Racist Halloween Costumes

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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#101  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Nov 02, 2016 4:13 am

And, again, I repeat, I'm not offended. I think people who do this are jackasses who I don't want to be around because that would be embarrassing for me.

I will say First Nations people are in a much better position to determie whether dressing up as an "Indian" for Halloween is racist than Whitey all up in an internet discussion forum thread is (not that Whitey is ever interested in listening to the opinions of First Nations people on these matters because, sse, First Nations folk are "offended" and "upset" and "pitching a fit" and so can be dismissed as irrational and without reason whenthey point out racist so let's ignore them when they say shit like "Indian" Halloween costumes and tram names and logos like Redskins are racist because white internet dude knows way better.)

It's racist. People who do it are racist. People who tell First Nations people it isn't racist and they're wrong to think it is are racist. No, I don't value the opinion of white dude on the internet on the matter to the same extent I do the opinions of First Nations people saying, "Yo, that's racist" nor would it make sense to.

Next content-free accusation of being offended for camly stating something is racist in 5, 4, 3...
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#102  Postby Saim » Nov 02, 2016 4:21 am

Rachel, you should know not to make such a bold challenge to white fragility. Calling someone racist is the real racism.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#103  Postby willhud9 » Nov 02, 2016 4:23 am

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:
ED209 wrote:
ScholasticSpastic wrote:
purplerat wrote:
Is that supposed to be a defense of something? If it is then I don't see why you would bother distinguishing between black-face either.

It's sort of a defense of something, by way of pointing up the hypocrisy of the standards as applied. Nobody pitches a fit when little kids dress like any of the other Disney characters, but they are, all of them, at least as stereotyped and inaccurate as Disney's Pocahontas...


"pitches a fit" :roll:

I just said it's a dickish thing to do, if you need to portray that as an uncontrolled irrational response then you should probably take that as indicating the weakness of your argument.


Yup. No one is getting upset or offended or pitching fits. They're calmly calling out racism. Constantly trying to write off criticism as emotional overreaction doesn't bolster your argument. I'm not offended by people who dress up as "Indians" for Halloween. I'm embarrassed for them and I think they're jackasses.


Except of course dressing as a Native American for Halloween is not racist. When someone dresses up like this:

Image

[Comanche ceremonial headdress and garb]

or

Image

[The traditional garb of the Powhatan tribe (seriously come to Virginia and try to tell me that Pocahontas did not at one point in her life dress the way she is dressed in the Disney movie. A dozen museums on the Powhatan tribe would beg to differ)]

It does not automatically equal = seeking to disparage, make fun of, or subdivide people by race.

Of course all Disney princesses are stereotypes, a lot of which is wrong with them. Lots of my friends won't let their kids watch Disney films because they portray the ultimate achievement of women as finding a man to put up with them. That's wrong and harmful.


It's a movie. If parents cannot teach their kids the difference between fiction and reality than the problem is not Disney. It is parenting.

Not all Disney princesses are racist stereotypes of people who continue to suffer as a result of systematic oppression by white people though.

If you can't see major implications of dressing up as Disney's Pocahontas that don't apply to dressing up as Disney's Snow White or Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or the Little Mermaid, that's your failure and you've probably lived your life in really white states.


It is not a failure. It is someone dressing up for Halloween. Harmless. Dressing as a Powhatan princess does not make someone racist just because Native Americans suffer systematic oppression by white people. In fact, lumping the Powhatan people in with all the rest of Native Americans is racist in of itself. As Scholasticspastic hinted at earlier there are hundreds of tribes each with a unique culture and identity. Several Powhatan tribes have been recognized by Virginia's government for some time and I know two, Pamunkey and Mattaponi have had their reservations since the 1700's. The point being that I am quite familiar with the history and culture of the Powhatan tribe because the Richmond-Jamestown area is heavily seeped in that history and culture.

Dressing as a culture =/= racism. Dressing like Pocahontas = dressing as her culture.

Do NOT let that stop you from telling first nations people they're wrong to take issue with racism though!


Or you can stop using incredibly broad and meaningless definitions of racism and you can let people generally enjoy their Halloween. Dressing as a culture can be crude and offensive, but being offensive =/= being racist.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#104  Postby purplerat » Nov 02, 2016 4:34 am

Come on will, you know the vast majority of people dressing as "Indians" for Halloween haven't a clue about, nor are attempting to accurately represent any specific culture. It's generally just a mish-mash of often racist pop-culture portrayals of "Indians". It's no different than if somebody threw together a much of Asian stereotypes and said they were dressed as an Oriental.

