When Is A Halloween Costume Too Offensive?


– Hey y’all, welcome to another
episode of Is This Okay? Where we talk about things
and ask the question, is this okay? There we go. – I’m Jenny. – I’m Daysha. – I’m Nyla. – I’m Chris. – I’m Becky. – Today we’re gonna talk
about a very scary topic, offensive Halloween costumes. This was good, that was great. (laughing) So this topic came about when I saw a lot of articles being written about um, the Moana costume. It was like this costume, it was like you know full tats, and also you could see like the brown skin underneath the tats, so I would like to ask friends, where do you draw the line
with offensive costumes? – Well for me personally, we see like sexy Indian and then we also see the warrior. – When I see Asian costumes, because a lot of it actually appeals to a very pan-Asian like oh Japanese and Chinese they’re like basically the same thing. – For instance, like that MLK party, it was like come dressed as black people, and it’s like, so then you have people throwing up gang signs
and wearing baggy clothes and doing all this shit, but when have you ever seen a party like, oh come dressed as white people. – If I were an offensive costume, that offended you or something, and I were to say to you, Chris it’s just a costume, like get over it, it’s just Halloween. Like, how would you react to that? – People are like it’s just a costume, it’s just a movie, it’s just a game, it’s just a kids show, – It’s just something. – Because you, everyone thinks
it’s just this one thing, it normalizes a lot of these
horrible like mindsets. Of like, oh I though black
people just look like this, I though Asian people just look like this, I thought Native people
just look like this – That’s how Native Americans dress and you would not believe
the number of people who actually, seriously,
in all seriousness will ask me, but isn’t that
the way Native Americans dress. – Is it just a matter
of doing your research? – If someone came to me and said, you know, I want to dress
as Pocahontas for Halloween, or I want to dress as
Crazy Horse for Halloween, I’d be like great. Learn about them, what
tribes they were from, what their traditions were, how they actually dressed, what their actual history was, not just I’m generically dressing in this weird little buckskin fringe and calling in Pocahontas. If you don’t know anything about the character you’re dressing as, why do you want to you want
to dress as that character in the first place. Wouldn’t you rather dress as something that you are impressed by, that you do have some knowledge of. – Because then how can you say that you’re trying to honor those
people and that culture, if you didn’t even take
two seconds to look it up. – This also like stems
from education though too, because I think like we
can all sit here and say it takes two seconds to look it up and it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy for us, because we’re all culturally competent, but I think think you
have these universities that have story after story after story of black face and cultural appropriation and the deans excuse it, so it’s kind of like, well if the deans are excusing it, then its okay that we can do it. – Do you hold them accountable as much as you hold the school accountable because they’re not holding
the students accountable? – Yeah, I mean like, everyone
needs to be held accountable. Actually a lot of schools are telling kids to be cognizant of the fact
that they could be offensive and it’s the kids that
are fighting against it. – It was a master actually,
it was a faculty member or a staff member. – Oh it was a staff member, well that’s even worse. – I think this just goes beyond, like only white people doing it, I like that it is important, that we look deeper into this and kind of dismantle systematic racism and figure out ways, like Halloween itself, just
perpetuates all these stereotypes. It’s not one specific group that does it. I think, you know, the holiday itself – It’s not just race. – Yeah, it’s not just race, it’s misogyny, it’s homophobia, it’s all – Transphobia – Transphobia, you know, islamophobia, it all of these things. – So a while ago, I had a friend who dressed up as a black
celebrity that he really loved. He wore black face. And we were going to a party and we had a black friend of ours who thought it was really funny, was all about this idea,
thought the costume was great. And they talked about how,
just not upset anybody, they would not put the photos on Facebook. Um, it still felt a little odd to me, but they were like if
no one else is seeing it and everyone else here
knows that we are not racist and we all think the black face is funny um then there’s no harm, no foul. The black friend of mine essentially said don’t be offended on
behalf of black people, like I’m saying, if I’m the only one here, that sees this and I’m
comfortable with it, it should be, it should be okay. – Okay, so. (laughing) – Just because you and the fact that you are a black person thought that it was funny, like you have to understand
that as a whole community, that sets us back. – I feel very mixed about this, because like you’re allowed
to have your opinion, like we’re all individuals and like Asian people, black people, like we all don’t have don’t have a hive mind, so we all don’t have to think
the same way about things. – Again, both people are fine, you can live in the same world, but the person that’s not offended has no right to tell the other person that they shouldn’t be offended. – Okay, even if he’s the only
black person at that party, you all live in the world and everybody else is
taking that experience and this sort of assumption
that this is okay back into the real world and that feeds into a continuing problem. – It seems like the next question is then what do we do about how they keep happening and it seemed like you guys were saying that you want the schools to take more responsibility, but at what point can the school then, after you educate what
are you going to say, I mean that you have to
approve your costume with us. – For instance, I went to a school and somebody had wrote the
word nigger on the wall. I think they said I wish
all niggers would die or something like that and so instead of like specifically going after the individual, the school then said okay somebody clearly thought
that this was a space in which they could say
something like that, so we’re going to reevaluate the space and we’re going to create programming to talk about these things and to create a different
kind of environment, that we actually want to foster so that no one ever thinks that this is a space that they
can write that kind of stuff. – It’s a tough issue that
I hope we all think about. – Yeah. – So you all already know what to do. Leave your comments in the
comments section below. – Be nice to each other. – Yeah, be nice to each other. It’s the internet you guys. Love one another, gees. And we will see you next week. (laughing)

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