Featured News/Features — 25 October 2011
Ohio University students say ‘not okay’ to wear just anything for Halloween

A small group of college students have put their minds and creativity to paper to create something that’s making people around the globe think.

By shades Magazine staff

The students, who attend the Ohio University, are part of the Students Teaching About Racism in Society – or STARS – program. And keeping with the mission “to educate and facilitate discussion about racism and to promote racial harmony and to create a safe, non-threatening environment to allow participants to feel comfortable to express their feelings,” the young people have designed a poster campaign for Halloween that has gone viral on the Internet.

“We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” encourages kids, parents who buy Halloween costumes for their children and adults to think twice about dressing up as someone who represents another ethnic group. After posting the campaign on the OU STARS president’s Tumblr page, it became so popular she had to remove all comments. The students then issued the following statement:

“We are so proud of all the support but it’s their personal tumblrs. Thank you guys so much for the love! The purpose was to educate and create dialogue and it did :) We have a meeting with a lawyer on Monday so we can protect our posters and the posters will be all over Ohio University’s campus this week! Again, thanks for the support and have a happy Halloween!”
Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS) at Ohio University Executive board

So it only took a group of young people to tell the world what’s right and wrong. All we can hope is that people will listen.

What are your thoughts on the poster? On the message? Let us know in comments below.

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  6. Hypocrisy test:
    1. Picture from New York Comic Con of an african american dressed as a white superhero. Fanboys don’t like it. Do you condemn them for being small minded and racist?
    2. Picture from New York Comic Con of women cosplaying male characters and vice versa. Fanboys don’t like it. Do you condemn them for being small minded, homophobe, etc.?
    3. Your school does a color blind or african american cast production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Anybody who doesn’t like it you condemn for being small minded and racist?
    4. But you think this article is thought provoking and insightful.

    Welcome to the world of college age stupidity, where you mistake enlightenment for bullshit and vice versa.

  7. I think this is an example of ridiculous levels of oversensitivity. Dressing up as a Geisha is not racism. Dressing in costumes that represent old forms of dress are not racism, any more than dressing up as a witch makes you a devil worshiper, or dressing up as Freddie Kruger means you condone serial killing. People need to stop trying to create racism out of nothing, and grow thicker skins, and senses of humor. I come from a Jewish background, but I’m not going to fall apart if someone wears a yarmulke and carries a Torah on Halloween, any more than I’m going to yell at someone dressed as Adolph Hitler. These are COSTUMES. People these days are so quick to yell racism, because it’s been so long since racism was widepread and really meant something. Separate waterfountains for blacks? Yes, that’s racism. Denying you a seat in a restaurant because you’re Chinese? Yep, racism. Dressing up as a sumo wrestler? That’s acknowledging that this is and or was something at one point, and having fun celebrating a holiday in the process. I’m tired of this silly victim mentality crap…grow up, people!

  8. Pingback: Racism and halloween. | Committing Sociology

  9. please explain why halloween costumes are offensive. people dress up like all kinds of things, it doesn’t mean they’re making fun of everything they’re dressing up like

  10. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU! Once a proud nation in your own rights. You’ve succumbed to the “Privellaged” white man and now your “Oppressed” SHAME ON YOU!

    Halloween is a joke, there is nothing serious or hurtful about it. Should Wiccans feel angry for all the Witches walking around? Should all the Sluts feel bitter because of all the “slut- EVERYTHING” costumes around. What about people dressing like priests?

    People of all minorities need to start acting proud of who they are, If you are proud of you are, REALLY proud of you are, no joke, no comment can touch you.
    To quote a White friend ( who got 9 likes on this comment: “I’m not trying to victimize anyone, I simply recognize the privileges I have and feel responsible to do some anti-racist work. Far too often those who are oppressed have to do all the work to make change and I think that is unfair and exhausting:”

    There. Do you see it??? The White Privileged superiority helping out the poor “Oppressed” Your university Racial minors are NOT OPPRESSED. STOP LETTING THEM MAKE YOU! Stand up for yourself! Take Pride in your culture! People can hurt you only if you let them ( and for gods sake, its Halloween! Adide from having fun there is NO ulterior motive. Inciting Political Correctness will only side-step the real issue!

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  13. If it’s “not who you are,” why take offence?

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