That is literally the definition of racism - to broadly and boorishly define people by their ethnicity. If somebody dressed as an "African" for Halloween mish-mashing a combination of different hip hop and urban stereotypes what would you call that other than racist?
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#105  Postby Saim » Nov 02, 2016 4:35 am

willhud9 wrote:It does not automatically equal = seeking to disparage, make fun of, or subdivide people by race.


I honestly do see a problem when everyone else is dressed as things that are meant to be silly or scary. I don't think anyone who knows that much about indigenous grab in the US would be dressing as an indigenous person for Halloween.

It's a movie. If parents cannot teach their kids the difference between fiction and reality than the problem is not Disney. It is parenting.


You don't think seeing certain archetypes repeated in media can influence the way we think?

It is not a failure. It is someone dressing up for Halloween. Harmless. Dressing as a Powhatan princess does not make someone racist just because Native Americans suffer systematic oppression by white people. In fact, lumping the Powhatan people in with all the rest of Native Americans is racist in of itself. As Scholasticspastic hinted at earlier there are hundreds of tribes each with a unique culture and identity. Several Powhatan tribes have been recognized by Virginia's government for some time and I know two, Pamunkey and Mattaponi have had their reservations since the 1700's. The point being that I am quite familiar with the history and culture of the Powhatan tribe because the Richmond-Jamestown area is heavily seeped in that history and culture.


Develop this argument further. What does this have to do with anything?
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#106  Postby purplerat » Nov 02, 2016 4:46 am

Saim wrote:
willhud9 wrote:It does not automatically equal = seeking to disparage, make fun of, or subdivide people by race.


I honestly do see a problem when everyone else is dressed as things that are meant to be silly or scary. I don't think anyone who knows that much about indigenous grab in the US would be dressing as an indigenous person for Halloween.

I was thinking the same thing. Sure somebody could be honestly representing Native American culture and I would agree that's not racist. But it would be somewhat out of place for Halloween. People don't typical serious costumes unless maybe doing so ironically.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#107  Postby willhud9 » Nov 02, 2016 5:37 am

purplerat wrote:Come on will, you know the vast majority of people dressing as "Indians" for Halloween haven't a clue about, nor are attempting to accurately represent any specific culture. It's generally just a mish-mash of often racist pop-culture portrayals of "Indians". It's no different than if somebody threw together a much of Asian stereotypes and said they were dressed as an Oriental.

That is literally the definition of racism - to broadly and boorishly define people by their ethnicity. If somebody dressed as an "African" for Halloween mish-mashing a combination of different hip hop and urban stereotypes what would you call that other than racist?


Because again dressing as a culture =/= racism.

You cannot dress as a race. That concept does not exist. If someone dressed as a Powhatan Indian and said, "Im dressed as a Native American" they wouldn't be wrong, but they wouldn't be right either. Since a Powhatan Indian is technically a native American the statement is factual, but not all Native Americans are Powhatan.

Ignorance does not equate with racism either.

Again that is not what racism is.

The strict technical definition of racism is the belief that members of a race share characteristics and abilities unique to that race.

If that belief is not there than racist intent is not there. The observer doesn't get to call it racism just because he or she is offended.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#108  Postby Byron » Nov 02, 2016 5:49 am

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:[...] Not all Disney princesses are racist stereotypes of people who continue to suffer as a result of systematic oppression by white people though. [...]

Gotta appreciate the irony of a character as painfully right-on as Disney's Pocahontas being described as a racist stereotype!
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#109  Postby Byron » Nov 02, 2016 6:02 am

willhud9 wrote:[...] The strict technical definition of racism is the belief that members of a race share characteristics and abilities unique to that race.

If that belief is not there than racist intent is not there. The observer doesn't get to call it racism just because he or she is offended.

"Racism" has long descended to the depths of Orwell's definition of fascism: it has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable."

With the purging of white supremacy from the political mainstream, the narrow definition (whether unique characteristics, or that plus a belief in racial superiority) ensures that racists are in a shrinking minority. Which isn't much use if you believe society's riven with racism, so the term gets broadened to the point it can be thrown around at-will. With the rise of unconscious racism, you don't even know if you're racist or not! Ol' Eric Blair would be proud.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#110  Postby Fallible » Nov 02, 2016 8:02 am

I find 'Whitey' offensive, and a dismissal of every struggle I've had in my life.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#111  Postby Fallible » Nov 02, 2016 8:12 am

purplerat wrote:
Saim wrote:
willhud9 wrote:It does not automatically equal = seeking to disparage, make fun of, or subdivide people by race.


