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>/

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.

 

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate