Article Review 11.08.13.

Halloween and Blackface via npr

Same story, different year.

Every Halloween is partially celebrated by those who believe mocking people and cultures is socially acceptable once a year. This past holiday, we saw an incredible variety of such people. They dressed up as caricatures of Trayvon Martin, held “African” themed parties, sagged their pants and threw gang signs while saying “Yo yo yo,” and ultimately just proved themselves to be profoundly terrible people. They would likely not challenge racist ideals or deny agreement with white supremacist ideals.

The blackface and appropriation that show up around Halloween are closely related to public health because they dehumanize people. Hurt feelings is an issue, but not much of one when you consider how many PoC are viewed as subhuman and terrorized by acts of violence and hate crimes as a result. Blackface can do this no matter the context, regardless of whether harm was meant to be done or not. Regardless of if an apology is issued, it has such strong historical ties to lynching and slavery that really anyone who uses it is only dressing up as some idiot wearing the worst Halloween costume ever.


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