I honestly do see a problem when everyone else is dressed as things that are meant to be silly or scary. I don't think anyone who knows that much about indigenous grab in the US would be dressing as an indigenous person for Halloween.

I was thinking the same thing. Sure somebody could be honestly representing Native American culture and I would agree that's not racist. But it would be somewhat out of place for Halloween. People don't typical serious costumes unless maybe doing so ironically.


Yes, I just kind of assumed that a Halloween costume is basically meant to say 'don't I look crazy and weird!' not 'I am concerned about being authentic and serious'. So I would tend to agree that at the least, dressing like Pocahontas for Halloween is out of place. However, taking it further and suggesting that those who do so have some kind of failure or are racist, in my view, is a bit broad-brushy. People in general do stuff that they haven't thought through, and may not even realise they should be thinking it though. That's not racism. Even here on the forum, where I might be justified in thinking that people do put more thought into things, it's still not proven to be a subject which has been shown to have such clear-cut answers.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#112  Postby Blackadder » Nov 02, 2016 10:12 am

As a person of mixed race (and cultures) I can see this argument from both sides. Firstly, I agree with the statement that culture=/= race. Dressing up to look like a person of another culture for the simple purpose of amusement is not racist. It's clumsy and oafish. If my Indian ancestors saw a white person dressed up in Indian garb to go to a party and get drunk and have a hoot at each other's costumery, they'd just think that person was a bit of a tit, not a racist.

As a child of one white parent it also annoys me that the default reaction of many minority "spokespersons" to anything dickheaded that a white person does is to accuse them of racism. That is doing a great disservice to those who are suffering from genuine racism, e.g. physical violence, workplace discrimination etc. Dressing up as a stereotype of another culture may be insensitive, depending on the stereotype and the context in which it's done. Being insensitive to someone's feelings is not racism - it's being insensitive - there's a difference.

As a child of one Indian parent, I also see some white people getting offended that minorities are offended by their insensitivity. There's no law against offending someone and nor should there be, ever. But those who don't get why there might be any problem should maybe stop and consider that if you are part of an ethnic group that has historically conquered and occupied other cultures' lands and exploited their resources while keeping them in a position of subjugation, your actions today may be judged against the historical context of your forefathers' behaviour. "Not fair!", I hear you cry. Perhaps not. We are not individually responsible for what our ancestors did but nor should we ignore the fact that those things happened and expect the descendants of those occupied people to laugh off our cultural insensitivity as a bit of harmless fun.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#113  Postby Papa Smurf » Nov 02, 2016 10:27 am

Blackadder wrote:As a person of mixed race (and cultures) I can see this argument from both sides.


Are you implying that someone who isn't of mixed race and cultures (at least not in the past, say, 10 generations) is not able to see this (or any other racially related) argument from both sides? I'm offended by your racism :mob:

:lol:
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#114  Postby Papa Smurf » Nov 02, 2016 10:34 am

I call for the immediate ban of all English expressions using the word Dutch with a negative connotation:

Double Dutch
Dutch uncle
Dutch wife
Going Dutch
Dutch treat
Dutch leave
Dutch agreement

I'm heavily offended by these expressions. Except I'm not and I couldn't care less.

If you want to read up on what these expressions mean: http://www.dutchnews.nl/features/2015/0 ... ing-dutch/
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#115  Postby Fallible » Nov 02, 2016 11:05 am

Dutch oven. :teef:
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#116  Postby Papa Smurf » Nov 02, 2016 11:27 am

Yeah, forgot to include that one (I was only thinking of the actual :stir: but I did look that one up a while ago). As you can see some of them are pretty nasty to be associated with.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#117  Postby Cthulhu's Trilby » Nov 02, 2016 11:59 am

ScholasticSpastic wrote:
Cthulhu's Trilby wrote: If people view their culture as a precious commodity, who am I to tell them they're wrong?

I think that anyone who thinks they have a rational argument either way should make it. The very logic of how culture works would appear to me to argue against the sorts of protectiveness we see. Giving our culture to others is how we get more of it, and keeping it from others, barring some pretty barbaric-seeming prohibitions against interacting with "outsiders," seems a pretty efficient way to make a culture go extinct faster. If someone's culture is so precious to them, why do they do things that cause it to shrink faster? If someone only wants to have their culture in its "pure" form then they're already deluded. Nobody's had any sort of pure culture since the first band of proto-primates invented culture.

