Cultural appropriation can happen anytime, anywhere. (Common offenders include pop stars, fashion designers, and fraternity parties.) But every year on Halloween, cultural appropriation gets totally out of hand.
Want to make sure you’re not being a racist jerk while dressing up for your virtual/Zoom costume party this year? Click on the links below to avoid the pitfalls.
Kat Lazo shares 4 questions to ask yourself before you get all dressed up for that Halloween party. Such a great article.
“Our society equates Whiteness with normalcy, and therefore everyone outside of that category is foreign, weird, or joke-worthy—perfect for a costume.”
The amazing Austin Channing Brown offers 5 tips for those who don’t want to offend with their costume choices.
“There is one day of the year, when many of our friends and loved ones believe they have permission to participate in cultural commodification, one day when the idea of respect gets suspended…That one day, is coming upon us.”
Hampshire College’s Community Advocacy Center posted this helpful checklist a few years ago.
“Would I be embarrassed or ashamed if someone from the group I’m portraying saw me wearing this?”
We highly recommend Dr. Adrienne Keene’s entire blog on Native American representation. In this article, she lists a series of posts where she breaks down the specifics on why “dressing up like an Indian” is not ok.
“TL;DR: Native peoples are a contemporary, LIVING group of people, not a costume. Seriously. Stop putting us in the same category as wizards and clowns. Don’t believe me? Come to a Native event dressed like that, and see how many friends you make! Fun for everyone!”
BONUS VIDEO #1: Cultures Are Not Costumes
BONUS VIDEO #2: 12 Racist Halloween Costumes FOR KIDS!
To sum it all up: Just don’t.