Politically Incorrect Ghosts

by Aaron Bloom

-------Since Halloween was approaching, Joanne brought a toy ghost to work. It wore a hat and sunglasses, and held a guitar. When prompted, the ghost would shake around her desk and sing a jazz song about Halloween. The ghost's voice was distinctly African American - hardly surprising, given that many jazz musicians are of African descent. However, this ghost was bright white, despite his vocal character. This incongruity made me realize that I have never seen ghosts portrayed as a different color, regardless of race.

-------I pointed this paradox out to my co-workers. Some explained, "All humans are the same color on the inside." This statement harks back to the "all our blood runs red" argument as a means of identifying a common human color. However, it is an observable fact that all human blood is red, whereas the color of our spiritual beings remains unknown. Furthermore, even if all spirits are the same color, there are no compelling reasons to believe that color is white.

-------Some suggested that all ghosts are white in order to contrast with the darkness of the night. First of all, the assumption that ghosts are nocturnal is completely unsupported. Moreover, it is usually disadvantageous for creatures to contrast with their environments. In fact, many creatures blend into their environments as a means of survival. Therefore, it seems counterintuitive that white ghosts were naturally selected over other ghosts in an evolutionary process to be visible at night. Besides, "survival" of the fittest hardly applies to the dead!

-------My peers eventually agreed that no sound explanations were offered for depicting all ghosts as white. Maybe ghosts do not care how they are portrayed. Maybe they do care, but merely lack the political clout necessary to change their Hollywood image. After all, the only enfranchised dead people are those that reside in Chicago, who have been known to cast votes in presidential elections. Perhaps we, the living, should champion their cause or at least lobby for better representation of ghosts. The real mystery, however, is how this issue has escaped the attention of the political correctness movement.


Copyright 1997, Aaron Bloom. All rights reserved.

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