As for cultures that don't foster rational thinking.... fuck 'em. The more humans this world supports, the less space we have for that selfish bullshit. Magic isn't going to feed us or remediate the current anthropocene extinction.


But there's a difference between sharing your culture and having someone take (appropriate) it. We're not talking about people going along to a First Nation community and engaging with their culture, we're talking about dressing up in a war bonnet and faux animal skins.

And I don't think it's really sufficient to tell them that rationally they shouldn't object. I mean, we can, but do we really want to be that guy? Nobody's actually stopping you from dressing up as you like, they're just saying you run the risk of looking a dick if you do it. Trying not to offend people who haven't wronged you seems a laudable aim to me...
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#118  Postby Blackadder » Nov 02, 2016 12:10 pm

Papa Smurf wrote:
Blackadder wrote:As a person of mixed race (and cultures) I can see this argument from both sides.


Are you implying that someone who isn't of mixed race and cultures (at least not in the past, say, 10 generations) is not able to see this (or any other racially related) argument from both sides? I'm offended by your racism :mob:

:lol:


I'm offended that you're offended by my being offended. :grin:

I do apologise for any offence caused. But you have to understand that I have one advantage over you. I can be racist towards myself and feel offended for both sides of me simultaneously. In a similar vein, someone called me "half-caste" the other day. I told him that he had offended me twice with one phrase (I was smiling so he could see I wasn't entirely serious). He was an older gentleman who had no idea that "half-caste" wasn't exactly the politest way to describe someone. We moved on to another topic.
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#119  Postby scott1328 » Nov 02, 2016 12:23 pm

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:And, again, I repeat, I'm not offended. I think people who do this are jackasses who I don't want to be around because that would be embarrassing for me.

I will say First Nations people are in a much better position to determie whether dressing up as an "Indian" for Halloween is racist than Whitey all up in an internet discussion forum thread is (not that Whitey is ever interested in listening to the opinions of First Nations people on these matters because, sse, First Nations folk are "offended" and "upset" and "pitching a fit" and so can be dismissed as irrational and without reason whenthey point out racist so let's ignore them when they say shit like "Indian" Halloween costumes and tram names and logos like Redskins are racist because white internet dude knows way better.)

It's racist. People who do it are racist. People who tell First Nations people it isn't racist and they're wrong to think it is are racist. No, I don't value the opinion of white dude on the internet on the matter to the same extent I do the opinions of First Nations people saying, "Yo, that's racist" nor would it make sense to.

Next content-free accusation of being offended for camly stating something is racist in 5, 4, 3...

Interesting use of sexist, racist language to decry perceived racism. You go girl!
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Re: Racist Halloween Costumes

#120  Postby purplerat » Nov 02, 2016 1:27 pm

willhud9 wrote:
purplerat wrote:Come on will, you know the vast majority of people dressing as "Indians" for Halloween haven't a clue about, nor are attempting to accurately represent any specific culture. It's generally just a mish-mash of often racist pop-culture portrayals of "Indians". It's no different than if somebody threw together a much of Asian stereotypes and said they were dressed as an Oriental.

That is literally the definition of racism - to broadly and boorishly define people by their ethnicity. If somebody dressed as an "African" for Halloween mish-mashing a combination of different hip hop and urban stereotypes what would you call that other than racist?


Because again dressing as a culture =/= racism.

You cannot dress as a race. That concept does not exist. If someone dressed as a Powhatan Indian and said, "Im dressed as a Native American" they wouldn't be wrong, but they wouldn't be right either. Since a Powhatan Indian is technically a native American the statement is factual, but not all Native Americans are Powhatan.

Ignorance does not equate with racism either.

Again that is not what racism is.

The strict technical definition of racism is the belief that members of a race share characteristics and abilities unique to that race.

If that belief is not there than racist intent is not there. The observer doesn't get to call it racism just because he or she is offended.

If you think there's such a thing as "Indian culture", meaning you are lumping thousands of groups of people into a monolithic block that has no historical or modern basis because they all share a very general ethnicity that's racist. Ignorance isn't an excuse.

Do you think somebody dressing as an "Oriental" or "African American" using various stereotypes pulling from various groups within a somewhat general ethnicity that wouldn't be racist? Like if I wore low-riding pants, a FUBU jacket with a grill and a bunch of gold chains along with an afro wig and called my costume "African American", you would see no racism there?
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