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Today in Post-Race History: A Halloween Checklist

I’d like to momentarily interrupt my stellar rants about election season (/sarcasm) to briefly address white folks. I understand that this is not my typical style nor is this a venue where I might expect to attract white folks who need to read the forthcoming message, but hey, election fatigue is election fatigue.

Halloween is next week. And as we all know, that means that between November 1 and November 15, Facebook, Twitter, and email inboxes will be bombarded with articles from various college campus newspapers discussing the latest campus controversy involving some fraternity’s Halloween party and a poor costume decision or two. These things happen like clockwork. I’m starting to think that it’s some sort of racism rites of passage or something. 

Anyway, if there are white folks reading, I figured I’d take a moment to provide a Halloween costume checklist. If “yes” is the  answer to any of the following questions, my guess is that a new Halloween costume needs to be chosen. Perhaps you or someone you know might find this list useful.

  1. Will I be wearing black-, brown-, red-, or yellowface?
  2. Did white people used to own the inspiration for this costume?
  3. Was Michelle Pfeiffer, Hillary Swank, or Edward James Olmos this costume’s teacher at any point?
  4. Is there a federal law or several protecting the rights of the person(s) who inspired this costume?
  5. Would Tea Partiers burn this costume in effigy and/or blame it for America’s current “plight”?
  6. Did white people steal and/or colonize land from the inspiration of this costume?
  7. Did white people make a treaty with whom this costume represents?
  8. Would this costume be subject to Stop and Frisk? Voter discrimination? Ridiculous jail time?
  9. Do I think I’m being ironic when I wear this costume, an assumption solely based upon the tightness of my jeans and the amount of PBR I imbibe on a weekly basis?
  10. Are there streets, scholarships, and/or state parks named after this costume?
  11. Would Mitt Romney bully this costume?
  12. If I left this party and ventured off campus, would someone beat the **** out of me if they saw me in it?
  13. Would an Arizona police officer ask this costume for its “papers”?
  14. Has Viola Davis played this costume in a movie?
  15. Was this costume ever interned/jailed/segregated by white people at any point during history?
  16. Is this costume one–and only one–of my best friends?
Although not exhaustive, it is my hope that the above questions will help minimize the number of Facebook posts that show how racist college kids, et. al. are. It’s so awkward to “like” such posts–and to pretend to be appalled.

Feel free to add to this list!

Enjoy your Halloween safely; watch our for razors in your candy.