Quiz: Is Your Halloween Costume Horribly Offensive?

If you’re planning to go as “Tribal Tease” or “Hey Amigo Mexican”—please read this.

<a href="http://img.costumecraze.com/images/vendors/dreamgirl/5076-Sexy-Tribal-Princess-Indian-Costume-large.jpg">CostumeCraze</a>/

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Tomorrow night, Americans will glue on feathers, douse their faces in fake blood, and scramble to CVS for last-minute costumes to celebrate Halloween. Some costumes will be outrageously creative. Some will be lame. Many will be wildly offensive.

Last weekend brought some egregious examples—a “22-year-old Cape Coral bro” snapped a photo of himself dressed as George Zimmerman, while his 25-year-old friend went in blackface as Trayvon Martin. The official Twitter account for the Utah Jazz basketball team tweeted out a photo of a man dressed as a player, also in blackface. And actress Julianne Hough issued an apology after dressing like her favorite Orange Is the New Black character—in blackface.

But these aren’t the only examples. Right now, Halloween stores are packed with costumes like “Tribal Tease” and “Hey Amigo Mexican,” which make light of centuries of genocide, hatred, and discrimination and advance offensive stereotypes. Though the politics of Halloween costumes aren’t always obvious—see this debate about whether an advice seeker’s roommate is “Japanese” enough to dress as a geisha—The Root points out that there’s never an excuse for choosing an ethnically inspired Halloween costume (or dressing up as Hitler or a Nazi). So without further ado, here’s a helpful guide to help you figure out whether your Halloween costume is racist, sexist, fascist, or xenophobic. And if it is, take it off.

 

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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