Read This Before Wearing That Race-y Halloween Costume
I scoured the party shops last weekend looking for a costume for my son. While I had a hard time finding something for my nine-year old, I noticed there was no shortage of costumes playing on the most trite and offensive ethnic stereotypes. The worst offenders were in the adult category: Pocahottie? Taj My Hall?
As Frances Kai-Hwa Wang writes on In Culture Parent, it happens every year:
Every Halloween, activists and writers in the ethnic media catalogue and protest the year’s most egregious offenders of taste and racist stereotyping. One year, it started when the “Pocahottie” costume crossed my desktop, “Is that an ear of corn in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?” Then came the “Illegal Alien costume” complete with green alien eyes, orange prison jumpsuit, and a green card. The “Illegal Alien mask” adds a big bushy mustache to the green alien eyes, making the implications quite clear.
There is the “Barakula” latex mask turning our respected president into a vampire — sucking the lifeblood out of the health care system? The “Fee Ling Yu” mask of an “Oriental” man sports a creepy buck-toothed smile, “If you’ve ordered take-out and you see this fortune cookie at your door, keep it locked.” There are more.
Read more and find out Frances' tips for cultural and creative costumes that aren't offensive on Ode to Halloween Costumes Plus a Warning About the Bad Ones at In Culture Parent.