Halloween is an opportunity that many people take to indulge in some serious candy eating, visit haunted houses, partake in trick-or-treating and of course, attend fabulous costume parties. However, many people fail to recognize that some costumes chosen can be perceived as insensitive, stereotypical or down-right racist. Some people fail to realize that it's not okay to choose costumes that dehumanize another's culture just for the sake of fun and entertainment.
Some things to keep in mind:
These issues of racist Halloween costumes also permeate through many colleges and universities. Student Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS) from Ohio University created a poster "We're A Culture, Not a Costume" campaign that has received national attention for their efforts to increase awareness about the impact of racist Halloween costumes. More information can be found online.
The Cross Cultural Center encourages everyone to check themselves and their friends before heading out this Halloween using the questions provided by Hampshire College:
Yes, a costume may be hilarious to some, but it may also be perceived as racist. And let's face it: No one wants to be labeled as a racist.