As Halloween approaches, I know many adults are just as excited as kids. Which is fine, but unfortunately, Halloween is also the time for some folks to be the world’s biggest jerks because of their costumes. The pictures that end up plastered across Facebook and Twitter on November 1 end up pissing me off–EVERY YEAR–and I hope folks take a break from those terribly offensive costumes this year. But sadly, I’m sure they won’t.

In case you’re dressing up for Halloween, I have a few things for you to remember.

If you’ll be wearing a short, slutty costume (which a lotta folks enjoy, no judgment or shade), please make sure you wear drawers. That’s all I ask. Especially if you’re getting drunk. No one wants to see your skeezy Lil’ Red Riding Hood Love Pocket. And if someone DID want to see it (and y’all don’t go together), then you really want to run away from them. Just put on drawers. Boyshorts, preferably, to be safe.

Oh and parents, don’t dress your kids up as anything whorish or too grown. I don’t want to see your 5-year old dressed as Julia Roberts from “Pretty Woman.” Or Lady Gaga. Or Amber Rose. It is not appropriate nor is it cute. Let kids be kids.

But even more important, if you’re thinking of wearing a race-themed costume, don’t. Listen up: Non-Black folks, blackface will never be funny. Abort that mission right now. I can guarantee that whatever you’re thinking of dressing up as is not as clever as you think. I’m not saying you can’t dress up like someone of another race, you can. But once you start painting your skin to match someone else’s ethnicity, you’re tap dancing and doing the cabbage patch on the “offensive” line. And we all need you to stop.

Just so you know, the only color you can paint your skin is blue, if you’re going as an Avatar. Or green, if you’re going to be Captain Planet. Or any other superhero. Everything else gets a stamp of disapproval. Apparently, this isn’t clear to a lot of folks though, which is why a student organization at Ohio University called Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS) is making a statement. They launched a campaign recently to address the racism that happens at Halloween and it couldn’t be more relevant.

This message is even more important when you run across costumes like this:

Maybe I just fell and broke my funny bone, but this is not hilarious. It’s offensive. And unclever. Aren’t we over the whole “Precious” thing yet?

If you’re not Black and you want to be Kanye West this Halloween, go ahead. Just put on a red suit, black shirt, big gold chain, a sense of entitlement, and pouty eyes. Likewise, you can be Lindsay Lohan even if you aren’t white. Just find a raggedy blond weave that looks uncombed, tape half of your eyelid shut so you look like someone punched you in the face, and don’t shower for two days prior to dressing up so your skin can look grimy. SEE? It’s possible.

With Halloween just around the corner, I do know that I’d hate to be on a college campus right now. Folks are going to show up and show out in the worst ways this Halloween.

But remember: Friends don’t let friends act a dummy on Halloween by being caricatures of other people’s cultures. Do your part and tell your friends to have a seat if they’re going as something ridiculous. It is your duty.

So people, please don’t lose all semblance of couth this Halloween. I promise you can still be clever without donning some outta pocket costume in your attempt to “honor” another ethnic group.  Honor us by not offending us. Thanks.

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