31 October 2006

Halloween, Where Racism Lives

I know I live in Allston, and BU kids aren't representative of the town, and I think there's less racism in the northeast than in most places (Kerry Healey's Prisoner's for Deval and those who would be swayed by her race-baiting ads aside), but when I step outside my door and see a white guy dressed in an afro and a dashiki, I realize how far we still have to go. Especially since the guy he was with (of course, also white) was wearing the Flava Flav oversized clock. I don't have any great words of wisdom to add other than these: That's not okay. Not even close. It's racist. You might think it's funny and charming, and I'm certain that your all white fraternity thinks it is, but it's racist. I don't care if you listen to rap and took an African American studies course. It's racist.

Maybe this guy was making a political point about the struggle that black people face in American society, I don't know. But what I find more likely was that he and his friend were looking to find a few cheap laughs by perpetuating caricatures of black people. And this kind of racism is no less insidious and harmful to racial equality than the KKK. It's disgusting and I wish I'd never seen it; and if I lived in a city that wasn't so incredibly segregated, I probably wouldn't have. Because if these guys thought they might run into a black person tonight, they probably would have thought about whether or not it was over the line, and he'd have gone to the party with a T-shirt that said "this is my costume", because that's what all good hipsters wear.


Blogger Anali said...

Good post WAH. You seem to get it. My mom and I were talking about this issue a couple of days.

First I was remembering how I used to dress up as a Gypsy for Halloween when I was a kid. Looking back, I was saying that was pretty bad actually, considering they are actual people.

Then we were saying how that is like when non-black people dress up as stereotypes of black people. It is pretty offensive.

02 November, 2006 00:07  
Blogger Mark D. Snyder said...

Thank you for this post I cringe everytime I see white boys in afro wigs. UGH!

03 November, 2006 13:29  

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