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This Week in Racism

Why Are People Surprised by Racist Halloween Costumes?

It seems like there's a new story coming out about a white person wearing blackface for Halloween every day. Spoiler alert: this happened before.
Dave Schilling
Κείμενο Dave Schilling

Welcome to a special Halloween edition of This Week in Racism. I’ll be ranking Halloween costumes on a scale of 1 to RACIST, with “1” being the least racist and “RACIST” being the most racist.

-This might come as a major shock to you, but wearing racially insensitive Halloween costumes is pretty popular. Blogs got their digital panties in a twist in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and pretty much every year that the internet has existed as a perpetual outrage machine. Halloween is like Christmas for racists, because it's an easy way to cloak bigotry in the guise of fun.


It should be no surprise, then that Julianne Hough's foray into the darker side of the holiday (pun very much intended) generated a ton of attention this week for her choice of costume. Bloggers slammed her for insensitivity, and friends came out in support of her choice to dress up like an African-American character from Orange is the New Black. I don't imagine she's a hateful person, nor do I think she was out to offend. That said, as a celebrity (even a reality star) who happens to be white, it's definitely not wise to step out in public with a bunch of brown paint on your face… unless you're going as a delicious piece of semi-sweet baking chocolate, which is such a great idea. Seriously, you can have that for free. 5

-A pair of Florida men thought it would be clever to dramatize the violent demise of Trayvon Martin through the time-honored tradition of blackface. Not sure what a "Neighborhoo Watch" is (perhaps it's some ghetto slang I'm not familiar with), but I think it's something people join when they run out of space on their homemade racist T-shirt. RACIST

-A Missouri man named Rick Hoskins decided that Halloween was a great time to let the whole world know he's not a big fan of black people, Mexicans, Jews, Asians, and anyone who doesn't park their cars on their front lawns. He hung an effigy dressed to look like a black person in a lynch on his front lawn, claiming that he was merely putting up Halloween decorations.

Hoskins told KFVS-TV that, "There's been a bunch of people that's stopped by since I put them up. Said they want to shake my hand. They said they're glad to see a little white pride is still left in this country."  RACIST

-White people aren't the only ones making light of America's history of racially motivated violence. This is the land of equality after all! Photos are circulating of a black woman with a noose around her neck, carrying a bucket of cotton. The only thing affecting her costume's historical accuracy is that she's smiling in most of the pictures. RACIST

-For the man who has everything, but also wants to dress like a cartoon version of a Muslim terrorist, we have the "Turban & Beard Instant Costume." The instant costume is a real miracle of science! Just add water and watch the ethnic stereotypes grow right in front of your face! Seriously though, this dude looks like he has a xenophobic Chia Pet on his face. RACIST

-Ohio school teacher David Spondike may not be dressed in blackface, but he certainly hates black people, too. Well, to be fair, he only hates young black people who pee on telephone poles, especially if toddlers are present. Look, if everyone who needed to drain their dingle after a rough night out is a n*gger, then I guess Marie Osmond is the biggest n*gger around! RACIST

-There are organizations spending valuable time and money attempting to squash the racist Halloween costume trend. The University of Colorado is pushing their "We're a Culture, Not a Costume" campaign in an attempt to keep their student body from dusting off their sombreros and fake buckteeth. This is admirable, but no amount of poorly designed signage is going to keep Jimmy and Jane Drunkypants from deciding to "stick it to the man" by painting their faces. This is probably going to happen annually, whether we like it or not. People will do it, the internet will get outraged, and the cycle will repeat itself over and over again, like that episode of Star Trek where the Enterprise keeps getting blown up. Maybe they do it for attention. Maybe they do it to seem edgy. Whatever the reason, it's not going to stop any time soon. With that in mind, excuse me while I go prepare my super-detailed Elizabeth Smart costume.

See you next… FEAR!


The Top Racist Halloween Tweets of the Week:

me & @kinkystyles are niggers this Halloween :)

— عقثلتهى (@DopeBieber) October 29, 2013

@DopeBieber I will rape you! And don't forget I'm black so it's going to hurt!

— Illuminati Scotty™ (@ObeyScottyL) October 29, 2013

My little cousin's going to be a nigger for Halloween ahahahha #smh

— Shayluu (@CervantesShaila) October 30, 2013

I'm going to be a Black-Belt for Halloween so I can get chink eyed and go around karate chopping things. #itsJPbaby #halloween #2013

— ✰JP✰ (@Fruitys420) October 27, 2013

Halloween isn't even normal any more it's all Mexican kids coming to nice naborhoods

— Scott LeVay (@LeVayScott) September 23, 2013

Last Week in Racism: Don't Have People in Blackface at Your Birthday Party