Column: Don’t ruin Halloween with offensive costumes

Dominic Renzetti, Assistant Sports Editor

Halloween is just around the corner. Halloween is one of those rare happenings where it’s fun as a kid and then you grow up and guess what? It’s still fun! See? Life doesn’t always have to be so miserable.

So, it’s a few days to Halloween. You’re a college student. You’re busy. You’ve got stuff to do. You don’t have time to come up with a sweet Halloween costume. So what are you going to do? Who are you going to be?

Then it hits you. You’ve got a wig, a bandanna, some baggy pants – you can be Lil Wayne! Lil Wayne is still culturally relevant! Right? I think so? Sure! You can be Lil Wayne. But then you realize that you don’t look anything like Lil Wayne. If anything, you look more like uhhhh, Kevin Federline. Maybe you can just tell people you’re going as Riff Raff. People know who Riff Raff is, right? That’s a good Halloween costume, I guess? No. You need to be Lil Wayne.

So you head over to the store and you get yourself a little container of shoe polish and cover yourself head to toe. Now you’re black! Lil Wayne is black! You are Lil Wayne! You did it! Happy Halloween!

No. No, you didn’t. And it pains me to have to say this, but it’s 2014, and no, you shouldn’t be wearing blackface. Are you really trying to be Lil Wayne? Or are you trying to be a bunch of racially insensitive stereotypes about black people? And if you are trying to be ‘edgy’ for Halloween, I’d recommend going with something else, for all of our sake.

For whatever reason, it happens every Halloween. People cover themselves in blackface in some weak attempt at humor. Dressing up as a person who doesn’t look like you is something that with a little more creativity, can most likely be pulled off. But if you have to resort to painting yourself, you either need to try harder or maybe just stay home.

The Tumblr blog “postracialcomments” recently posted a photo of a man, who according to his Facebook profile, lives in Charleston. The man had changed his default photo to an image of his face covered in black paint with the caption, “You guys I think I have Ebola!”

Not a smart move, and all in all, not cool. After the blog reposted the photo, social justice warriors on the Internet found out where he worked, and after repeated calls to his employer about his racially insensitive photo, he is no longer employed with the company.

Let that be a lesson to us all, not only for Halloween, but in life as well. Dressing up can be a good time for all involved, but using the opportunity to make offensive statements under the guise of “humor” or “edge” ruins the fun for everyone.

Dominic Renzetti is a senior family and consumer sciences major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].