Cultural appropriation takes center stage this Halloween amid racial uprising

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Photo courtesy of Pickpik

Cultural Appropriation is an issue for all ages and creates an uncomfortable situation for minorities when Halloween costumes that abuse stereotypes are worn in public settings.

Madeleine Tansley '23, Staff Writer

Having been a week since Halloween, the issue of cultural appropriation is still extremely relevant and more widespread than at any other time of year. The racial uprising demonstrated through the many protests occurring this past spring and summer have also been instrumental in spreading information about racial stereotypes to the public.

As well as more awareness being brought to the issue, there is a large step being taken to combat cultural appropriation in all forms. The increased conversation and attention surrounding cultural appropriation are allowing more people to be educated about social ills and how the issue is affecting people from all over the world. The spread of awareness and use of the media is a vital source of communication that is detrimental to the success of suppressing cultural appropriation.

Since all eyes have been on the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, issues such as cultural appropriation were stuck in the minds of many people that night as they scrolled down their Instagram or Facebook feeds.”

While racist tendencies have been familiar since well before the founding of America, the term “cultural appropriation” has only become popular in recent decades. This is due to the increased use of electronic news and the ability to spread information all over the world, namely in the form of movies and social media that influence our everyday lives.

For a lot of people, the influence that the media has over them can be harmful, but it can also be a good thing to help educate yourself on important issues. On the one hand, it allows for racist ideas and costumes to be spread and contributed by others. On the other hand, it brings racial issues to light and generates support for movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement that helps battle things like cultural appropriation.

This year, Halloween costumes were judged more harshly and taken more seriously than in years past. Since all eyes have been on the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, issues such as cultural appropriation were stuck in the minds of many people that night as they scrolled down their Instagram or Facebook feeds. Sensitivity levels to such cultural appropriation will also increase and could lead to more violence.

Even without considering the racial uprising this year, cultural appropriation has always been an issue on Halloween in particular. People dress up as culturally inaccurate Native Americans or Mexicans, for example, which always provokes negative emotions from the minority groups they’re portraying. With just a little more awareness of the negative impacts this issue has on people, this issue could be completely eliminated.

Yet still, there are always those certain costumes every year that continue the hateful stereotypes. The most important thing to help combat ignorance is to be informed of all racial stereotypes and how they can be identified and avoided. The goal is to make minorities feel heard, and that starts with something simple such as being more mindful of one’s Halloween costume.

With more awareness being brought to the issue by the Black Lives Matter movement and through spreading the information on social media, more people will be able to learn about cultural appropriation and how it is negatively impacting our country’s citizens. This will prove extremely important if the US and other places around the world ever hope to create a fair and equal society.