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Halloween Costumes & Cultural Appropriation: Home

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Cultural Appropriation: It's My Culture, Not Your Costume

-  We all know how tempting it is to wear things of other cultures as costumes, but we must set our temptations aside to respect other cultures. I think the Native American tribe Turtle Mountain Chippewa put it best when they said, "When people know of us only as a 'costume,' they stop thinking of us as people, and this is incredibly dangerous, because every day we fight for the basic human right to live our own lives without outsiders defining our identities."

Beyond Halloween: What’s Really Scary About ‘BlackFace’

-  Blackface disturbs even when the wearer intends to pay tribute as with actress Julianne Hough's recent Halloween costume in homage to a TV character, and the Utah Jazz's retweeted photo about former NBA players Karl Malone and John Stockton. Blackface also divides, like the story about the San Diego high school football coaches who donned blackface to mimic a Jamaican bobsled team.

This Halloween, Choose Respect

- When you dress in blackface or a Native American headdress for Halloween, you're placing yourself in association with a history of Western imperialism, slavery, and violence against minority groups. When you dress as "ghetto fab," as a "redneck," or as an "illegal alien," you're mocking the racial and socioeconomic inequalities in our society and appropriating what you think is minority culture for your one night of fun.

Additional Resources

Aaliyah Jihad @ TEDx Youth

Searching for Winnetou (CBC Docs POV)

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