Halloween Costumes that Rely on Racism and Stereotypes

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Manny Ramirez - Chicago White Sox v Oakland AthleticsAnn and others previously have offered trenchant criticism of “sexy” Halloween costumes for young girls and women.  See, e.g., here and here.  Yesterday over at Color Lines, Jorge Rivas offered thoughts on”Seven Racist Costumes to Avoid this Halloween.”  His list of costumes to avoid includes “Antoine Dodson,” illegal alien,” “Afro wigs or anything with other people’s hair,” “rednecks,” “hillbillies,” “Mexican,” “Muslim terrorist” and “anything in black face.” Commenters added to the list of racist costumes to avoid: “geisha girl,” “Poca-hottie” and “border patrol.”

For folks who who think they live in a non-racist universe, close observation of neighborhood costumes might reveal otherwise.  Last year, I was shocked when I saw one of my neighbor’s children dressed up as Manny Ramirez (then of the Los Angeles Dodgers, now with the Chicago White Sox). The child loves baseball, but I wasn’t loving the dreadlock wig or the “brown face” make-up the parent had allowed the child to apply to his skin. By the way, the child was bi-racial Asian and caucasian; stereotypes and racism aren’t contained in a black-white binary.

-Bridget Crawford

Photo credit: ( September 21, 2010 – Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America)
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