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Dont dress up like what you think is a Jamaican this Halloween

Or an Indian, Chinese, Native America, Mexican …

There’s another post on my fl list that says puts it even more bluntly, but its locked. However, I found another blog that breaks down the sentiments quite nicely. My identity is NOT a costume for you to wear! (The Native American via Ancient Eygpt costume is in a class by itself. Jesus!) Halloween is for fantastical fanciful monsters creatures of myth and lore and legend. Insulting caricatures of minorities do NOT fall under that description. And YES, it’s insulting, NO its not fucking respectful, or fun!

9 comments to Dont dress up like what you think is a Jamaican this Halloween

  • bindicated

    THANK YOU for this compendium of awesome links!! I had a horrible moment last night when a white friend told me IN THE PRESENCE OF her Indian bf that she wanted them to dress up as an Indian couple with telephone headsets so they could be Mumbai customer service reps. My jaw hit the floor, but the bf acted like it was an ok idea, so I tried to suggest gently that my friend come up with another idea. She replied that she had “TONS of costumes” (meaning saris) to choose from. It was my first time meeting the bf; if I knew him better I’d have been more direct. I didn’t want to step all over his chance to say something, perhaps in private once I had gone. Anyway, I was planning to send her an email pointing out why the sari-as-costume idea is not acceptable, and instead I directed her to your post where everyone is saying it so much more eloquently than I could. THANK YOU!!! And have a great Halloween!
    B.

  • Thank you for this. Every time I see those “ethnic” patterns at the fabric shop I want to take them all and hide them someplace in the store so no one can find them. Makes me cringe.

  • jsb16

    I’d include cultural minorities, too, from farmers to nerds. If you’re going to dress up as someone who might be real, it had damn well better be obvious that you’re laughing with them, not at them. So the half-Indian couple could (IMO) dress up as a pre-1900 Indian prince and princess without being disrespectful, just as white children dress up as medieval European royalty, but the addition of the telephone headsets makes it into a joke at the expense of modern Indians. Of course, that would require doing a bit of research into the history of someone else’s culture…

  • Juan

    Damn, I wish I didn’t click n’ read through those links. Same damn thing every year with [stupid] white folk. Both doing this shit and spinning/defending this shit.

    jsb16,
    You can include it if you want but I find dressing up as “farmers to nerds” is not even close. Annoying? Likely so. Hurtful? Not excruciatingly so, I feel.

  • karinova

    Ugh. That is a disheartening number of links.
    As I wrote on SocImgs, the striking thing is how… I don’t know, shallow the wearers of these kinds of costumes are. They’re like, “What? This is representative!” It’s so obvious that “Native American” (for example) just means “suede and feathers/romanticized history; how fun!” while ignoring the not-so-fun/going-on-even-now bits. As usual.

    ____
    It reminds me of clueless people who tell me they “wish” they were my color. Because to them, being brown means one thing: never having to sunbathe. That’s it. “You’re so lucky, cuz you look really good in white clothes!” WTF? It’s just so… poorly thought through.

    Or those people who tell me they wish they were Jamaican (like me) so they too could sit around and smoke weed all the time.
    That kind of shallowness.

    • jessica

      I am part Lakota/Cherokee/Blackfoot/etc and I always wished I looked less white. I don’t know, I think it is wanting others to be able to distinguish me from Caucasians so I feel less responsibility for the fucked up racist things white people have done in the past and continue to do albeit less blatantly today.

      Anyway my boyfriend dressed up as a Native American this year which kind of ticked me off but what ticks me off more is how generic the costumes are. I mean the feathers are plastic, they were probably made in china. I don’t mind white people dressing up as my ancestors but I wish they would do a little more research and make their own costumes. I mean the stereotypical Indian costume is usually representative of Plains Indian culture because that’s who were depicted in all those stupid Westerns.
      At least my boyfriend didn’t carry around a tomahawk.
      Cause you know no injun costume is complete without a weapon for slaughtering white people and stealing horses with.
      Not to mention the U.S. government actively supported the illegal arms trade with Natives for stolen horses from Hispanics. Killing two birds with one stone.

  • DogsofWar

    I co-sign Juan above on wishing I hadn’t clicked on all of those links. Not because I was surprised, mind you, but just how infuriating fools can be. I don’t know what’s more fist-clenchingly enraging to me: the blatant race-baiting of the Glen Becks and Limbaughs, or the sheer amount of cluelessly, self-satisified smug posters on NPR’s comment board responding to Carmen from Racialicous’s interview on offensive costumes.

    I am white and admittedly a newbie when it comes to the anti-racism Internets, per se, but I’m really surprised how many people are SO damn offended that they can’t wear gear that is patently offensive and demeaning. One’s person’s logic was “What if I dress like an axe-murderer and run into someone whose family was killed by one?” Which gives people the right to throw “Thug Parties” and run around like sexy Pocahantas? i’m glad those NPR Blue-Staters magically disappeared all that racism since I last checked.

  • jessica

    omg that pancho villa costume makes me want to puke

  • Hi. Very interesting Post. Not really what i have searched over Google, but thanks for the information.