Let’s Go This Year Without Offensive Halloween Costumes

Another year to remind white people what they should and should not wear this Halloween.

I will admit I don’t understand the obsession with Halloween. My family is hardcore Baptist and Halloween was viewed as “the devil’s day.” If you’ve seen Adam Sandlers’ the Waterboy, the members of the church remind me of the mother, played by Kathy Bates, declaring pretty much everything is “the devil.” We didn’t trick or treat until we were old enough to pressure my mother to let us out of the house and even then we didn’t have costumes.

So every year I am amazed at how much planning goes into Halloween with people decorating yards, houses, even pets and spending big money on costumes. So I’d like to take this time to remind people (white people) what is and isn’t an acceptable costume for 2018.

Please make sure you take this list to the store with you and refer to it before you make your purchase. Nothing like standing in a long line at the party store, only to come home and realize your costume is all out offensive.

So let’s just start with the obvious:

  • Do not paint your face black. (And yes, Megyn Kelly, this is freaking offensive). This cannot be stressed enough. Blackface is not appropriate in any circumstance. It’s not funny. Black people come in all shades yet when white people want to go blackface they use the most cartoon version of black available. And I don’t care if your one black friend finds it funny, blackface has a long history in this country and it’s something we don’t want to be reminded of every Halloween. Al Jolson from the Jazz Singer is pictured below in Black face. Yeah, not funny.
  • Don’t wear anything related to the KKK, no swastikas, no hoods, nothing. It’s a little known fact but black people go out on Halloween now. After Charlottesville and the resurgence of the KKK, black folks may not be able to tell who is cosplaying or who is a real member of the KKK. Bad things could happen.

This guy was out pretending to be a member of the KKK in hopes of getting his 15 minutes of fame but bad things happened to him and this guy wasn’t even wearing a costume. You have been warned.

  • Do not dress up as a “Mexican.” Look, I know white people will be tempted this Halloween with Trump’s comments about Mexicans. But it’s offensive. It’s just plain offensive. Don’t wear a sombrero or a giant mustache or anything even close. It just shows your lack of creativity that you have to resort to the tired, old stereotypes. Up your Halloween game or sit out this year.
  • Dressing up as a Native American that isn’t Pocahontas. I’m going to give Pocahontas costumes a pass since Disney did that God-awful movie and there are so few Disney princesses of color. There’s Jasmine, Mulan and Pocahontas. I don’t count Tatiana since she spent the entire move as a frog. So take a hard pass on any other Native American costume. No headdresses, don’t paint your face red (see item number 1), no tomahawks, nothing. Using another Disney reference, let it go.
  • Wearing turbans and beards to dress up as a terrorist. Some stereotypes are like white walkers, they just won’t die. The Muslim terrorist is one. I get you didn’t have time to go to Party City and for some unknown reason you kept your fake beard from a previous year. So it might be tempting to wrap a towel around your head and in less than a minute, you can be a horrible stereotype. But again, just don’t do it. It’s not only offensive, it’s plain lazy.
  • Don’t wear anything slavery related. I feel like I shouldn’t have to tell this to white people and some black people (I’m talking to you Kanye) but slavery wasn’t funny. There was no upside to it despite people claiming that slaves were happy because they were singing. The singing helped them endure unimaginable horrors. It wasn’t because they liked picking cotton or nursing other people’s babies. So don’t wear any costume that in any way, shape or form relates to slavery. No mammy costumes (that means no costumes from Gone with the Wind), no buckets of cotton (not even as decorations), no nooses (again, that shit isn’t funny), NOTHING. I say again. Slavery is, was, will never be funny and it’s never appropriate for a Halloween costume. And I don’t care if you watched 12 Years A Slave a bunch of times, Lupita Nyong’o has done other roles, go with anyone of those.

In a year with the daily deluges of craziness coming from the Trump administration, can we just do Halloween without insulting a bunch of people? I’m scared enough checking my twitter feed every morning, no need for Halloween to be offensive this year.

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