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Thursday, November 7, 2013
Some other numbnutz slapped on blackface and portrayed the murdered Trayvon Martin. Offensive…yeah, I think so.
In the UK two college girls won a prize for their costumes depicting the twin towers being blown up by terrorist attacks.
The world is outraged by these idiots.
There are now calls to ban specific costumes. There are calls to discipline these numbskulls. Stupid kids have been insensitive, something has to be done! These kids need to be taught a lesson. They need to be pariahs. Their lives need to be ruined because they dared to make light of tragedies.
Of course if it were not for Facebook, twitter, email, and the internet no more than twenty or thirty people would ever have known about these costumes. The people who actually saw these get-ups would have told them “Dude that is just wrong” but in general no one would have known about these costumes. No one would have been angered; no one would have been hurt by this insensitivity because no one close to the actual tragedy being portrayed would have seen or been aware of their stupidity.
If you wear a witches’ outfit on Halloween are you offending the Salem relatives of Abigail Somebody? Dress up like “The Grimm Reaper” and someone should be offended. I’ve seen people dress as the Boston Strangler…how chilling to anyone who is related to any similar criminal act.
I’m not defending, or advocating these insensitive costumes, but I am just saying calm down. It’s Halloween. People dress up as all different things. Some can be offensive to all; all can be offensive to some. Don’t blame the costume wearers, blame the internet. Those kids never intended for their offensive dress up to be seen by people who could be offended. Bad taste? Absolutely. A capitol offense? Hardly.
Years ago, before the internet, before Facebook, before Twitter and Pinterest, my son’s good friend got in trouble for a costume that was considered in bad taste. This friend, I’ll call him Ralph, wore a sheet over his body with only holes cut out over the eyes so he could see.
Ralph was one of the nicest kids in the school. He was an average student and an above average athlete. He had many friends and no enemies. He went to church every week. He was the all-American boy, always a smile, always polite, never a bad word for anyone.
When he showed up to school in his costume he was almost immediately dragged into the Principals office. He was berated and sent home. The school administration was horrified that Ralph would come to school as a Ku Klux Clan member.
Ralph was bewildered. Ralph had never heard of the Ku Klux Clan. That organization was in the South. They had not been seriously active in Ralph’s lifetime. They had not been on the news, they were ancient history to most, and they were non-existent to Ralph.
“What is a clansman? I’m a phantom. You know like in the comics. Woo Woo, I’m a phantom. I don’t understand all the fuss.”
The phantom costume was in bad taste. Many students in school, particularly the black students might have been upset by the outfit, and sending Ralph home to change into something more appropriate was the right thing to do.
Still, no students in school were offended. The black kids were not offended. It was a phantom, not a clansman. This was Ralph; no one would think he could be mean or racist. He was a phantom.
Beyond being sent home, nothing else was made of the incident. Ralph was embarrassed, and all of the students thought it was funny. The very idea of Ralph being racist and trying to hurt was silly. It remains today simply a funny story.
I have to think however, that if there was an internet, if there was Facebook and twitter, would Ralph’s phantom costume have been plastered around the world? Would Ralph’s life have been turned upside down because sensitive people would have miss-interpreted his motives and his character?
Relax world…it’s a Phantom!