At Yale University last Halloween, a diversity administrator sent around a notice to students to mind that their costumes didn’t cause offence or encroach on sensibilities of gender, race or culture. The associate master of a residential college responded with an email addressed to the students in her college, saying that Halloween was a time for a lark and everyone should lighten up. Even a decade ago, both the cautionary letter and the reply would have seemed hilarious for their condescension and paternalism. In the present climate, it was the reply that led to an immediate demand by some residents of the college that the associate master be sacked (and with her the master, her husband, who had failed to keep her in line)
Who would want to smash a formed consensus for inoffensive costumes? On the same Halloween of 2015, at Claremont McKenna College in Southern California, photos of two female students dressed in sombreros, ponchos and moustaches set off a protest march of thousands, including activists from neighbouring campuses, and the scandal prompted the dean of the college to resign.
‘the public issues of social structure’ that seems pertinent here. If the expectations and exclusions of every milieu are added up, in the hope that this will lead to a practical grasp of relevant truths about social structure, honest debate in public will become a thing of the past. It requires considerable patience and learning to criticise an unjust social structure.