Controversy surrounding racially offensive Halloween costumes and theme parties have become a routine part of the holiday on college campuses. But a group of college students in Ohio has taken it upon themselves to school their schoolmates on racist Halloween costumes.
Ohio University's student group "Students Teaching About Racism in Society" (STARS) new "Were a culture, not a costume" Halloween campaign has a simple message: "You wear the costume for one night. I wear the stigma for life."
The ads are distributed throughout the Ohio University campus before Halloween and serve as a public service announcement for students in an effort to keep them from imitating another culture or worse, dress up in blackface.
STARS took on this poster campaign in response to the offensive Halloween costumes we see every year on campus and nationwide," Laura Hyde, a spokesperson for STARS told Colorlines.com. "STARS strives to promote awareness, dialogue and understanding about racism as well as all other forms of oppression and how they manifest themselves in our society today. We believe these posters are one way in which to promote these types of dialogues."
We hope that these posters are able to give voice to the many who find these posters offensive as well as encourage others to think twice about the nature of the costumes they choose to wear.
Former STARS president Sarah Williams explained to Colorlines.com last year that the idea for the campaign came after she snapped a picture of a fellow student in blackface at a 2010 Halloween party. This is STARS' second annual 'We're a culture, not a costume' campaign.