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"Racially Insensitive" Costumes


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  #1  
October 27th, 2011, 03:58 PM
Linzie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I saw this article on Yahoo and it made me stop.... and bang my head on my desk.

The Campaign Against Racially Insensitive Halloween Costumes and a Filmmaker Funds Movie on Twitter | Trending Now - Yahoo! News

So this college group called STARS (Students Teaching Against Racism in Society), has decided that a few Halloween costumes are too insensitive and offensive for anyone to wear them.

Quote:
Halloween is just around the corner, and a group of Ohio University students wants to limit what costumes people can wear. The group called Students Teaching Against Racism in Society, aka or STARS, has launched a campaign against costumes that it thinks are racially insensitive. STARS created posters of people dressed as racial stereotypes like Japanese geishas, a Latino wearing a poncho and sombrero, and an Arab terrorist wearing a fake bomb. The posters say, "We're a culture, not a costume." Sarah Williams, the president of STARS, told ABC News, "We want to highlight these offensive costumes because we've all seen them." The group has indeed highlighted this issue, with images of the posters going viral. The images, which Williams uploaded to her private Tumblr page, have already gained more than 17,000 notes (a staggering amount for a personal Tumblr blog). Though many applaud the students for the campaign, some say they're being overly sensitive.
Personally.... They're being too sensitive. It's Halloween... it's ONE night out of a whole year for someone to dress up as something other than themselves. It's not anyone's fault that certain stereotypes are PART of a culture. Japanese geisha's were a big thing, Al Queda is based in the Middle East. The poncho and sombrero is part of hispanic culture. So what... big deal... you can't pick and choose only the "good" parts of your culture.

And I don't see anyone making a fuss over Cowboy/redneck costumes.... only those with an "ethnic" base.

Yes the terrorist costume may be a little over the top and probably uncalled for.. but I think they're making a big deal out of nothing to get 15 minutes of fame.

Aaahhh political correctness... the assumption that one can pick up a turd from the clean end.

What does everyone else think? Are they right? Or just being too sensitive?
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  #2  
October 27th, 2011, 04:12 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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I think they're going overboard. Being a terrorist is a bit of bad taste, but I see nothing wrong with the rest of them.
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  #3  
October 27th, 2011, 05:43 PM
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I think it's absolutely right on. Think of all those poor insulted zombies, and vampires and umm... yeah other stuff!!

I even pushed the limit with my kids this year, they all dressed as colored people.

Wait, no, they were just crayons
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  #4  
October 27th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repti.Mom View Post
I think it's absolutely right on. Think of all those poor insulted zombies, and vampires and umm... yeah other stuff!!

I even pushed the limit with my kids this year, they all dressed as colored people.

Wait, no, they were just crayons
Ha!! Nice one!! That made me literally laugh out loud. Dressed as colored people....
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  #5  
October 27th, 2011, 10:02 PM
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Honestly, I don't find the excuse "It's just Halloween" to be a good one. Most of us here are not from a marginalized population. Would you be okay with someone putting on blackface? Would you consider those who ARE offended by that to be "overreacting"? I'm going to think the average person wouldn't, but what do I know?
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  #6  
October 27th, 2011, 10:36 PM
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I highly doubt people pick out costumes because they are intentionally planning to offend someone. I could care less what someone chooses to dress up as for a few hours on one night of the year. So no, I wouldn't care if someone put on a blackface. Honestly I find it to be a bit comical. It's obviously fake and obviously a caricature. If people get up in arms about that, why not get up in arms about Bubba Teeth, or dressing as a "stupid redneck", which is obviously offensive to those who have a "redneck" lifestyle or is part of their culture.

So yea, I do find that to be overreacting. I believe the internet phrase for it is "butthurt". I just don't see what the big deal it. Call me insensitive or whatever, but I personally feel the human race as a whole has gotten to "sensitive" on so many things, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

My solution... grow thicker skin. Brush it off, live your life.
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  #7  
October 27th, 2011, 11:01 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePiecesofOurPuzzle View Post
Honestly, I don't find the excuse "It's just Halloween" to be a good one. Most of us here are not from a marginalized population. Would you be okay with someone putting on blackface? Would you consider those who ARE offended by that to be "overreacting"? I'm going to think the average person wouldn't, but what do I know?
I get what you're saying but I think unless the costume was done distastefully (like a guy dressed as a geisha who flashes people all night long) then there's nothing wrong with them.

i have Native blood, I have no problem with a little girl dressed as Pocahontas, or a little boy dressed as an Indian. Now if someone was dressed as an Indian and carrying a bottle of vodka (NS Natives are known for alcohol and drug addictions) I would be upset.

