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RACIST HALLOWEEN COSTUMES STIR DEBATE IN CANADA


A poster campaign by Ohio University's Students Teaching About Racism in Society fights the use of Halloween costumes that stereotype ethnic groups and cultures.
TORONTO, Canada - An Ohio student group's campaign has started a firestorm of debate in Canada and abroad over whether wearing Arab, Spanish and other ethnically inspired garb is proliferating stereotypes and feeding racism.
The campaign, by Ohio University's Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS), features posters headlined "We're a culture, not a costume." Underneath the line, "This is not who I am, and this is not okay" are students of various ethnic backgrounds holding up photos of people wearing black face, or dressed up as natives, Geisha girls or people depicting "terrorists," for example.
  • Contacted by CBC News on Wednesday, a spokeswoman with the Athens, Ohio-based University said STARS was receiving an overwhelming number of requests for media interviews around the world, and may not return calls immediately.
  • STARS had garnered more than 8,000 views on President Sarah William’s blog, but the comment section was disabled due to inappropriate and hateful comments from some visitors. Still, Williams told ABC News.com the campaign was worthwhile: "We wanted to highlight these offensive costumes because we've all seen them.
  • We just wanted to say, 'Hey, this is not cool. This is offensive and this shouldn't be taken lightly.' It's offending a culture and people should be aware."
  • Canadian reaction to the campaign has ranged from huge congratulations for raising awareness about the ills of proliferating stereotypes, to accusing STARS of making something out of nothing.
Brent Farrington, a campaigner with the Ottawa-based Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), applauded the Ohio school's poster campaign.
"There have been cases in Canada over the last couple of years that have really highlighted the fact that our campuses aren't quite as free from racism as people think," he told CBC News Wednesday.
Farrington says there's never an excuse for making light of someone's background, even if it seems like harmless Halloween fun.
"There's a cultural shift that seems to think it's OK and funny [to wear black face or other ethnic Halloween costumes], but it's not OK and funny. You can't mock someone's culture one day a year and think it's good fun." He says
  • Russian In Canada commented on one media website: "Those guys have completely lost their minds, to say nothing of tolerance and sense of humour. ANY Halloween costume is offensive to some group. How about discourtesy to not-so-sexy-nurses? Or being disrespectful to the dead? Halloween itself is offensive to many, as well as such celebrations as Christmas (because not everyone is Christian in North America). Shall we ban these holidays altogether? No more Christmas tree on Times Square?!! Down with Easter eggs and bunnies in shop windows?"
New Westminster, B.C., blogger Jarrah Hodge, a UBC graduate in women's studies and sociology, said costume companies are constantly coming up "with new ways to advance racial stereotypes and cultural appropriation, and sexualize women in every single profession and identity you could think of."
Source: CBC
1 comments:

That was awesome. I also found this funny video on Youtube by a Canadian comedian. You might want to check it out. http://youtu.be/jDEoprzTYyA


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