We all seen people dress up at Native American Indians at Halloween. I thought maybe this year might be different with a recent poster campaign started at Ohio University by Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS). The campaign shows young people holding up many typical Halloween costumes: a person in blackface, a person dressed up as a Native American, a Geisha type costume, a man in a sombrero on a donkey and a middle eastern type outfit. The posters all say “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume. This is Not who I am and This is Not Okay.”
So, after all the press these young people have received from their project, all the blogs, Facebook tags, likes, tweets, I thought maybe this year, our mainstream counterparts might understand why these costumes are offensive. This morning, I was let down.
I was watching NBC’s “Today Show” as they were doing their annual costume contest and they were all in good taste: a Lego man, a perfume bottle, a man dressed up as a new york sub map, so I was thinking alright, no cultural type costumes! But alas, the show hadn’t ended. They had a costume contest for pets (about 2:21 is where the offensive piece is at) and that was where it got ridiculous.
Now, I think dressing up dogs in costumes is not fun for a small dog, and here is a woman coming out holding her dog in a headdress,choker, and other gear, while she is also dressed up as a Native American Indian. Everyone cheered, even Al Roker made his usual jokes “Very cute, and How”. I just wanted to gag.
I thought how come the producers didn’t think anyone might be offended? What do we have to do to get it across to them that this is detrimental to our children? I am so glad my kids had already left for school before seeing this.
I would just like to request, please mainstream producers, before you start to mock a culture think about how those people feel. It is not funny, it is not cute, we are real people. STARS needs to send some of their posters to “The Today Show” NOW!