Halloween is a celebration for kids, but it’s “adults” who ruin it year after year
The freedom to dress up in any costume and be given candy for free is what kids dream of. And there’s a reason kids too old for Halloween still come to your door: it’s an unreal deal.
But it’s not adults trick-or-treating that are ruining the fun on Oct. 31; it’s their costumes.
Because Halloween fell on a Thursday this year, Halloween parties took place last weekend.
People over the age of 13 are only dressing up because they think their costume is cool. People over the age of 18 are only dressing up so they can show you on every social media platform available how cool their costume is.
And so, this past weekend, we have already been bombarded with images of North American costumes.
Sometimes it’s a fun way to gauge pop culture. Last year, wearing HAZMAT suits or the Heisenberg hat and glasses combination a la Breaking Bad were very popular choices.
This year, Julianne Hough, professional ballroom dancer, country music singer and actress became better known for her costume misstep than for any of her work.
Orange Is The New Black is a Netflix original series based on the book by Piper Kerman. The show details a white middle-class woman learning how to cope in prison. Many of the characters are black.
Hough chose to be one of those black characters — Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren — for Halloween. Of course she couldn’t be Crazy Eyes as a blonde haired white woman, so she wore blackface.
Blackface is inherently racist and is never acceptable even on Halloween.
You want to be Satan? Fine. Charles Manson? That’s creepy, but sure.
White people: if you want to dress up as a black person or character, make sure the clothes and accessories are good enough that you don’t have to look like you walked out of a minstrel show from the 1840s.
Blackface is always unacceptable, even on Halloween.
But there is a difference in damage between dressing up as a black fictional character from a show and dressing up as Trayvon Martin.
It might be hard to believe, but in Florida — the very state where Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman — two men in their 20s dressed up like Martin and Zimmerman.
The photos have caused justifiable rage online.
The Martin costume consists of blackface, of course, and a grey hoodie with a big red gunshot wound in the middle. In one of the photos, the other man dressed up as Zimmerman wearing a neighbourhood watch T-shirt is pointing his hand like a gun.
That is not a political or social statement. Dressing up as Martin is insensitive to his family and hateful towards an entire race of people.
We cannot continue to use Halloween as an opportunity to trivialize race.
If your best idea for a Halloween costume involves blackface, just skip that step and go to parties with a sign that says “racist.” See how many likes you get on Facebook and Instagram then.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.