No Racial Drag This Halloween, Please (Okay, Maybe Just A Little)

October 24th, 2011 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Students Teaching About Racism in Society, a student organization at Ohio University, has just produced the awesomest photo campaign against dressing in racial drag on Halloween.

The thing is, it’s actually kinda okay with us, so long as, in return, we can punch you in the geisha-face for looking like an asshole.

[via Angry Asian Man]

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5 Responses to “No Racial Drag This Halloween, Please (Okay, Maybe Just A Little)”

  1. Cricket says:

    As a Southeast Asian myself, I honestly don’t see too much wrong with this “racial drag”. I can see why some costumes and outfits would be seen as incredibly offensive, but, if I remember correctly, one of the posts passed around the internet that sparked this poster campaign was a list of “offensive costumes”. The list read “If you are dressing up as any of the following, you are being racist”. On the list included “Pocahontas (not the cartoon character)”, “ninjas”, and “Mariachi band member”.

    This blog post I found sums up why I find some of this ridiculous: http://dzombar.tumblr.com/post/11865268270/on-cultural-appropriation-and-halloween-costumes

  2. luminum says:

    I disagree, Cricket. This section of that linked blog post is what I find most problematic:

    “You have to remember that stereotypes while terrible, and often demeaning also allow people from the culture or race to laugh at themselves and use it as an opportunity to educate someone or a broad range of persons about what the culture is actually like.”

    Pardon? The negative, annoying stereotype reinforced by others is totally cool because it’s actually a chance for the targeted minority to laugh at themselves (apparently the kind of “themselves” pushed by others’ perceptions for “a long while”) and is also is a good thing because then they get the opportunity (Oh golly, how fun!) to educate people on why it’s offensive. Because that’s what minorities just LOVE doing with their free time: educating people about prejudice.

    That blog post does nothing but espouse the tired idea that minorities should always feel called to educate others about racism/sexism/homophobia/whatever prejudice. It’s not the minority’s responsibility to serve as educational guides for others.

    This kind of rationale takes the idea of minorities occasionally taking the time to have these discussions if they choose to engage in these conversations and flips it into a burden, something they must do and all for the betterment or enlightenment of someone else.

    I also think there is a clear difference between dressing in the customs of another culture and dressing up as a member of that culture. A friend of mine had spent a lot of time in Morocco and for Halloween dressed in traditional garb and get up, but she went as someone dressed as a woman in Moroccan clothing, in the traditions, not as “a Moroccan woman”. Likewise, a “Mariachi band member” costume could be someone dressed in traditional garb or they could be someone dressed in the garb and wearing a mustache and speaking in an accent. If a white guy or a black guy tumbled into Mexico and decided to join a Mariachi band, they would probably wear the same clothes, but would they also wear a fake mustache or speak with a fake accent? No.

    And in this case, you don’t have a white woman made up how a geisha would be. You have a woman wearing a black Asian hair wig (and yes, I know many geisha traditionally donned wigs, but those were meant to replicate their natural hair), pressing her hands together, and making a duck face. Something tells me that if she went to Japan and attended a festival, dressed traditionally by her Japanese friend, she wouldn’t go dressed like that.

    And that is the difference between dressing in another person’s culture and dressing as a stereotype.

  3. [...] our thoughts and we don’t even know it. Another blog on the Degrasian  site called ” No Racial Drag This Halloween, Please (Okay, Maybe Just A Little), in which describes costumes people wear during Halloweens that are offensive but unknown to the [...]

  4. [...] [3]Disgrasian – No Racial Drag This Halloween, Please [...]

  5. [...] [3]Disgrasian – No Racial Drag This Halloween, Please [...]

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