Politics FB

Perhaps, it’s not too late to talk about Halloween/Cultural Appropriation

This post was put up by a banned user.  The Avocado does not condone their actions and preserves their threads for the sake of the conversations in the comments.

So I thought I’d discuss something current events wise that’s not AS inflammatory as the all the media allegations of sexual misconduct (which are deeply disturbing to me in opposite ways of the moderators so I’ve more or less promised not to debate this with them but to fight for those causes on other platforms).

This is a topic, I think perhaps we can all discuss and have multiple views on. I got into an argument with someone (it was actually an AV Club writer IIRC) about whether it was OK to shame families who wanted to wear gendered clothing costumes or culturally appropriated costumes.

First off, my understanding is that cultural appropriation is a neutral term.

The feminist youtuber Chez Lindsey says as much:

But even if I’m not 100% sure on where feminism or liberalism stands on it, I would elaborate by stating that it’s simply always been a part of history dating back to Shakespeare and if it weren’t for incorporating other people’s cultures into our stories (think Flower Drum Song or Brigadoon or West Side Story or other Broadway shows that introduced people to different cultures), we would never have such an appreciation of our nation’s cultural melting pot in the first place.  Obviously, these things could go wrong, as in (to use the Broadway analogy) Miss Saigon that used yellowface and denied an Asian actor the part.

I would segue into talking about how there’s a difference between deciding to make “woke” decisions with you and your kids and dictating what other families should do (with examples of the writings of liberal cultural critics on these decisions). These arguments need to take into account that a disproportionate number of the mainstream  costumes that are sold pre-packaged at drug stores and megamarts are consumed and worn by children of color as their parents are generally too busy working multiple jobs to give their kids a personalized Halloween costume. I’d also like to point out the inertia and benefits of the holiday in many respects would keep many families from all of a sudden discontinuing their practice of celebrating it the way they always do. These people deserve to be free of such provocative terms as “racist” or even “racially insensitive.”

Lastly, I’d like to look at how these predominantly white critics are actually experienced with and have knowledge of the level of offense of the communities that are being appropriated from. There are very few costumes of black characters or black stereotypes, and the most common Native American communities or Asian stereotypes are something entirely different for a community to research.

I’m not saying let’s not have a discussion about Halloween costumes and seek to incorporate everyone into it. I think Jeremy Lin, the basketball player, also wrote an article (https://www.theplayerstribune.com/jeremy-lin-brooklyn-nets-about-my-hair/) prefaced with the idea that cultural appropriation is a shallow action if you don’t learn about the culture behind it, so let’s expand the conversation. I also am saying, let’s leave innocent families who are just trying to celebrate Halloween, out of the darker effects of that discussion.