With Halloween here, expect to see a constant parade of costumes, from the mundane to the capture-the-zeitgeist-moment clever. And expect to see some truly awful, insensitive picks as well. Because if there's one thing we can count on, it's an annual classless costume show.
Case in point: U.S. retail giants Walmart and eBay marketed two costumes that aren't just in poor taste, but particularly troublesome given the recent political climate.
The first is an Israeli soldier’s Halloween costume for kids, while the second is an “Arab” nose, immediately labeled as racist and offensive.
Following the outrage, Walmart took down both items while eBay withdrew the nose. However, Amazon decided to stick with its ignorant offerings and continue to sell both costumes.
With the increase in violence between Israel and Palestine, and the number of Palestinian killings on the rise, the soldier costume (a cool $29.99) isn't just in bad taste — it's morally repugnant. People on the website even went to call it “disgusting.”
Meanwhile, the racist nose raises concerns of increasing hatred toward Arab Americans.
"The costumes are very problematic and offensive to many people," Samer Khalaf, vice president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said. "Such a symbol of fear, violence and a long history of dispossession should not be used for entertainment purposes."
ADC fully supported Walmart’s decision to take down the costume and joined hands with other groups to convince retailers to do the same.
At a time when hate crime is already on the rise, promoting fun activities that target a certain race, culture, religion, or nationality should not be allowed.