We need to stop buying racist Halloween costumes

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We need to stop buying racist Halloween costumes

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

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Dressing up for Halloween is supposed to be exciting. Halloween is a holiday meant for everyone to participate in. But how is possible for those of different ethnicities and backgrounds to enjoy parties and trick-or-treating when the costumes around them are constantly making a mockery of everything their culture stands for?

I’ll admit that as an Indian woman it can be cute to see other girls in bright incorrectly wrapped sarees and sloppy mehendi coating the palms of their hands, but let’s be honest- there is a drastic difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation.

It’s time to stop using cultural appreciation as an excuse to dress up in another culture’s garments.

Take Native Native Americans for example. Starting with Columbus’s arrival to America and stretching all the way to today, Native Americans have watched colonizers steal their land, force them upon low maintenance reservations, and much more. Today, Native Americans have dealt with mass incarceration, police brutality, low graduation rates, and even the over sexualization of the women in their tribes.

Next time you pick up a package that says “Sexy Pocahontas” stop and think about the fact that indigenous people are more than two times more likely to be victims of sexual assault than any other minority in America.

Let’s talk about Blackface but more importantly the history behind it. Not only is blackface offensive but it is quite literally symbolic of the heinous acts committed against African Americans not too far off in the past.

Blackface was popular when minstrel shows were considered normal in society. Minstrel shows were created and performed specifically to mock the features and behavior of black people, subjecting them to inhumane acts such as plantation workers, savages, rapists, and much more. Minstrel shows heavily affected the way black folks were viewed by society- they were thus mistreated and dehumanized.

To this day, people of color are trying to erase the long-term effects that have continued to occur as a result of this country. You can still dress as your favorite black icons without having to coat your face with foundation ten times darker than your actual skin tone.

People of color are tired of continousuly watching the misrepresentation of their beloved cultures and tradition. There is a fine line between making fun of someone’s ethnicity and genuinely wanting to flare up your Halloween costume.

Halloween doesn’t have to be offensive.

 

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