I’ll keep this short and sweet. Let me just start off by saying that the number of racial influenced Halloween costumes that I’ve seen THUS far has blown my mind completely. And to be honest, I’ve never been one to get into the whole dressing up thing. As a youngster, I might have dressed up once or twice, but I personally never wanted to put the effort into doing an elaborate costume. I just like getting all the candy and doing the “Monster Mash”, but for those of you that dig that stuff, kudos! Knock ’em out this year.
Any who, there have been a number of very offensive images that have come across my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram timelines in the last few days, and I just thinks it is quite despicable for those individuals that have made the conscious decision to dress in blackface for Halloween.
Just typing that word makes me cringe, and I can’t believe that some people still think that it is acceptable to portray another race in amusement in 2013. For those of you that don’t know, the origin of blackface minstrelsy dates back to the 1830s. It was a form of entertainment that began in the United States but eventually reached western Europe used to portray African-Americans through song, dance and other theatrical acts. Fast forward to 2013 and even with the strides we’ve made as a global community, there are still individuals that believe it’s completely okay to “jokingly” mock another race. But as the Brother Kanye said, “Racism still alive, they just be concealing it…”
Now, some of people may think that dawning a little makeup for a costume is harmless and all in the spirit of things Halloween. And that’s fine — if you’re dressing as an Avatar.
But if you have friends whose intentions are to look anything like this:Or this… Or maybe even this…
Then you need to suggest that they re-evaluate their entire lives immediately. Not only are the examples above offensive, but they’re hurtful and undoubtedly ignorant. To my friends of all colors and races: it’s totally possible to dress up as someone you admire WITHOUT altering the color of your skin. (Shout-out to BuzzFeed for this awesome list of alternatives.) And if you don’t think that’s possible, then maybe you should consider another option for a costume. Or you can just go as yourself and STILL be the life of the party.
In the end, Halloween is meant for people to get together, eat tons of candy, party and have a good time. So be safe, stay alert and enjoy your festivities!