The Motley News

And a Happy "Black-Faced-Domestic-Violence" Halloween to You!


And here I thought writing or talking about black-face wouldn’t be necessary this Halloween.

I was actually going to do a video on the subject of misappropriating other cultures for the sake of a “funny” Halloween costume. And then I thought against it, because well, it’s tiring! I’m not Al Sharpton, an activist who can be everywhere at once, telling people to get their collective shit together. But I do still have time to be on Facebook, which is where I found this trending on my home-page:

This is a small child, in what I would call half-assed black-face, wearing Ray Rice’s jersey and dragging a black doll by her hair. Ray Rice, as some of you will remember, was an NFL player for the Baltimore Ravens. He was caught, on an elevator camera, punching his wife in the face and then dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator.

And now this young boy’s parents thought it was a good idea for him to embody hundreds of years of minstrel entertainment AND domestic violence, while trick-or-treating. That’s a heavy burden for a child to carry. What does this child know about historical context? What does this child know about reinforced ideas of misogyny?

Well his parents should know better. But it seems that many adults have a problem understanding how awful this carnivalesque costume of a black man beating his wife is. Here are more white ADULTS who think this is acceptable:

Rice’s wife, Janay, was the victim of her husband’s attack. And now she’s reliving the attack as people make crude jokes and costumes at her expense. Her trauma is not a last minute costume for you throw together because you possess no creativity. 
She was the one who got hit in the face by the man she thought she could trust. Not you. And if you don’t have enough empathy to recognize how important an issue like violence against women is, officially retire yourself from celebrating Halloween. Apparently, maturity is not in your wheel-house. 
As far as the black face part goes: For the love of all that is good in this world, STOP! Just stop. It’s entertaining, it’s not cute, it’s not funny. You’ve taken a wrong turn in costume selection, if you:
  • Find yourself trying on another culture’s garb. 
  • Paint your white face brown or black to represent ethnic flesh.
  • Are a white person who needs to purchase an afro wig or dreads attached to a beanie hat.
Look! These young people have given you examples of what’s not okay!

Author: charishreid

Writer and Educator.

2 thoughts on “And a Happy "Black-Faced-Domestic-Violence" Halloween to You!

  1. This is just outraging! I'm sure you have seen the Ebola Halloween get-ups. I think this just exemplifies the cold-hearted callousness of many people in this world. I think the media has really desensitized people to violence, sexism, racism, etc. by making light of it.


  2. Yup, it's the very same thing. If people just stopped and thought for more than one minute, some of this costume crisis could be averted.


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