So we'd have to take out Natives, Inuit (eskimo), cowboys, egyptian garb, greek garb, viking garb, basically EVERYTHING cultural would be off limits for halloween.. and yes, I think that's silly.
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Last edited by plan4fate; October 27th, 2011 at 11:04 PM.
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  #8  
October 28th, 2011, 06:08 AM
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There are costumes for just about everything. Prison uniforms, police, firefighter, doctor/nurse, soldier---Should all those people be offended?
I guess this year Timmy will be offended firefighters, Cammie will be offending pirates, and Ivy will be offending lambs.
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  #9  
October 28th, 2011, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linzie View Post
So no, I wouldn't care if someone put on a blackface. Honestly I find it to be a bit comical. It's obviously fake and obviously a caricature.


FYI, blackface is extremely offensive to most black people and many white people. The fact that you view it as just "a caricature" shows that you just don't get the history and the offense behind it. It is very different than putting on some billy bob teeth and a mullet wig.
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  #10  
October 28th, 2011, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffycheeks View Post
FYI, blackface is extremely offensive to most black people and many white people. The fact that you view it as just "a caricature" shows that you just don't get the history and the offense behind it. It is very different than putting on some billy bob teeth and a mullet wig.
Yup yup yup, totally agree.

If you can't see the difference between the blackface and a "redneck costume" there isn't much I can do to change anyone's mind.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I completely see the students point. Yes, not every child who might have a Native costume means any offence, but many adults who dress in these costumes do mean offence.

It's not about being politically correct, it's about realizing how our actions can affect people who aren't the "white majority" It's about breaking down walls, and not just assuming people are being sensitive, but being able to see just what it might be like if it was them who was being portrayed in this light. I think I have an unique perspective on this, belonging to an aboriginal community, but not being "visibly" different. I hear a ton of racist crap daily, even working for a union, and I think people feel they can says these things in my presence because I look "white"

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
There are costumes for just about everything. Prison uniforms, police, firefighter, doctor/nurse, soldier---Should all those people be offended?
I guess this year Timmy will be offended firefighters, Cammie will be offending pirates, and Ivy will be offending lambs.
Are you really comparing dressing as firefighters and lambs to dressing as terrorist arabs with bombs? Or submissive geisha women?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying all those costumes are always offensive, obviously context matters, but I just don't get how you can compare the two. Maybe you can elaborate?
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Last edited by MindyRambo; October 28th, 2011 at 07:16 AM.
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  #11  
October 28th, 2011, 07:26 AM
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Also keep in mind these students are not out to make sure no one ever wears a geisha costume again. Their objective was to educate and create dialogue and it did just that.

I also think it would help if people knew that one of the reasons these students started this campaign was because of an incident on Oct 30/10 last year when a man dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member and used a rope to lead around a friend who was dressed in blackface during an event at the legion in Cambellford, Ont. The pair won first place for their costumes at the event but their outfits sparked outrage.
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Last edited by MindyRambo; October 28th, 2011 at 07:29 AM.
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  #12  
October 28th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linzie View Post
I highly doubt people pick out costumes because they are intentionally planning to offend someone. I could care less what someone chooses to dress up as for a few hours on one night of the year. So no, I wouldn't care if someone put on a blackface. Honestly I find it to be a bit comical. It's obviously fake and obviously a caricature. If people get up in arms about that, why not get up in arms about Bubba Teeth, or dressing as a "stupid redneck", which is obviously offensive to those who have a "redneck" lifestyle or is part of their culture.

