Students Campaign Against Racist Halloween Costumes

College kids take a stand against geisha and Native American costumes.

Students at Ohio University campaign against racist Halloween costumes they feel mock their heritages. (Photo: STARS)

Oct 27, 2011
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

A small student group at Ohio University is garnering national attention for their campaign against racist Halloween costumes.

The group of 20-somethings are highlighting costumes that you’ve probably seen every Halloween: a geisha, a Native American, a Mexican man in a sombrero, a terrorist and a gangster.

In each poster, a student representing Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STAR) holds up a photo of the offensive costume alongside text that reads, “We’re a culture, not a costume. This is not who I am, and this is not okay.”

The group’s president, Sarah Williams, a 24-year-old political science major, told ABC News they “wanted to highlight these offensive costumes because we’ve all seen them. We just wanted to say, ‘Hey, this is not cool. This is offensive and this shouldn’t be taken lightly.’ ”

The group of ten is shocked at how much attention the posters are getting, but, Sarah told CNN, “The best way to get rid of stereotypes and racism is to have a discussion and raise awareness, which is what we want to do with this campaign.”

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