November 4, 2013

Minority Student’s “White Person” Halloween Costume Causes Public Outrage

Racial tensions peaked on Saturday as a minority student thought it would be funny to dress up as a white person for Halloween. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, has received threats from the majority community. Photos from Facebook reveal that the student, dressed in beige khakis, brown loafers, and a v-neck sweater pulled over a blue button-down, carried around a sign that read, “I’m from a New Jersey suburb.”

“Halloween is not an excuse to be culturally appropriative or racist,” said sophomore Brittany Reed. “The costume wearer can escape confronting the histories and consequences of those stereotypes by taking the costume off. White people cannot; it is their everyday reality.”

“People really need to get out of their racially insensitive bubble. If you just decide to wear a costume because you saw it online and it looked cool, that’s not okay,” remarked Blake Cooper.

In the words of Kathy Zoner, chief of the Cornell University Police Department, “Costumes sometimes temporarily change personalities, and not always for the better.“ This incident comes at the wake of other racial costume controversies at Cornell.

Photo Credit: Bethany Struble and Lookbook

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