Why do we have to keep having this same conversation with the same group of people about not being racist on Halloween? If you know racism is wrong, just because it's a different day on the calendar doesn't make it suddenly a-ok. Seriously, why do you have to explain to an adult man or an adult woman that smearing your face with black paint, for example, "to be a black person," is never okay, nor is it for any other shade of skin color that is not naturally your own, no matter what race you start off as, especially if you additionally show up with racist accessories or behavior.
These costumes at best illustrate complete ignorance, or at worst your sheer racism because these same people who seem to think it's all a joke, can't post up or share these pictures on social media or around school or the office without enduring the ire and scorn of so many. That should tell you something, and that something is, it's never a good idea.
Perpetuating hatred in stereotypical and racist costumes, and pretending to be so clueless about it in this age of things like terrorism and so many current racial issues, illustrates to many in this country that for all this talk about unity and equality on Monday morning by the people who do this, who claim they aren't racist, it shows a clear lack of understanding about the issue of racism. We're not talking about a person dressing up as clown here, or a cat costume, or your favorite cartoon character, these people you smear yourselves with paint and pretend to be, are real persons like you, who deserve to be treated like you'd want to be treated, and that's with respect.
Someone who paints themselves this way or wears clearly offensive and stereotypical dress can claim all they want that it's not offensive or racist, but that's really incredibly easy to do when you aren't at the brunt of what you're claiming is a joke. How is dressing up in a racist manner a joke? Who is supposed to be laughing there? Really, think about that.
The people you're dressing up as aren't laughing so that means your goal is to treat someone else's race as a joke, and something to make fun of simply because they are born into their skin or their culture. It would be just as deplorable if you dressed up like a veteran and ran around talking crazy and saying you have PTSD, or if you dressed up as someone in a wheelchair and made "jokes" about people with disabilities. There are just some things you don't do.
If you want to dress up as someone from another race or culture like a celebrity, trust me when I say, people will get it without you having to dip into the racist realm. I have some black friends who dressed up years back as Lady Gagas. They did not paint themselves with any white paint, just wore the costumes and the hair and people got it and they won a local costume contest.
I understand that some of you honestly do actually love and appreciate the people you are wanting to imitate, and I'm not saying you should not dress up as these people if you want, but you do not have to paint your skin another race, to do it, nor do you have to be and act racist in order to do that. That's not the costume making you do that, that's all you. You can use costumes and wigs and people will understand the actor, or singer, or other person of note who you are imitating. Halloween isn't about actually being able to become these people, because that's impossible.
Also keep in mind, there are quite literally millions of costumes you can make and choose from that have nothing to do with race, racism, or stereotypes. Don't chose racism as your costume. If you needed someone to explain that to you before Halloween happens, than here it is. Don't be the person on the news having to sit down with the coalition of whatever and make apologies because you "just didn't know." If you didn't know, yup, now you know.