye for Hamline

Six Hamline students are on the edge of politically incorrect and intended racism.

Six student-athletes from Hamline University face retribution after dressing in African tribal costumes on Halloween. The students, who have since been suspended from the football team, are waiting to see if further action will be taken by the university, including possible scholastic suspension. The students painted their faces black – commonly called blackface – and dressed in black lycra suits with large black wigs and large necklaces. Their actions come on the coattails of an incident at St. Thomas that involved threatening notes of a racial nature directed toward three black students.

These incidences merit a distinction. At St. Thomas, the perpetrators sent a clear message of hate to the victims and the St. Thomas community. It was blatant racism, used to create fear and damage the morale of the black community at the university. The people who committed these acts should be punished according to university and state regulations and face serious retribution for their hate speech.

In the case of the Hamline students, however, the lines aren’t as clear. These actions were downright stupid. The students clearly acted in an ignorant fashion. The stupidity of parading around in blackface either aware or unaware of the consequences shows a lack of knowledge of American history and a lack of general social sensitivity. We live in an age where political correctness is the norm, and when we break the norm it doesn’t go unnoticed. Before everyone rushes to the judgment of the six dimwits from Hamline, they should first analyze the intent of the costume. Was it intentionally racist or just a stupid Halloween idea?

There is no way to enforce political correctness, and the line between correctness and hate speech can sometimes be a thin one.

When dodging the politically correct bullet, we should all just use taste and common sense, and put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.