Damien Gayle (Daily Mail)
October 25, 2011.
Halloween is a time for parties, dressing up and having fun with a bit of harmless – but scary – make-believe.
But a group of college students are taking a stand against some costumes which, they say, can cause hurt and humiliation to people from minority ethnic groups.
Students Teaching Against Racism in Society, an Ohio University student group, have created a poster campaign to highlight the racial stereotyping all too common in Halloween party dress.
The campaign, headlined ‘We’re a culture, not a costume’, shows images of people of different ethnic groups holding up images partygoers whose costumes they say lampoon their cultures.
Above each image, the posters read: ‘This is not who I am, and this is not okay.’
They have provoked an online row over whether the costumes are actually racist, or whether they are just in good fun.
One blogger who wrote about the posters two days ago had to disable comments on her website after she got 3,000 views and comments from ‘rude, racist people.’
On the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind blog, Melissa Sipin wrote of the campaign: ‘These posters act as a public service announcement for colored [sic] communities.
‘It’s about respect, human dignity, and the acceptance of other cultures (these posters simply ask people to think before they choose their Halloween costume).’
She added: ‘What these costumes have in common is that they make caricatures out of cultures, and that is simply not okay.’
‘This is not who I am, and this is not okay’: The posters highlight the crass racial and cultural stereotypes that emerge in Halloween fancy dress each year
One poster shows a young Arab-American man holding up an image of a Halloween reveller wearing Arabic dress and a suicide bombers vest.
Another shows a Native American man holding a picture of two women with paint on their faces and feathers in their hair holding a sign reading, ‘Me wantum piece [sic]… not war.’
A third poster shows an Asian American woman holding up a picture of a woman dressed as a Japanese geisha girl, with silk kimono and heavy white foundation.
Row: Online comments have urged the students behind the campaign to 'get a sense of humor'
On the Huffington Post, where the story has also been reported, website comments were split over whether the costumes could be judged offensive.
Many could see nothing wrong with dressing according to racial stereotypes: A user going by the screen name Masterkcb1 wrote on the site: 'People need to get a sense of humour, and quit taking everything so seriously.
'If I can't dress like a bandito then nobody can dress like a ghost because I don't have a tan and I find it offensive.'
Comment: I am not surprised that too many white people do not get why an anti-racist poster campaign like this is even necessary.
For the 'voyeur through your life' set, dressing up like a "sand nigg*r" or "terrorist hadji" is just harmless fun.
Muslims or anyone else should not be offended.
The same is true for the "lazy Mexican beaners" or "black face pimps and hos".
Black and brown folks should just play along. It is just a fun Halloween costume after all.
It is also about this time of year when other fun seeking white folks hang black dolls by their necks from trees to show their Halloween spirit.
I guess we are also supposed to play along again and laugh away all that painful history where black folk were actually lynched for fun until they were dead.
So much fun was had back in those days that more than just a few white folks took pictures for their family albums to remind them of the fun they had lynching nigg*rs.
So in he spirit of fun and lynching I guess it is also OK if a few of us black and brown skins get dressed up like the white genocidal killers and slave owners who raped and pillaged their way across the earth in the name of 'civilization' (and continue to do so).
Just for fun, of course.
All we would be doing is poking lighthearted fun at the ancestral white f*cks who are responsible for the racist hell that is our past and present condition.
But then again you are probably thinking that a whole sh*t load of YTs don't think their history has anything to do with them or the way they live.
So what would be the point?
After all, most YTs 'just wanna have fun' on your back because it is a big part of being ignorant, oppressive, and white.
And we are not free.
Ps. The other day the moms and I were at the mall when I noticed that CNA, a throughly South African bookstore, had a Halloween display throughout the store.
When did South Africans get into Halloween? I asked this question before but please help me understand what the f*ck Halloween means to South Africans.
Can we please stand up and just be who the f*ck we are and stop pretending to be what we are not?
Halloween has no place in the delusional rainbow. And if you were thinking it was just harmless fun please think again and stop being just another capitalized pimple on the ass of whiteness.