Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Anti-Racist Halloween Project

I would like to give you all a homework assignment for this year. We have a full year to complete it.

Based on the constant barrage of racist halloween costumes each year (see here and here and here), I would like to challenge everyone to put their heads together and come up with some costumes that showcase American racism.

You can really come at this from any angle--you can present a white-face caricature of a white racist, or you can do something more creative or abstract.

Please post your ideas and we can discuss the best way to present them. Remember, the goal is not to make white people angry for the sake of making them angry, but to constructively address American racism.

If you want to constructively criticize ideas so that we can be the most effective, please do so. If you want to be cynical and shoot down this idea or some of the costume ideas because that's what you tend to do in general, email me and I'll start a different thread to discuss this issue. (Sorry, but actions like this tend to bring out the cynics and destructos.)

Since many of the people reading this are in different communities around the country, we don't have to actually come up with an independent costume for each person participating. On the contrary, if we come up with a good half-dozen, everyone in each community can dress up with their friends in those costumes and spread the message.

If people actually put in the effort on this, we can then take pictures and I'll put them up on the internet. It would also be helpful to pass out literature that explains what we are doing on the day of halloween.

To give one example, how about:

1. A & F white supremacist (pretty self-explanatory although obviously we have to think about what images to represent so that we don't get our asses kicked or upset other people of color).


Blogger Ironcheffie said...

I was thinking some preppy guy wearing A & F stuff with a White Hood

4:30 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Not sure if this counts, but what about this incident, from 2003, when some white college students at Penn State dressed-up in KKK outfits and blackface for a party?

I think this entry from the Colorblind Society blog has a good take on it.

3:12 PM  
Blogger xian said...

I was thinking that a "Dancing White Guy in Fake Indian Suit" costume might be nice too.

I'm not sure, but I think it's probably better to capture an image of whites promoting stereotypes rather than promoting stereotypes of whites. But I could be talked out of this if the idea seems good.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Laurel said...

A couple of years ago a friend of mine borrowed a gi from another friend and hung a sign on her neck that just said "Orientalism". I thought it was awesome. I think you could do the same, wearing a stereotypical costume ("Indian," "Geisha," etc.), with a similarly snotty sign.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And that would help who, how?

3:06 AM  
Blogger xian said...

It think it would help in terms of forcing people to face their own tendency to fetishize. It's kind of like Kristina Wong's old (anti) mail order bride site. Guys would click expecting to see the stereotypes they were seeking and end up getting angry feminism and satire.

In the same way, people would see geisha and go all fetishizing and then have to deal with the accusation of orientalism.

Although, would "Fetishism" or just "Sexism/Racism" be more appropriate?

Or even "AFS" with the acronym spelled out on the reverse side--you could enter the club/party/etc. and then flip around the sign...?

8:35 PM  

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