In the age of instantaneous information, ignorance no longer seems to be an excuse for racist remarks.
This particular incident, however, doesn’t involve racially charged utterances that could be quickly disregarded as misguided or ill-phrased.
In fact, it involved two grown-ups, donning a Donald Trump mask and holding a noose around the neck of the other fan, who was wearing two masks, one depicting President Barack Obama and the other Hillary Clinton, and a prison-striped outfit.
The men were photographed at Camp Randall Stadium during the Nebraska-Wisconsin game.
Although it goes without saying how incredibly inappropriate the costumes are, it’s nevertheless important to state it: When people dress up as notorious bigots lynching the country’s first black president and a presidential nominee, it’s not idiocy or ignorance — it is racism.
It APPEARS the men were first asked to removed the Obama mask then asked to leave. This was their exit... pic.twitter.com/Xv1UxMOfaW— 😏 (@woahohkatie) October 30, 2016
Quite understandably, a lot of people felt uncomfortable around the two men and complained. But when the university police intervened, they only asked the duo to get rid of the noose. The rest, according to a university statement, they treated as free speech.
Statement from Wisconsin about the fan wearing an inappropriate Halloween costume pic.twitter.com/sw0SAMqt7t— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) October 30, 2016
“UW-Madison is dedicated to promoting a campus environment where all people feel valued, safe and able to thrive,” the school said. “To that end, the university continues to encourage all of our community members to engage in discussion over vital issues in ways that promote greater understanding and respect for all persons.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Michael Paulsen