Halloween Costumes and Cultural Authenticity?

By Marc Johnston, MRN Past-Chair
(Note: Below are my personal thoughts and do not necessarily represent the MRN Leadership Team or membership.)

When I think about this season, several things come to mind: beautiful changing leaf colors (one thing I really miss living in southern California), apple cider and pumpkin-flavored everything, and racist Halloween costumes.  Indeed, Halloween seems to be the time when people feel like their bigotry can come out of the closet – but all in good spirits of the holiday, right?  Well, I don’t think it’s that simple, nor should it be rationalized so easy.

For instance, most of us would agree that it’s okay to dress up like someone you’re not during Halloween, right?  Most people are not witches, vampires, pirates, or specific celebrities.  But what happens when the person you’re dressing up as represents an actual group of people – a group of people that continue to face historical legacies oppression? Continue reading “Halloween Costumes and Cultural Authenticity?”