Is This the Most Offensive Halloween Costume Ever?

"Ripped from the headlines" get-ups are popular almost every year, but where do some of this year's rank among the most offensive?

By Chris Hoenig


Some of the best Halloween costumes are the most topical: dressing up as the sports star of the moment or one of the actors in that year's Hollywood blockbuster are almost surefire hits. But so are some of the worst, and one of this year's costumes is getting extra attention.

The viral photos show three young adults, including two men portraying George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. One is wearing a "Neighborhood Watch" T-shirt, the other is in Blackface and wearing a large gray hoodie with blood splattered on the chest. In one picture, the trio are all smiles ... as the Zimmerman character points his fingers like a gun at his Martin-portraying friend.

The young woman in the photos found them funny enough to post a series of them to Instagram and Facebook, though her Facebook page has since been deleted. Oh, yeah, they're from Florida, where Martin's death led to protests and where the public lambasted the prosecutors after Zimmerman's acquittal.

It doesn't take a whole lot of thought to realize Blackface is racist. But then again, maybe someone should have let Dancing With the Stars regular Julianne Hough know that before she went out dressed as Crazy Eyes from Orange Is the New Black, complete with Blackface. Hough has since taken to Twitter to apologize.

Someone with the NBA's Utah Jazz also must not have thought too much about it before posting a picture to the team's official Twitter feed that included a white fan in full Blackface as Hall of Famer Karl Malone. Some high-school football coaches from San Diego also took the same liberties when they dressed up as the Jamaican bobsled team.

And then, as if trying to outdo every other racist and offensive costume out there, there are the pictures that emerged on the "BlackinAsia" tumblr account from a party in Australia. Asked to arrive in African-themed costumes, Blackfaced individuals were joined by gorillas ... and posed with people dressed as Ku Klux Klansmen. The girl who posted them has tried to defend the pictures—which Facebook did not immediately take down and which one friend found "only slightly racist hahaha."

Offending Everyone

Halloween costumes exist that find ways to offend just about every underrepresented group. Pottery Barn has apologized and pulled a sushi-chef costume that included a Japanese-flag bandanna, as well as a kimono. In 2009, an "illegal alien" costume consisting of an orange prison jumpsuit and "green card" created controversy. While that one is no longer on the shelves, the "Hey Amigo" costume, complete with poncho and donkey outfit, is easily found online. The "sexy Pocahontas" costume is a regular that returns every year to insult American Indians.

Even Americans with disabilities are not off limits from being insultingly mocked each Halloween. The Toronto Sun suggests a costume that takes a dig at actress Amanda Bynes and her mental-health issues is one of the "best 2013 Halloween costumes from pop culture." The "Anna Rexia" costume that pokes fun at eating disorders has made a comeback after controversy took it off the shelves. And then there's the Christopher Reeves Superman-in-a-wheelchair costume.

Have fun this Halloween and enjoy the candy. But think before you get dressed.

Jury Awards $28M to Haitian-American Nurse Who Stood Up for Coworker

Brigham and Women's Hospital retaliated against a nurse for defending a coworker amid alleged verbal abuse.

Gessy Toussaint — who shares the name of the best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint L'Ouverture — also believes in fighting against the odds and winning.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury ruled on Wednesday that Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., retaliated against Toussaint, a Haitian-American nurse who stood up for a colleague, and has awarded her $28 million. Deliberation took more than three days.

Read More Show Less

After a Typhoon of Publicity, Harvey Weinstein Charged with Rape

Allowed to turn himself in with pre-arranged bail already taken care of.

REUTERS

There was one more red carpet for Harvey to walk down. At 7:30 this morning, the alleged rapist walked into a Lower Manhattan police station surrounded by cameras flashing and reporters shouting his name.

Read More Show Less

Racist Train Rider Charged with Hate Crime for Rant at Black Woman: Video

"I'll smack the [expletive] out of you, you loud mouth monkey [expletive]," Edward Ruggiero said to Soraya Orelien.

FACEBOOK

Being a racist is ignorant and costly.

The Queens, N.Y., district attorney on Wednesday charged Edward Ruggiero, who was caught on video hurling racist insults at a Black woman on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), with a hate crime.

Read More Show Less

Why They Take a Knee — Parking Violation Results in Savage, Racist Cop Behavior: Video

"My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn't happen to anybody," said NBA player Sterling Brown.

Milwaukee's school-to-prison pipeline for Black students is notoriously awful. In Milwaukee County, more than half of Black men in their thirties have served time in prison. The racism and racial profiling that perpetually exists in the city is again in the national spotlight as police used excessive force on a Black NBA player.

Read More Show Less
REUTERS

Twenty-one white people (including seven male board members and CEO Steve Simon) of a total of 22 people in the World Tennis Association's (WTA) management made the call to boot Serena Williams from seeding for the French Open for having a baby.

Read More Show Less
FACEBOOK

Be careful if you park under a tree in the warm weather — you might get accused of having marijuana in your car.

Read More Show Less

Vickers "Vic" Cunningham, a former Dallas judge who's running in the Republican primary runoff election for Dallas county commissioner on Tuesday, decided to provide his children a monetary incentive to condone homophobia and racism. Cunningham set up a living trust with a clause rewarding his children if they marry a white, straight Christian.

Read More Show Less