Dear white (and black) friends,
Last year, I wrote a loving letter to my friends, imploring that they think hard about their choices of costumes on Halloween night to avoid any undue conflict, and for them to not have to repeat, “But I’m not racist! I know Tyrone!”
Though I hate to repeat myself, given the amount of new attention to unarmed brown teenagers dying and abusive NFL players getting defended for being abusive assholes and famous people passing away, I feel the need to reiterate some tips. Also, all the stores are running out of black shoe polish. If I see any on anyone’s face this year, no matter what version of Samuel L. Jackson I decide to be, I will immediately go medieval on your ass.
|Poorest taste ever.|
- Ebola patient and/or hazmat clad doctor will never be cool. There is a xenophobic tinge to it that will never leave it, thanks to real and fake news. If Reagan paid as much attention to AIDS as EVERYONE did about Ebola, AIDS probably would be a footnote in history by now. If you really want to represent a disease that permeates throughout the States and kills thousands, go as a Texas flu victim.
- Celebrities or flight victims who died this year...it’s just too soon, and tasteless. No one should be running around as Zombie Robin Williams or the missing Nigerian girls or Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend, expect no respect. THe only “zombie” dead celebrity that may work is Michael Jackson, but only if you’re dressed as zombie Thriller Michael Jackson.
|Your brown paint had better include tree bark.|
- Speaking of Michael Jackson, white friends: if you want to be Michael Jackson this year, you better damn well be 1987-2009 Michael Jackson, or we’re going to have problems. The beauty of Mr. Jackson is that ANYONE can be him. He has been many shades throughout his life. It truly doesn't matter if you’re black or white! For any other persons of colour, ask yourself if you need to get some brown face paint for your costume. Ask yourself if going to the hoodest part of town in your costume would get you beaten down. If you answer yes to either of these, and you are not going to be Groot, then you should not have that costume. go back to the drawing board.
- All friends: can we put the kibosh on the ethnic people costumes that are just derisive stereotypes this year? Just as I’m sick of seeing watermelon rinds, fake 40s and gold chains, I’m sure my other friends are tired of seeing buck teeth and chopsticks or sombreros and tequila bottles or painted faces and inaccurate feather headdresses. It's 2014. We're not in a 1930s (or 1910s or 1920s or 1940s or 1950s) Looney Tunes (or Disney) cartoon! Try making a costume that ISN'T insulting to an entire nation (or nations) of people.
- Women, No matter what you wear, you’ll be shamed for it, so wear what you like. Halloween is officially Hetero Pride Day. The “sexy” costumes are funny. If you have a little imagination, perhaps a "sexy" Marie Curie, or "sexy" Ada Lovelace, or "sexy" Mae Jemison! You know what's NOT sexy, though? “Sexy" Hitler.
|It's just a lil' racist.|
|What the unholy hell.|
- When costuming your kids, if it’s going to be offensive on an adult, it’s probably going to be offensive on your children. There is already a report of a kid dressed like Ray Rice, complete with a brown doll with a black eye and brown face paint. If you dress your child like an abusive husband and advocate using brown face paint, then you do not deserve to have children. Lil' Chucky is not funny. Nor is Lil’ Osama bin Laden. Sexy costumes on kids aren’t sexy. They’re just gross.
I believe that covers everything. Now I must go figure out which Samuel L. Jackson I will be. It’s getting iffy; I’m getting down to the crackhead and drug dealer characters.
PS-Seriously. NO SEXY HITLER.