Posted on October 31, 2013

8 Racist Halloween Costumes People Apparently Still Wear

Chris Sims, Cracked, October 30, 2013

The tradition of dressing up in costumes at Halloween got its start as a way to ward off evil spirits that were roaming the land at the death of summer, mainly because people had some pretty weird ideas about how to kill time back before they invented television. {snip}

Yes, if you’re heading to a costume party this year and want to make everyone there very uncomfortable (or alternately, if you’re an asshole), there are plenty of options available in this year’s fine selection of racist Halloween costumes.

#8. Arab

Here’s a cool #protip for all you #lifehackers out there: First, If you’re getting ready for Halloween and your costume requires you to apply makeup to darken your skin so that you can look more like someone from another culture, you should probably go ahead and stop what you’re doing and re-examine your choices. If those choices include paying 30 bucks for a “Victorian nightshirt” left over from the costume site’s ill-fated attempt to get people dressing up as Ebeneezer Scrooge on Christmas, or if that purchase was motivated by a promotional video that included sitar music, maybe go ahead and start over from scratch.


#7. “Jamaican Bobsled Team”

I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life, so my racism detection game is usually on point, but I actually had a pretty hard time figuring this one out. I mean, it’s definitely weird, but that might be because it’s a costume based on the movie Cool Runnings that is being sold in the year 2013. That’s weird even beyond any cultural appropriation that’s going on here.

It was a tough one to crack, until a friend of mine reminded me that Cool Runnings is literally the second of exactly two things most Americans know about Jamaica, and then the site I was browsing suggested a “Rasta wig” would be a good accessory for it. Definitely skip it, unless you’re going to a Cool Runnings theme party, in which case you should definitely get this and then send me pictures for my next Cracked article, “The 7 Weirdest Theme Parties of All Time.”

#6. “China Man”

Speaking of things that are still happening in the year 2013–you know, the actual 21st century that we’re all living in right now? — here’s a costume that someone thought was a good idea to name “China Man.” Seriously: That’s what’s on the label.

For those of you wondering about the characters on the jacket–or “China Words,” as they’re probably known down at the ol’ Costume Factory–I believe the top one says “garden” and then the rest are just a bunch of made-up bullshit, which is somehow even more offensive than if they’d just pulled random-ass words off a Chinese menu, which, now that I write it, is definitely how they ended up with “garden.”


#5. “Chinese Take-Out”

While we’re on the subject of racist eyeliner, apparently one (and only one) Chinese character wasn’t the only great idea that the costume makers got while they were out having lunch that day. That’s right, ladies! Now you too can dress as food. Food that people want to have sex with, I guess.


#4. “Samurai”

Well, I don’t know about you, but this is definitely the image that pops into my head when I think of the word “samurai.” Why, I had to rub my eyes and do a double-take just to make sure that I wasn’t looking at a screenshot of Toshiro Mifune from one of Akira Kurosawa’s movies! That’s how authentic to the tradition of the samurai this costume is!


#3. “Taco”


I like to imagine that the meeting that resulted in this costume involved a hotshot young costume designer walking in with the Taco Suit as a follow-up to last year’s smash hit, Pizza Slice, only to have his chief rival at RacistCostumeCorp lean onto his desk with a smirk and say, “Well, how are they going to know it’s Mexican food if it doesn’t have . . . a sombrero?”

Really, guys. You do not need to add additional stereotypes to make sure that we get it. The concept of a taco is pretty easy to understand, and just by throwing the hat on there, you’ve pretty much ruined it. Now there’s no way that I can see this as anything but racist. I mean, maybe if it was on a dog or something.

#2. “Taco Dog”

Nope. Just looks like that pug is hella racist.

#1. “Sexy Chinese Geisha”

Finally, we have the “Sexy Chinese Geisha.” Because, you know, geisha are definitely something that is from China, and not, say, another Asian country that is culturally distinct that you could find out in literally less than two seconds just by typing the word “geisha” into a computer. {snip}