Forget the doofus in the States who’s been trying to distance himself from being part of an SS re-enactment group.
In Ontario, two guys went to a Hallowe’en party sponsored by the local Royal Canadian Legion: one wearing KKK robes with a Confederate flag as a cloak, and the other in blackface, on a rope leash held by the KKK guy.
Far from being booted out of the costume contest, they won First Prize.
That’s the exact same idea that some students at Auburn University had about a decade ago that made national news at the time and got their fraternity shut down and the students suspended, so it’s not even an original offensive idea.
I don’t understand how they could actually win unless the organizers of this thing just want negative publicity. Perhaps that’s what we’ve come to now. People don’t care about what they do or what messages they communicate. As long as it makes the news, it’s all good.
Maybe I’m naive, but my first reaction to this thread was: “It was probably a black*-humor joke.” Reading the article, this is what the KKK half of the costume seems to be saying as well.
This would have been a lot funnier if at least the guy in the Wizard suit were black As it stands, I do agree that this was, er…, not the smartest idea. I believe the guy when he says he’s not racist, though.
As an Israeli Jew who can rattle off more Holocaust jokes than you’ve probably heard in your life, and will gladly hear a new one from a non-Jew whom I don’t suspect of wishing to re-enact it, I don’t really get the outrage. Then again, we Israelis are known for our dark sense of humor, so YMMV I suppose.
Of course, if there is any proof that he’s lying (i.e., he is a racist and did it to “celebrate” his bigotry,) it puts a whole new slant on things. Like I said, maybe I’m naive, but I prefer to give the benefit of doubt where at all possible.
Sorry! (I mean, you would like I called it an “off-color” joke, better…? :o :D)
Many years ago, my university had a most offensive Halloween costume contest. The costume that won was worn by a black student. It featured a KKK robe and hood with face mask pinned back so everyone could see his face and a Nazi armband. He carried a copy of Hustler magazine and a Coke can and introduced himself as Justice Clarence Thomas.
My post-count is in that neighbourhood, and I too am disoriented by the current trend (on these boards) of hanging a “pretentious” label on people who commit the sins of orthography or using a vocabulary above the grade school level.
The main ‘complainant’ is black. He reports having lived in the town for 12 years and operating a restaurant near the Legion Hall (which for our US friends is similar to your VFW branches). In any case, he says he’s never witnessed any hint of racism during all that time. And, to me, that’s what counts - the total absence of racism in the life of the town and its people. That’s the reality. Not the, possibly ill-conceived, KKK ‘joke’ costume.
Well … they’re Canadians. I imagine it has about the same historical resonance for them as someone in the US dressing in adult Depends and granny glasses with a red dot on this forehead and calling himself “Gandhi”. While this might be offensive to East Indians a lot of American would just see it as a goof.
One year a friend of mine came to a party in the following costume:
-Black face (complete with the great big lips and a nappy wig)
-A picket sign that said “God Hates Fags” on one side and “You’re Just Mad at Mel Gibson Because You Know He’s Right!” on the other (this was during his “is there a problem officer Jews start every war” scandal)
-A T shirt showing Jesus with children and under it “NAMBLA- more than just a pretty word” (or something to that effect)
and several other things similar to the above. The idea of the costume was “Most Offensive Human Being in the World!”
The costume was a hit including with the gays and blacks and others mentioned or referenced in the costume present but it was for one and only one reason: we all knew this guy, and he was one of the least offensive and sweetest people on Earth. Everybody present knew he wasn’t racist, wasn’t homophobic, wasn’t anti-Semitic, wasn’t pro NAMBLA, etc…
Immediately after his entrance he washed off the blackface and then covered up the more offensive things on his clothing, and he refused to have a picture made because he said “Best case scenario is 20 years from now somebody will look at these and go WTF!?!?!??!? Worse case scenario is somebody here runs for office and there’ll be a picture with a 'known associate of racist Nambla Jew hating homophobes!” [though how badly this would hurt you in Alabama depends on the county or district and the offfice]- and Worst Case Scenario involves violence and apologizing to Al Sharpton, William Donahue, Harvey Fierstein, the Prime Minister of Israel and about 15 other people on various news programs".
Now then- he was absolutely right to not be photographed in it because the success of the joke depended 100% on knowing him and the shock value and the absurdity. If you didn’t know him it would fall flat. I’m not Jewish or Israeli and if I told you the funniest Holocaust joke you ever heard and you don’t know me you might not laugh (true you might retell it later, but I would have offended you). And even then, even if I was voted “Righteousest Gentile Ever!” and made an honorary prime minister of Israel for a day, people who survived the Holocaust or spent their lives with survivors would probably be offended because the subject is just unjokable to them.
That’s how I feel about these guys. I have no idea if they’re racist or insensitive in general- they could be the nicest guys on Earth for all I know- but the humor of that costume depends on knowing them and people seeing the photographs don’t. Whatever their intent they were stupid to let photos be made because even if they are great guys it’s not unreasonable for some to be offended by it or to assume the worst. Jokes don’t work if they require disclaimers and character references, so best to keep a hood on it… well, you know what I mean.