Teresa Puente

Teresa Puente
Chicago, Illinois, usa
October 11
Teresa Puente is a journalist, journalism professor and blogger. http://about.me/teresapuente @chicanisima @tcpuente


OCTOBER 30, 2011 10:47AM

We're a culture not a costume

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We're a culture, not a costume

Two years ago an "illegal alien" Halloween costume generated controversy.  It featured an orange prison jumpsuit and an illegal alien mask. It was on sale at Target.com and Toys "R" Us but they stopped selling it. I still found you can purchase it on buy.com.

A quick search of Amazon reveals the "Mexican Zarape" costume that comes with an oversized moustache, a serape and a straw hat. Women can wear a "Sexy Shooter" costume with a tequila holster. Or you can get a "Funny Food Taco" costume for your child.

Do you think these and other costumes like a geisha or a Muslim bomber are offensive? Is it offensive to wear black face for Halloween?

Yes, say a group of college students from Ohio University. They have organized a campaign called "We're a culture not a costume" to point out these types of offensive Halloween costumes.

The poster campaign created by the Students Teaching About Racism in Society organization is effective.

One poster shows a young Hispanic man with a picture of a Mexican donkey costume; another an Asian girl holding an image of a Geisha; and another a Muslim student showing a photo of a white man wearing traditional clothes with bombs strapped to his chest.

These ads put a human face on cultures that are often mocked.

Some of you may think this is political correctness gone too far. The ad campaign has fueled a debate and also some racist comments online.

I understand that people want to have fun on Halloween. But please don't do it by mocking another culture.

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