Home » Society

STARS Student Group Fight Against Racist Halloween Costumes

Submitted by on October 30, 2011 – 5:21 pm10 Comments
Share

When I was a little girl, my Halloween costumes were very simple. I was either a wicked witch with a green face and crooked nose, a fairy princess with wings and a crown or Catwoman with a tail, whiskers and pointy ears. Thankfully our society isn’t filled with witches, catwomen or fairy princesses, otherwise I might have offended a few people.

As long as I can remember, controversy and Halloween costumes have always collided. In elementary school, one of my Irish classmates was sent home for his “insensitive” homemade Hasidic Jew costume complete with a beard, payot and a yamacha. During my sophomore year at college, riots nearly errupted when a member of a white fraternity was accused of wearing a “blackface.” Black students demanded an apology and called him racist. He called it his “Tiger Woods” costume.

It’s clear that Halloween costumes can easily cross the thin line between being festive and being offensive but one college student organization is hoping to help educate the masses and prevent any insensitive costumes from hitting the streets this Hallows Eve.

At Ohio University, a group of concerned students joined together to create  “Students Teaching Against Racism (STARS).” Their mission is “to educate and facilitate discussion about racism and to promote racial harmony and to create a safe, non-threatening environment to allow participants to feel comfortable to express their feelings.”

To get their point across, STARS created a five-poster campaign depicting costumes that may be offensive to Asians, Native Americans, Africa-Americans, Mexicans and Arabs with the words,“We’re a culture, not a costume” and “This is not who I am, and this is not okay.” For example, an Asian student holds up a picture of a Geisha costume while a Native-American student takes offense to students portraying Indians with feather headdresses.

“Racially offensive costumes happen every Halloween,” said Taylor See, the 20-year-old student who designed the posters. “I think people don’t realize they’re offending others.”

Since the campaign was created and posted on STARS’ Tumblr page, they have gone viral garnering attention from hundreds of blogs and mainstream press outlets. “We are so proud of all the support but it’s overwhelming,” wrote STARS’ President Sarah Williams, 24. “We have less than 10 members in our group. Thank you guys so much for the love! The purpose was to educate and create dialogue and it did :) We have a meeting with a lawyer on Monday so we can protect our posters and the posters will be all over Ohio University’s campus this week! Again, thanks for the support and have a happy Halloween!”

Check out STARS’ “We’re A Culture, Not A Costume” campaign below. Do you consider these costumes racist? What will you be this Halloween?

Related Posts with Thumbnails

10 Comments »

  • [...] I mean, they can’t all have been flush enough to afford whole new costumes as suicide bombers and gangsta rappers, right? Is it too much to hope that there was a hobo or two, and maybe a one-legged Iraq vet with [...]

  • georgef says:

    Fight against costumes but support white genocide:

    Africa for the Africans,Asia for the Asians,white countries for EVERYBODY!

    Mass non-white immigrataion and “assimilation” forced on all white countries and ONLY white countries.

    It`s genocide.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

  • Eli says:

    If they really want to help keep people from being offended they should start a “Toughen the Fk Up” campaign! Instead of teaching people to try and look for anything they might be able to consider offensive they should teach people how to have a sense of humor, THAT might actually help improve people’s lives. This is the most extreme case of PC BS I’ve ever seen!

  • Joy says:

    Being politically correct has went to such ridiculous lengths that now the selfishness is attacking clothing. YES Halloween costumes are clothing. It is pathetic and these kids should be turned over the knee and bottoms paddled for this me me me crud. What next? Attack the little three year old out trick or treating because he or she is wearing a sombrero or dressed like a Geisha or Indian? Maybe when it goes so far to take away their individualism to choose what they are allowed to wear everyday, what they are allowed to say aloud, etc. Where is it going to stop? P.S. to People in the Pictures saying this is not who I am…. NO IT IS NOT. They are unique individuals with their own choices of what to wear for Halloween! Be flattered they would even want to dress up of something from the culture you came from. People who hate your culture are not going to dress like it! Wake up kiddos! This is just mean, hateful and an attempt to violate other people’s freedom of choice, artistic choices and individualism.

  • Mr. Smith says:

    These types of costumes perpetuate unfortunate racial stereotypes and the people in STARS have every right to come out against them. White people who tell them to “toughen up” simply don’t get it. And likely won’t. And they are exactly the kind of people that STARS is fighting against.

  • Maryann says:

    Actually…..if you really want to know, that witch costume with a green face and crooked nose is pretty offensive to pagans, but we just roll our eyes.

  • Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clarity on your
    submit is simply spectacular and that i can assume you’re an expert in this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to snatch your feed to keep up to date with drawing close post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please keep up the rewarding work.

  • Genia says:

    I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this website on regular basis to obtain updated from most up-to-date gossip.

  • It’s remarkable in favor of me to have a site, which is beneficial in favor of my knowledge. thanks admin

  • Attainable Reasons Weight loss occurs when the physique loses its muscle mass, fluids or the fat it accumulates.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS. Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

We want to keep in touch with you. If you give us your email address, you may receive marketing emails from the DJ Networks family. We hope that's cool.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.