Em-URGE-ing Voices

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An Open Letter to My Fellow College Students on Halloween

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October 30, 2013

Ugh college. College is the worst! What with all the classes and the endless assignments and readings you sacrifice your nights to do because the professor tells you there’s going to be a quiz on the readings but there never is and you’re like, but I spent three hours reading that shit!  I could have been marathoning Twin Peaks man. College sucks and every now and then we all like to blow off a little steam and have ourselves a good time.

I know tomorrow night, October 31st will be one of those nights. Those of you who celebrate Halloween will be getting turnt up! That’s cool. You know what’s not cool though? Your racist and culturally insensitive “costume.” Really, enough with that shit already. I really don’t want to have this conversation every year. So here goes…

Blackface, brownface, redface etc: NOT OKAY. It’s never been okay and it never will be. Yes, I know how much you love LiL Wayne, no, you may not darken your face because you’re going as him. Also, those dreadlocks, afros and do-rags you purchased from some store? Racist as hell.

I know you love Obama, you totally went canvassing for him AND  you voted for him even though everyone in your family told you to vote for Romney and I gave you ally cookies after the election, shut up about it already. I get it, Julianne Hough,  Crazy Eyes is totes your favorite character from Orange is the New Black. But no White people, it’s not okay to darken your face, like ever. Perhaps you’re saying to yourself but my best friend who is Black/Asian/Mexican(because all Latino/as are Mexicans) totes said it’s okay. They even helped me with the makeup. Well, your friend/co-worker/girlfriend/boyfriend is an idiot. Blackface and its twin brothers brownface and redface reduce people to their race. It’s you saying the essence of this person is in their blackness/Asianess etc. Okay so you’re not darkening your face, give yourself a pat on the back.

But you will be going as a Geisha, Pocahontas, “terrorist,” wearing a sombrebo and to that I say, take your hand and slap yourself across the face. We the racial/ethnic minorities of these United States of America are a culture not a costume. Knock it off already.

I’m not just talking to White people either. My fellow minorities, please don’t dress up as other ethnicities you’re not a part of. It doesn’t make it less offensive because you happen to be black or brown.

College is hard but you know what’s harder, the fatphobia and fatshaming that fat people have to deal with constantly. Your “fat costume” is contributing to that fatphobia.

I know you don’t mean any harm, you love the Blacks! and the gays! and your girlfriend is a woman so obviously you’re not sexist. (insert eyeroll) The thing is, this skin that you put on one night out of the year, we live in it all day errday. We don’t get to take it off at the end of a night of boozing and raging. It’s bad enough that we have to deal with your White Supremacist shit 364 days of the year.  Do you have to remind us of your cultural, political and economic dominance on this one night that we just want to get wasted too? Since I know you are such a good college student and you want to read up and research on just why is it that such killjoy on the internet is totally harshing your buzz, I direct you to go here and here to read more on the subject.

And whatever you do, do not post your pictures on facebook. Like really, people can see them you know, and by people I mean future employers. Unless you plan on working for the Klan after you graduate then go on being your bad self, you Ricky Hitler.

So, I won’t go on about how we appropriated Halloween in the first place if you promise not to wear racist/fatphobic/transphobic costumes. Deal?

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