Whatever the season, no matter the weather, do not find yourself in a predicament where you feel comfortable enough to wear someone else’s culture as a costume. There is a very thin line between appreciating a public figure, admiring a hairstyle or even enjoying the vernacular of another culture and appropriating them. So many times, on college campuses, students become viral for their costumes, and more times than a not, it is inappropriate. While scrolling through social media or even tapping through Snapchats, everything you say or do can be put on public display.
I was scrolling through my timeline and saw a group of young ladies working their hardest to immolate black men. They wore gold grills in their mouths, which are very particular to black culture, and orange jumpsuits as prisoners (because America has depicted black men as “criminals”) with a caption that stated, “They let the n-words free.” Now let me get this straight. What could have possibly possessed these young women to think this was at all okay? That is the question I want to pose. When do you feel comfortable with using a racial slur along with a hideous outfit?
This very school year, a Greek letter organization at Baylor University was under fire for appropriating Hispanic culture along with making some very derogatory statements. They were then protested by the school as well as the Baylor NAACP for their poor behavior.
I have also seen various people wearing black face this Halloween season. Yes, black face; like painting yourself brown or actually black and acting like a black person. Yes, people are still doing this. Yes, it is 2017.
I have heard various arguments: “They just love the culture”, “They meant no harm in it”, or even, “They’re young and not making smart decisions.”
I do not care how old are you and whether or not you had any malice intent; when you take your time to shop for an outfit, dress it all the way up and offend someone, you have crossed the line. In all, be mindful the next time you want to be Pocahontas or Nicki Minaj or even a member of a Tejano Band. It is not cute and we will make no excuses for you.
Appreciate with your eyes and do not appropriate with your costumes.