Skip to comments.Halloween: What Happens When Race, Insensitivity and Humor Smash Into Each Other
Posted on 10/31/2014 3:17:01 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In this so-called post-racial era, Halloween has become a new forum to push the envelope matters pertaining to race, free speech, and being funny, or what we think is funny. Weve seen the images of the Ray Rice costume complete with black face and a jersey dragging around a black female doll made to resemble his wife Janay. Weve seen the image of someone dressed as a bullet ridden Trayvon Martin. Weve seen the Halloween front yard featuring trees with lynched effigys. Im pretty sure that an image of a Michael Brown, Darren Wilson or Eric ray riceGarner costume will surface online in the next news cycle. Now usually, I would let this slide, because while its in my opinion, silly, not to mention highly tasteless and insensitive this is America and you have the fundamental, not to mention Constitutional right to be tasteless. Lets face it: Comedy, to quote the classic Steve Martin album, isnt pretty. Never has, never will be. Its part of its DNA and in the right context, hits a home run every time.
However . I find it, lets just say, interesting, that in all of these recent instances, all of these pieces of Halloween performance art have had white people presenting black pain from the perspective of the aggressor and not the victim. That, in and of itself, is remarkably telling. I can understand why Greys Anatomy star Jesse Williams who has put his money where his mouth is as far as being in the front lines in Ferguson during the Michael Brown protests went ballistic on Twitter about it. He had good reason to do so: He didnt just report on protestors getting denied their Constitutional rights, he experienced it. Imagine being Janay Rice or family members of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown or Eric Garner. They are still mourning and processing how their lives have been completed flipped upside down on a global stage, no less. Do you think they are ready to have their pain make into a cheesy Halloween costume (complete with black face) and have that go viral?
trayvonFor those ready to jump on the Its only a joke bus, think about this: Would you NOT be outraged if a person of color made a costume or designed their front yard mocking the 9/11 attacks, the death of a cop while on duty, the Oklahoma City or Boston Marathon bombings from the point of view of the attackers?
When dealing with matters that cross the lines between race and comedy, I always refer to my all-time favorite comedy, Blazing Saddles. It was crude, crass, racially insensitive and tasteless. But it was also extraordinarily subversive, sensitive and respectful to its subject matter, laugh out loud funny and above everything else, one of the smartest comedies ever made.
So if you want to make a tasteless or racially insensitive costume and go viral with it, be my guest. Its your right. But just remember that what is your joke is based on someones pain. If youre called out on it, be honest and open in your defense. We have the right to offer different viewpoints too.
For those who celebrate, have a happy and safe Halloween.
Call me what you will, but the football guy and the ‘wife’ with the black eye is HILLARIOUS!
The Travon thing isn’t funny. To me, anyways...
I remember a black man dressing up like a Klansman 48 years ago. Another dressed up as a Buddhist with a can of gasoline back when they were immolating themselves in South Vietnam.
No one was offended. Some people are just too thin skinned and need to get a life.
With the loss of a polite society, nothing is considered in bad taste. “In your face” is the new normal.
Whatever happened to being a cowboy or an astronaut?
Best jokes ever!!!
Because no non-white people died on 9-11? What a re-atard...
But black muslims are going to stand with the Islamic supremacists and barking moonbat leftists decrying Da Jooz and the "little Eichmanns" inside the towers.
I’ve seen JFK and Jackie couples several times are parties. With the blood splatter.
No, I did not the the people in the costumes.
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