Immigration and Halloween – Choices and Consequences?

It was a Halloween party – just a freaking Halloween party! Who would have thought that “other” people coming to an agency party that you were a part of would have a career effect? But, it appears that is exactly what happened to Julie Myers, Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to published reports, a “white” agency employee came to a company Halloween party dressed as an escaped prisoner in dreadlocks and darkened skin. And, knowing I’ll likely offend someone, I would probably say pretty original. After all, almost everything about Halloween is exaggerated and over the top. If people saw that in “small town USA” they would laugh and think nothing of it.

As I say so often in my motivational speaking across the country – Every choice has a consequence!

Seem that Myers was on a three-judge panel that originally praised the prisoner costume for “originality.” O.K. It was a Halloween party and my guess is – the costume was pretty dog gone good. But, remember we’re in Washington, DC and surrounded by the media who delight in picking apart everything that can create controversy.

According to Associated Press writer, Sam Hananel, “The incident drew complaints of racial insensitivity and an apology from Myers. It also cast doubt on whether she’ll get a confirmation vote before the end of the year, when her original appointment expires.” And, by the way, according to CNN, “The employee who wore what some said was a racially insensitive Halloween costume to a party hosted by a top immigration official is being directed by the Homeland Security Department Secretary to take administrative leave.”

You gotta be kidding…administrative leave for a costume at a Halloween party!

For more information from either CNN or the Associated Press article see the links attached:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/06/ice.costume/

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071117/ap_on_go_ot/immigration_offensive_costume

If there’s any one in life that understands that every choice has a consequence – it’s me. You don’t make unethical choices, go to Federal prison, and not get that fundamental understanding. But here’s the question – is it possible to go to far with being politically correct? Suspend someone because of a costume – it was a Halloween party. Surely, we are not to the point in our society where we have to become so politically correct that we must evaluate our choice in Halloween costumes?

The more I read, the more I become confident that anyone could at any time become offended by anything. What are your thoughts?Julie Myers

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