As a child, I remember Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas being the most fun holidays at the final quarter of each year. I loved Halloween because I looked forward to eating loads of candy. I loved Thanksgiving because school was closed for a few days. I looked forward to watching the broadcast airings of the Thanksgiving parade hoping to see my favorite cartoon characters as giant balloons. I loved Christmas, because like most children, I wanted presents, particularly some fun stuff. And during each holiday, I channel surfed to catch animated specials, especially those that starred a certain lovable blockhead who can’t kick a football to save his life.
Now that I’m older, wiser and more bitter, these holidays suck the big one. Christmas is getting more commercialized year after year opposing the “true meanings” of the holiday that include love, peace and altruism. Altruism, in a capitalist society? What are you smoking?
Thanksgiving is nothing more than a shroud to cover up its genocidal past. Yet, many of us pass over the fabled version of white and
Indian Native American men getting together for a peaceful celebration for a chance to dine on some turkey, ham, rice, stuffing, dessert and other goodies adding more pounds to the obesity problem.
And then, there’s Halloween. It’s still a time of year for kids to dress up and go trick-or-treating, but adults also suit up in the spirit of fun and silliness. Outside comic book and sci-fi conventions, Halloween is the one time of year where grown folks can put on costumes and enjoy themselves. However, some people will get in on the spirit at the expense of other people.
What do I mean by that? Some costumes, made by those with a limited supply of imagination and a severe case of moral apathy, are stereotypes of nonwhite people. You have white folks dressed up as Geisha girls, Mexican stereotypes that includes wearing a huge sombrero and fake mustache, gangster rappers – black face included, video girls – black face and extra butt padding included, Native American stereotypes, Asian stereotypes, and so on. There have been movements to counter the problem of people of color’s cultures being reduced to two-dimensional stereotypes. Yet, white people refuse to get the message. Some have even taken it to new lows like a certain trio who entered the Internet’s Hall of Shame:
…Caitlin (Kt) Cimero, Greg Cimero and William Filene, three average young white people in the Halloween spirit, or so it seems. They also are strongly opinionated regarding a certain murder of a certain black teen by a certain overzealous neighborhood watch leader as seen in their Facebook picture.
Their now-infamous picture features one man in black face wearing a hoodie sweater with a fake blood stain indicating a gunshot wound. On his opposite side is another man with his hand pointed by a gun wearing a black shirt that reads “Neighborhood watch” in white letters. Both men were smiling.
In the middle is Caitlin wearing what appears to be costume of a gangster’s mall. Whether that’s connected with the two men’s costumes is unknown. But it seems unrelated. Still, all three appeared happy as hell, and their friends thought the photo was appealing.
The Angry Asian Man reports that a group of white males, all with plastic smiles and douchebag poses, dressed up as wounded flight attendants of Asiana Airlines with tattered and torn clothes and fake wounds. It’s rumored that these males are flight attendants themselves.
For those who don’t know, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 from Incheon, South Korea crashed in its final approach in the San Francisco International Airport on July 6, 2013. Two passengers died at the scene. 181 were injured. Among them were three flight attendants.
If that wasn’t enough, and it wasn’t, we have actress and country singer Julianne Hough to come out in a costume depicting her favorite character from the hit Netflix show Orange Is the New Black. The only problem is that she came out in black face:
Hough dressed up in dark makeup and styled her hair like the character, wearing an orange “jumpsuit” with clipped-on ID tag. Others in her group dressed up as “OITNB” characters, but she was the only one wearing blackface.
Pictures of the costume sparked outrage online, with “Raising Hope” actress Martha Plimpton among those condemning it.
On Saturday, Hough took to Twitter to issue an apology.
“I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created,” she wrote. “It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize.”
Finally, most recently and along on the black face craze, we have a couple of young white girls who, according to their tweet, “are niggers this Halloween.” Sighs!
I’m sure there are more examples, but I’m honestly too emotionally drained to cite them. I’m tired that these bozos in some corner of their minds thought it would be fun to use that which was essential to minstrel entertainment designed to flatter the egos of white audiences for their white skin. I’m sadden that a few of these people thought that tragedies that involved a murdered black teen and numerous passengers and crew was funny to them. I’m vexed there are people, a couple who showed up at my blog, who would defend their actions and blame those who are outraged for not kissing their asses and smile. But, I’m not at all surprised that they would declare ignorance in the heat of condemnation, suggesting they were innocent in their deplorable actions and were just enjoying themselves in the spirit of dress-up.
Of course the excuse would be that they “didn’t know”. They had no intention to offend anyone. But they did, and whether they admit it or not, they know what they’ve done, and they liked it.
Whiteness has always been about the enjoyment of the suffering of people of color, especially blacks. Our tribulations, suffering and pain are their entertainment centers to glee over. They see us as commodities to use as they please and they see our lives and cultures as toys to play with and put down whenever they get tired. What they don’t see is our humanity. All they want to see are the negative stereotypes they’ve taken to heart and use as costumes in their own spaces. With the age of social networking and photo sharing, they’ll use online programs to upload, display and circulate their fondness, fascination and obsession for nonwhite stereotypes while expressing how much they despise actual nonwhite people.
White people will try not to look like your people, but look like what they think we are as a people. It will likely include cartoonish outfits complete with pimp gear, gold chains, grills and – of course – black face while posing with gang signs and fake booties to the camera (or, even admit to dressing up like a “nigger” for Halloween as two young ladies did thisd week). Why? Because all they want to see and all they want to know.