So yea, I do find that to be overreacting. I believe the internet phrase for it is "butthurt". I just don't see what the big deal it. Call me insensitive or whatever, but I personally feel the human race as a whole has gotten to "sensitive" on so many things, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

My solution... grow thicker skin. Brush it off, live your life
.
This is how I feel about it. Our whole society is so busy trying to find ways to be insulted, offended, hurt, etc over trivial things that they waste precious time over nothing. If it offends you, don't do it / use it / wear it / whatever. Not everyone needs to know about your (general) personal feelings about things. People are so freaking busy trying to be everyone else's moral compass that I don't see how they can enjoy their lives. Unless its fun to just be judgmental or angry about everything. I don't know. I just don't get it. Its a costume to go get candy in.
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  #13  
October 28th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffycheeks View Post
FYI, blackface is extremely offensive to most black people and many white people. The fact that you view it as just "a caricature" shows that you just don't get the history and the offense behind it. It is very different than putting on some billy bob teeth and a mullet wig.
So true. So very true.
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  #14  
October 28th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BittyBugsMama View Post
This is how I feel about it. Our whole society is so busy trying to find ways to be insulted, offended, hurt, etc over trivial things that they waste precious time over nothing. If it offends you, don't do it / use it / wear it / whatever. Not everyone needs to know about your (general) personal feelings about things. People are so freaking busy trying to be everyone else's moral compass that I don't see how they can enjoy their lives. Unless its fun to just be judgmental or angry about everything. I don't know. I just don't get it. Its a costume to go get candy in.
I hear what you are saying Alicia, and I think if would help if people realized that they aren't talking about the children that go out dresssed an an indian, or geisha etc.

It's about the adults who consistently use halloween to express their hate and mock others culture. Please don't ask for examples as I will bombard you with incident after incident every single year that happens where people use Halloween as an excuse to vent their hatred.
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  #15  
October 28th, 2011, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindyRambo View Post
Also keep in mind these students are not out to make sure no one ever wears a geisha costume again. Their objective was to educate and create dialogue and it did just that.

I also think it would help if people knew that one of the reasons these students started this campaign was because of an incident on Oct 30/10 last year when a man dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member and used a rope to lead around a friend who was dressed in blackface during an event at the legion in Cambellford, Ont. The pair won first place for their costumes at the event but their outfits sparked outrage.
So we do a knee jerk reaction & ban everything because of 2 crude, racist idiots???? It's a shame that they did that & that they won. But that shouldn't stop my dd from wearing a geisha costume on Halloween because she thinks it's a beautiful princess dress.
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  #16  
October 28th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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A friend of mine colored himself brown, put on golfing gear and went as Tiger Woods. Is that racist, or is it only costumes that perpetuate stereotypes? I need to know before I can form an opinion on it.
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  #17  
October 28th, 2011, 08:40 AM
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With the exception of the lamb, which was sarcasm, yes I am making those comparisons. For most people halloween is when they get to dress up as something they think is cool. People don't dress up as geishas to make fun of geishas. I don't know any adults that consistently dress up on halloween to mock anybody. There will always be jerks who act like jerks, but they don't need to use halloween as an excuse. I guarantee you if they are racist on halloween, they are racist the other 364 days of the year.
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  #18  
October 28th, 2011, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
So we do a knee jerk reaction & ban everything because of 2 crude, racist idiots???? It's a shame that they did that & that they won. But that shouldn't stop my dd from wearing a geisha costume on Halloween because she thinks it's a beautiful princess dress.
Who is stopping your daughter from wearing a geisha costume, and who is banning any costume at all? It's a campaign to raise awareness, not a law.
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  #19  
October 28th, 2011, 01:09 PM
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I think people are way too uptight about everything now a days. I hate people trying to be politically correct.

I do not think that a Geshia costume is offensive at all. Now if a man or woman came out with squnity eyes and buck teeth, that is different. I do not think an Arab costume is offensive, unless you turn it into a terrorist. The same goes for dressing up as a Mexican or a Red Neck.

My problem with the whole situation is that if we are going to call black face racist (which it is), then what about all the black people who dressed up as white women in movies (aka White Girls)? Racism does go both ways, and I hate that people think that it is only white people that are racist. My point being is that I find it funny that any race can make fun of white people and it is considered funny, but Lord forbid that a white person do it to another race. It is really a double standard that should not be in effect anymore. JMO.
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  #20  
October 28th, 2011, 01:11 PM
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It's the history of black face that makes it offensive. Do you know the history?
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