Blackface has its own history in minstrel shows. Blackface became nationally popular in the late 1820s when white male performers portrayed African-American characters. Wearing tattered clothes, the performances mocked African-American behavior, using racial stereotypes to get laughs. African Americans considered blackface offensive, and this act by the coaches shows bad judgment on their part. I know they did it for laughs and not
to put down African-American.
Humor always offends someone – guarenteed. I wrote about this in my latest e-book, Leadership for New Managers: Book Two, http://smashwords.com/b/300090. Here is what I wrote:
I love humor but leader/managers need to be careful how they use humor. Humor can cause problems when it offends someone. Humor must never be sexual, racial, or
harassing. Usually, it is best to leave the humor up to the most senior person
present. Never forward or circulate humor/jokes on organizational e-mail
Sarcasm is the cruelest, crudest form of humor. Associates often misunderstand it.
Leader/managers should avoid sarcasm.
Maybe we are too concerned about being politically correct to the extreme. I thought
it might help if I made a list for you on the type of Halloween costume that someone may find offensive in addition to blackface.
1. Any costume – Members of the Druids faith, Celtics, and the Neo-pagan Movement may think you are making fun of them or stereotyping them. According to many scholars, Halloween, is a Christianized feast based on Celtic harvest festivals. It may have some pagan roots. History is a little vague on the origin. Fundamentalist Christians that believe Halloween is a pagan custom will be offended as well as Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and other faiths. Atheists are offended.
2. Cowperson or Indians – may offend Native Americans or real cowboys. If you must go as a cowboy, do not carry a fake gun (no real guns either) (cowperson??)
3. Witches or Warlocks – offends witches or Wiccans and the good people of Salem, Mass.
4. Cyrus Miley/hooters/strippers – offends mothers and fathers. Okay if you are over 21.
5. Toy or fake guns or real guns =- are you crazy? Do you want to be shot? Not a good idea even in states that allow people to carry guns.
6. Policeperson - may offend illegal immigrants, kids carrying fake guns, real police, and criminals. Wearer could be shot.
7. Frankenstein - may offend doctors, medical malpractice insurance salespeople, and people who favor Obamacare.
8. Ghost - may appear to be KKK and offend African Americans as well as members of the KKK. May offend other ghosts.
9. Zombie - may offend real zombies. If done too dark may appear as Blackface. If done too white,
may appear as KKK.
10. Football player - always offends fans of opposing teams. Teams like the Washington Redskins offend Native Americans.
11. Baseball player - similar to football players. Associated with drug use.
12. Historical political figures - offends members of the opposition party.
13. Congressperson/politicians – offends veterans, senior citizens on social security, federal workers who were furloughed during shut down, and one members of one party or another.
14. Werewolves - at one time wolves were an endangered species. will offend cattle famers.
15. Vampires. offends werewolves, HIV patients, vegetarians, and citizens of Transylvania.
16. Any animal costume – offends animal right activists, vegetarians, and pet owners.
Inappropriate handouts for Halloween:
1. Candy – contributes to weight gains and high blood sugar in diabetics.
2. Chocolate – the price is going up. Handing out chocolate makes the giver appear uppity.
3. Beef jerky – offends vegetarians and red necks.
4. Fruit like apples and bananas – apples need to be X-rayed for needles and razor blades. Bananas have a sexual connotation.
5. Alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, and drugs - never to minors.
6. Salty snacks like potato chips – contributes to high blind pressure and weight gain. Some kids are allegoric to peanuts.
On second thought, it would be easier to stay home, turn off the all the lights, and hide.